Kerala: Education Minister says govt has no problem if single-sex schools want to convert into co-ed

Sivankutty said it was not the education department that took the decision regarding gender-neutral uniforms. It was the parents and the teachers of the school in Balussery who wanted it
Kerala's Minister of Education V Sivankutty, | Pic: Facebook
Kerala's Minister of Education V Sivankutty, | Pic: Facebook

Kerala's Minister for Education and Labour, V Sivankutty, said that the general education department does not have any objections to single-sex schools in the state getting converted to co-educational schools.

Speaking at a news conference at Kanhangad in Kasaragod on December 27, the Minister said that many associated with all-boys and all-girls schools would like for it to become co-educational institutions. He said, "It is not being decided by the education department. The decision is being taken unanimously by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of schools, teachers of the institutions and the local body institution concerned; the department is approving their decision. Education department does not have any objection to boys and girls learning together,” he said.

Uniforms are bae 
Meanwhile, on the question of gender-neutral uniforms, Sivankutty added that it was not the education department who took the decision regarding it. “The decision to implement gender-neutral uniform at the school in Balussery was not taken by the education department. It was taken unanimously by the PTA, parents, teachers, people and local self-government institutions. The government's stand is to support the unanimous decision and the department does not oppose it,” he said.

He added that some organisations have been misunderstanding that gender-neutral uniforms are being imposed by the government and the education department.

Structural changes
Sivankutty said that steps are underway to frame the rules for implementing the recommendations of the MA Khader committee report, including structural changes like bringing various directorates under the general education director and bringing secondary, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary sections under a single head of the institution.

He said that the eligibility of teachers should also be reviewed in tune with the times and opined that postgraduate degrees will have to be made the eligibility for teachers from classes VIII to XII. Also for upper-primary classes, a degree will have to be made the basic qualification.

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