Government school students forced to clean toilet in Bengaluru

Senior headmistress of the school suspended

Updated - December 22, 2023 09:28 pm IST

Published - December 22, 2023 05:02 pm IST - Bengaluru

Parents outside the Government Model Primary School at Andhrahalli in Bengaluru.

Parents outside the Government Model Primary School at Andhrahalli in Bengaluru.

Following the incident of students of the Morarji Desai Residential School in Malur of Kolar district being made to clean a toilet pit, yet another case of toilets being cleaned by schoolchildren has emerged, this time in the Government Model Higher Primary School, Andhrahalli, North Zone-1, Bengaluru.

The Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) suspended Lakshmidevamma T., senior headmistress of the school, on Friday.

As a video of the students cleaning the toilet, using acid and brooms, went viral on social media, parents reached the school and questioned the headmistress. They also staged a protest.

Children outside the Government Model Primary School at Andhrahalli in Bengaluru.

Children outside the Government Model Primary School at Andhrahalli in Bengaluru.

Anjinappa, the Block Education Officer (BEO) of Bengaluru North-1, visited the school and enquired about the incident with teachers and students, and recommended disciplinary action. On the basis of his recommendation, the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), Bengaluru North zone, suspended Lakshmidevamma.

The children and the parents alleged that the headmistress used to ask the children to clean the toilets daily by offering them groundnut chikkis, chocolates, and sweets as rewards.

A class VI student said: “We have been asked to clean the toilets for the last few months. If we did not follow the instruction, she would threaten to punish us.”

Parents outside the Government Model Primary School at Andhrahalli in Bengaluru.

Parents outside the Government Model Primary School at Andhrahalli in Bengaluru.

Another student stated that they were never provided gloves or slippers to clean the toilets. “Every morning, they used to ask who will clean the toilet for the day and we used to clean with bleaching powder, phenyl, and other cleaners,” said the student.

“We are sending our children to school so they can learn, not to clean toilets. The government is providing funds for toilet cleaning and other activities, but these teachers are misusing our children. The government should take action against the teachers,” a parent demanded.

Madhu Bangarappa, Minister of the Department of School Education and Literacy, said there is “no question of tolerating such behaviour by teachers.” “We will initiate strict action against those responsible for this,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said that a report has been sought on the incident. Opposition leader R. Ashok and local MLA S.T. Somashekar visited the school and demanded a probe into the incident.

This is the second such incident in Karnataka in the last 10 days. On December 17, three staff members, including the principal of a Morarji Desai School in Yaluvalli in Malur, Kolar district, were suspended by the Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions Society (KREIS) for making students manually clean toilet pits as well as the school premises.

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