Sri Lanka Ministry of Education announced that the Provincial Educational authorities of the North Central Province had informed them that the school principal who had sacked a 16 years old school girl wrongly accusing her of being pregnant had been interdicted. An inquiry is pending with regard to the conduct of the principal.
The principal who is also a female summoned the parents of the girl who had vomitted in the school in the morning and asked them to withdraw her from the school. The low-educated parents say that they were asked to sign a document and take the child home.
Confused parents admitted her to Dambulla hospital and following medical inspection she was diagnosed neither pregnant nor raped.
The child is not schooling now and the Ministry of Education says that she will be admitted to the same school or a new school, with hostel facilities if necessary.
Meanwhile the parents said to media that they had no money to travel and also no knowledge to attend the the investigations.
Local media and social media regularly followed up the report and demanded justice for the victim.
The girl was a grade 10 student of a school in Kekirawa in Anuradhapura district. The father said to a newspaper that he had been to school upto grade 2 and his wife had never attended school.
The case indicates the gaps among the skills of the school teachers in terms of sexual and reproductive health and rights of the students.
National Youth Health Survey (2012-2013) conducted by the Adolescent and Youth Health Unit of Family Health Bureau suggested that 50 percent of young people lacked knowledge about basic sexual and reproductive health.
Accurate, age-appropriate and culturally relevant information is important to make responsible and informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
However, certain sections in Sri Lanka still see these issues as taboo and unfortunately some teachers are also among them. As a result, rape, child marriage and teenage pregnancy are also reported too often in Sri Lanka.
(Cover image: Avantha Artigala's cartoon)