Students usually need at least 75% attendance to appear for examinations in each semester. The Kerala government has now granted a 2% additional concession of attendance for female students.

Girl students writing an examImage for Representation
news Education Tuesday, January 24, 2023 - 14:54

On January 16, the Kerala government, in a pioneering move, announced menstrual leave for female students studying in all state universities under the Department of Higher Education. Higher Education Minister R Bindu made the announcement following the passing of a similar provision granting menstrual leaves by the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT).

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also posted a note on Facebook saying that the decision was made keeping in mind the difficulties faced by students who might miss classes due to menstruation-related discomfort. “This is the first time in the country that a state government has taken such a feminist decision for university-college students,” he added.

Though the provision for menstrual leaves does not currently include menstruating individuals other than women, the move is a welcome one, sparking discourse on a much stigmatised topic like menstruation.

So how does menstrual leave work?

> Students usually need at least 75% attendance to appear for examinations in each semester. The Kerala government has now granted a 2% additional concession of attendance for female students.

> This way, female students can attend examinations with up to at least 73% attendance.

> The students have now demanded to keep in mind menstrual leaves while allotting internal marks that are taken into account to calculate attendance.

> According to a Times of India report, Rasheed Ahmed P, a syndicate member of Calicut University says that two marks are allotted to students for classroom participation while aggregating internal marks. This is provided for students having 75 to 85% attendance. The demand now is to apply the 73% attendance criteria for internal marks also.

> Demand has also been raised to apply the reduction in attendance percentage for internal marks calculation to transgender students as well.

CUSAT had decided to grant menstrual leaves after the Students' Federation of India (SFI) students’ union made a representation in the regard. CUSAT’s order is applicable to female students of all streams, including those pursuing a Ph.D., in the university, and is expected to be implemented with immediate effect.

Read: Do women need period leave? We asked 16 professionals what they thought

Also Read: While we debate period leave, a Kerala school had granted it over a century ago

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