Provide free sanitary pads at board examination centres, Education Ministry to states

The announcement was made to ensure the health, dignity, and academic success of female students during the 10th and 12th board examinations.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only(Photo | M Muthukannan)

NEW DELHI: Recognizing the challenges faced by girls due to limited access to sanitary products and menstrual hygiene facilities during examinations, the centre on Thursday issued an advisory to all the schools in the country to provide free sanitary pads at all 10th and 12th board examination centres.

The announcement came soon after Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took charge of the ministry for the second consecutive term.

The announcement was made to ensure the health, dignity, and academic success of female students during the 10th and 12th board examinations.

The Department of School Education and Literacy, under the Union Education Ministry, also announced that menstruating girls should also be given bathroom breaks.

The directions were given not only to schools in the states/UTs, but also to the Central Board of Secondary Education, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, and Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti.

The advisory said that free sanitary pads should be readily available at all 10th and 12th Board examination centres, ensuring girls have access to essential hygiene products during exams if required.

“Female students are to be permitted to take necessary restroom breaks to address menstrual needs, alleviating discomfort and promoting focus during exams,” the advisory said.

Also, sensitization and awareness programmes should be carried out

“Educational programmes will be implemented by states and UTs to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene among students, teachers, and staff. This approach aims to reduce stigma and foster a more understanding school environment,” it added.

“By addressing menstrual hygiene concerns during exams, the DoSEL emphasizes the importance of treating female students with dignity and respect regarding their menstrual needs at the same time, empowering girls to confidently participate in examinations and achieve their academic potential.

“Menstrual hygiene management is a significant aspect of a girl’s overall well-being and should not come in the way of her academic performance,” a statement from the ministry said, adding that the aim was to prioritise menstrual hygiene management in school to support female students during 10th and 12th board examinations.

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