HIV+ children will return to school: Kerala minister


Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Education Minister M.A. Baby Monday promised that five HIV positive children in Kottayam district not allowed to attend classes would now be able to return to school.

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The five children of M.D.L.P School, Pampadi, have been in the news ever since parents of the other children protested their presence and were disallowed from attending classes when the school reopened last month. Several parents threatened to withdraw their wards if the HIV affected children were allowed to attend classes.

"The state government is quite clear that even if all the other children are withdrawn, these five children would continue to study in the school. We will discuss the issue with the school and the PTA this week," Baby told reporters here.

Following a public interest petition filed by a non-governmental organisation in the matter, the Kerala High Court on Thursday issued notices to the district administration and the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) of the school to present their views on July 10.

Both the state and the National Human Rights Commission have also issued notices to the school on this issue.

Trouble erupted in December last year when the school management, under pressure from the PTA, removed the five children. The school re-admitted the children under instructions from the Kerala government.

The children are from Asha Kiran, an NGO formed under the Kottayam District Orphanage Association.

The Orthodox Church, which runs the school, and Asha Kiran had appointed a five-member PTA committee to decide on the matter.

Of the five children, a boy studies in kindergarten, two girls are in Class 2 and two other girls in Class 4.