It was the second Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education (MPBSE) school examination to be held in the school and the district administration or authorities have yet to take notice.
“For the first hour of the examination our clothes were almost soaked with the disinfectant. Most of us were coughing and that made the situation even worse. We did not want to get thrown out suspected of COVID-19,” said a class XII student, whose name is not being revealed. For most of them it was the last examination of their school life and one that they would like to forget.
“I am a girl. Imagine girls’ clothes are semi wet and they are to take an examination. The staff and others responsible gladly ignored us. We were treated worse than animals. Most of us did not react, who wants to take the examination again, right?” asked another student.
The examination was held in LGM memorial higher secondary school in Shanti Nagar. Located in Sindhi Colony area, Ibrahimganj, students were directed to report the examination centre one hour before the 9 am, the scheduled time for the examination to begin.
All of them, most accompanied by parents reached the centre. The students were lined up outside. Social distancing was maintained and with face masks on. Most of them carried three items, a sanitizer, water bottle and pen. A man with backpack sprayer, like one used in agricultural purpose stood there. One by one, the students were sprayed with harmful chemicals. “The only face saver was the mask. Otherwise chemical would have got in our mouth too,” said a student.
“Mandal” gave the orders to spray disinfectant on kids: School administrator Private school administrator, Chadrashekar Bharagava claimed the disinfection spray on students was carried out following a directive on WhatsApp from MPBSE. He said the disinfection sprayer was procured by the school and sodium hypochlorite was purchased from nearby medical market. “If it is against the rules, the teacher and staff appointed by the district education officer (DEO), should have acted,” he said. When asked about harmful impact of such measures on the students, he said, “I was not present when it took place. I went to a hospital recently, I too had to pass under a chemical tunnel.”
Spraying chemical on kids is not permitted, action will be taken: DEO, Nitin Saxena, said, “There is not such order or directive to spray chemicals on children or humans. Action would be taken after an investigation.” He also said that rules pertaining to sanitization are changing constantly, “It is hard to keep track.” However, he admitted that such measures could impact the performance of the students and their health.
Humans cannot be disinfected with chemical spray: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had directed that spraying of disinfectants on individuals should not be done “under any circumstances”, said a health official.