Published: 10th December 2021
Kerala tenth grader shamed for wearing shorts to NIOS exam, despite there being no dress code in place
The child's mother says that she was surprised because her son was dressed in a pair of shorts and tee-shirt, something that he regularly wears when he goes out
A few days back, Dr Seema Lal, a psychologist from Kochi had dropped her 15-year-old son for his Class X National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Board Examination, at a school that was situated 20 kilometres away from home. Seema says that she had wished her son good luck and sent him to the examination hall and had gone back to her car to wait for him, when she noticed her son come back with a droopy face. "He said that he wasn't allowed inside the examination hall because he was 'indecently dressed'," she says.
Seema says that she was surprised because her son was dressed in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, something that he regularly wears when he goes out. "I then had to go to the examination hall and had a verbal tiff with the school's principal, who was hell-bent on not letting my son inside the examination hall, because of what he wore. We were quite embarrassed because he had raised his voice in front of a lot of other students," she says. The NIOS in no publication prescribes a dress code for students who appear for examinations.
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What followed was a series of arguments, after which Seema had reported the incident to the Kerala State Child Rights Commission. "They had immediately registered a case and following this, my son was allowed in the examination hall. Weirdly, throughout the conversation, an NIOS coordinator present at the scene started recording me, without my consent. He did not stop even when I asked him to," she says, adding that these incidents affect children's mental health quite adversely.
Nazeer Chaliyam, a member of the Kerala State Child Rights Commission confirmed to EdexLive the fact that a case has been registered. "Appropriate action will be taken once the commission studies the issue," he says, adding, "Subjecting a child to these sort of comments will amount to corporal punishment. Also, there is no dress code for NIOS."