KOCHI: A child rights activist in the city was shocked when her child was stopped from writing his public exam at a National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) centre in Ernakulam. The reason, the 15-year-old boy was dressed indecently!
The boy, who was in T-shirt and shorts, had been undergoing homeschooling. When the mother spoke to the regional officer of NIOS, she was told that ‘she should have known the Kerala tradition and stuck to it.’ When the mother asked what would be considered ‘Kerala traditional attire’ for a 15-year-old, the official in-charge did not offer a satisfactory reply.
The incident took place on December 7 and after many rounds of arguments, the boy was allowed inside the examination hall, said his mother, who did not wish to reveal her identity as well as that of the school. “When I approached the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR), my intention was not to punish anyone but to create awareness about publicly humiliating children, especially,when they are attending school after a break of almost two years.
“NIOS offers a great opportunity for differently-abled children and those stuck at home. Officers and teachers who interact with them should be more empathetic though,” the mother said.Apart from stopping the boy, another official who was the NIOS observer, shot the argument on his mobile phone.
The mother had to threaten to go to the cyber cell if the video was found to be circulated. KeSCPCR member K Naseer confirmed that there was no dress code for the NIOS examination. He said he sought a report from the district police chief (Ernakulam Rural) as well as the regional officer of NOIS regarding the incident. He said that humiliation of children are a violation of their rights, adding that further action would be taken after inspecting the report in detail.
A 15-year-old boy from Kochi wearing shorts and T-shirt, was stopped by officials from writing a public exam at NIOS