The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued a recommendation to the Secretary, Ministry of Education and other eleven respondents to protect the right to education of a school girl in Kekirawa, North Central Province in Sri Lanka.
The Commission’s recommendation directly addressed the disciplinary process to which the school girl was subjected and student disciplinary processes in general and observed that the disciplinary process was not done according to the procedures stipulated in the Education Ministry Circular no. 12/26.
The Commission made a recommendation to the Provincial Director of Education to conduct a disciplinary inquiry on the Principal, Class room Teacher, and the Disciplinary Board member of the Madagamuwa Vidyalaya in Kekirawa, Madatugama Sri Revatha Vidyalaya who decided to remove the girl accusing her of falsely accused of being pregnant.
The year 10 female student was expelled from the school by the principal accusing the girl was pregnant after she vomited at the morning assembly.
Medical tests conducted subsequently has confirmed that the student was neither molested nor had any sexual activity and not pregnant.
Following media reports on the injustice to the student, the Human Rights Commission conducted an investigation into the school authorities’ disciplinary process.
The Commission questioned the Principal Mrs. Sandya Kanthirathna Godakanda, classroom teacher Ms. Agra Savithri Upananda and School counselor Mr. K.R. Samarakoon Bandara as well as the student and her parents.
Following the investigations, the HRCSL has decided that the Disciplinary Board of the school has acted arbitrarily and taken disciplinary acts without substantiating evidence.
Accordingly the Commission points out that the Principal of the school, the teacher-in-charge, the counselor and the disciplinary board have violated the Constitutional clause that a person cannot be treated inhumanely, cruelly and disgraced.
The HRCSL also said that the school authorities exploiting the illiteracy and education level of the parents have pressured the parents to remove the girl from the school.
The Commission recommended that the student should be provided with the opportunity to study further in the same school.