From now on, children affected by HIV positive and wards of persons living with HIV need not worry about their education and feel shy of going to regular schools as the Department of Education has started an exclusive residential school for such children in Dindigul on Friday.

It is a residential bridge school that provides not only free education, but also food and shelter. To begin with, classes have been started for the first to eighth standard on the premises of an office of a non-governmental organisation on the Tiruchi bypass road on the outskirts of Dindigul. Thirty children have been admitted to this school. Two teachers have been deputed for conducting classes to them.

Additional Chief Education Officer-Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) V. Radhakrishnan said that salary will be offered to these teachers under the SSA scheme. The SSA scheme foots all expenses of the children. It offers free food, uniforms, shoes, books, study materials and staying facilities to these children. Education would be imparted on the basis of their age, he added.

Inaugurating the school, Joint Director of Health Services T. Jayabal said that teachers and those in charge of the hostel should work with total dedication. Service-mindedness should be the mantra behind the success of the school, he added. It should become a role model.

Hundreds of children in the district will be benefited. The ART centre in the Government Hospital has been taking care of persons with HIV, offering counselling and treatment to them. Now, this school will take care of their wards and also children affected by HIV.

Keywords: HIV-Aids