The Kerala government has decided not to impose any specific uniform code in schools.

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The Kerala government made it clear on Wednesday that it has not decided to impose any particular dress code upon pupils, despite the fact that the issue of the introduction of gender-neutral uniforms in public schools is a subject of fierce controversy. According to General Education Minister V Sivankutty, a uniform that is generally accepted and pleasant for children to wear is something that is recognized in society. He claimed that gender neutrality is a topic of intense discussion in Kerala and that it has been agreed to carry out a gender audit of textbooks there.

According to him, the management of some schools has voluntarily adopted gender-neutral uniforms, which have been warmly received by the general public and the media. The minister stated that it is understood that neither students nor parents in those schools that have made such a choice have complained. “However, the government is not adamant about putting this into action. No formal uniform code has been implemented in schools by us “said Sivankutty.

Regarding a recent directive by the state child rights panel ordering the government to convert all single-sex schools in the state into co-educational institutions, he said the LDF government has already done so since taking office. After undertaking the requisite inspections, he said, those schools that request co-educational status with the approval of the parent-teacher associations and the relevant municipal bodies would be designated as mixed institutions.

Currently, the state is home to 381 girls’ and boys’ schools, comprising 138 public schools and 243 private schools with help. The minister announced that the state’s first-year Higher Secondary classes will start on August 25 after the allotment processes, which would start on August 5. The state government has allocated Rs 126 crore from its budget for the execution of the mid-day meal programme in schools for the year 2022–2023 as a result of the delay in receiving central funding, he added.

Additionally, Sivankutty stated that it has been planned to hold the school youth festival in Kozhikode for five days beginning on January 3, 2023. It has been agreed at the government level that pupils no longer need to bring mobile phones to the school campuses and classrooms because the online classes are gone and conventional classes in the state schools have returned as of the current academic year, he said. Additionally, the minister asked parents and teachers to be more watchful of children using their phones carelessly because it could lead to behavioural and health problems.

Mayank Tewari


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