HIV-positive children to be taught in school

KANNUR, JULY 24. The issue of school admission for the HIV-infected Akshara and Ananthu was settled today with the school authorities and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) agreeing to allow the children to be taught inside the school in a separate classroom under the supervision of a teacher.

The agreement was reached at a meeting convened by the Kottiyur panchayat president, K.J. Joseph, here in the afternoon to end the stalemate following the opposition of the local people, parents and the school authorities to the entry of the HIV-infected children into the school where they had been admitted following the instructions of the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony.

The Thalassery Revenue Divisional Officer, E. Devadas, the Health Department officials, Abdul Salam and Priya Sadanandan, the Iritty-based Navajyothi Partners in Sexual Health director, N.C. James, representatives of the management and the PTA of the S.N. Upper Primary School at Mannamcheri and representatives of local political and social organisations attended the meeting.

Awareness campaign

Earlier in the morning, Mr. Joseph, talked to the mother of the children, Rema, who was also tested HIV-positive. She also accepted the compromise proposal.

The children would be taught in the school, though in a special classroom, by one of the protected teachers. The Health Department would conduct campaign programmes to create HIV-AIDS awareness in the area. The children would be allowed to mingle with other students as and when the local people's apprehensions were cleared through the campaigns, the panchayat president said.

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