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HIV+ Status denies Indian children access to school

PANAJI: Impasse over continuation of 13-odd “HIV positive” students in a South Goa school has deepened with more parents now resolving to withdraw their wards from the school in protest against management’s decision to not cancel admission of these children.  Some of the 164 parents had earlier claimed that the 13 students are HIV+ and asked the school management to cancel their admission. 

According to a senior official from the management, the school, run by a missionary trust, has so far received requests from 18 parents who want withdraw their wards to admit them in a nearby school. 

However, classes were conducted smoothly on Saturday, a day after a group of parents insisted that the 13 students be not allowed to study at the school, the official said. 

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The Parent and Teachers’ Association (PTA) early this month raised objection to the school’s move to admit these 13 students, who are in primary and high school divisions, saying they are HIV+. Some parents had also threatened to withdraw their kids if school continued teaching these children.

The school, however, turned down the demand of parents. 

Against this background, the state education department held a meeting on Friday but failed to convince the parents. The meeting was also attended by the chairperson of the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, school management and the PTA.

“We have now received request from 18 parents who want no-objection certificate (NOC) from us to withdraw their children. We tried to convince them, but if they want to withdraw, we cannot force them to stay,” a school official said.

He said that the classes were conducted smoothly without any hindrance and almost all students turned out on Saturday.

Source: Times of India

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