In a harrowing case of insensitivity, a student was forced to defecate inside the exam hall during ongoing Kerala State Board Exam when the invigilator, a school teacher, allegedly refused to let him go to the toilet. After this incident came to light, the Kerala Education Department issued a circular to avoid such incidents in the future. In the circular dated March 21, the Department allowed students giving class 10 exams to go to the toilet.
“The Chief Superintendent has to make available the school toilet facility to those students who request for it during the exam. The Chief Superintendent must also ensure that all facilities are offered to students to enable them to write the exams without any mental pressure,” the circular read, reported The News Minute. They also said that drinking water facility should also be mandatorily available at the schools given Kerala’s extreme temperature.
The incident took place on Tuesday, March 19, at the Kadakkal Government Higher Secondary School in Kollam district of Kerala. The boy, a student of class X, asked the teacher multiple times to let him go to the toilet as he was having a stomach ache, but the teacher kept refusing.
The student was allowed to go to the washroom only after he ended up defecating in the examination hall. By the time he came back to the classroom, the exam was over and he was unable to complete the paper. The incident came to fore the next day when the child parents got to know about it.
A police complaint has been registered by the parents, accusing the teacher of mentally harassing their son which resulted in him not being able to complete the exam. Further, they alleged that she had not even informed the chief superintendent of exams about the incident.
Case filed by The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights
There has been a lot of outrage over the incident, following which a circular was issued by the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights directing chief superintendents to ensure that all necessary arrangements are made, including toilet breaks. They also said that drinking water should be provided inside the exam halls due to the condition of heatwaves in the state.
Meanwhile, a case has been filed against the teacher for her actions by the Kerala Child Rights Commission. Based on the media reports on the incident, Commission chairperson P Suresh took the case against the teacher. According to a statement that the Commission released, action will be taken against the teacher for causing mental trauma to the boy because of which he could not finish the exam.
According to the Commission, however, it had been directed earlier as well that bathroom breaks and drinking water facilities should be available in exam halls.
The police will begin their enquiry only after the examinations are over. “He is already stressed, we do not want to increase it further,” the student’s father told The News Minute.
Teachers and invigilators often do not allow students to go for toilet breaks and filling their water bottles to ensure that they do not find a way to cheat during exams. This, however, is extremely insensitive and could cause serious health issues for the students. If teachers think it is important to make certain that students do not cheat, they should definitely come up with a humane way to deal with the issue.