NCPCR asks NCERT to correct "anomalies" in gender neutral teacher training manual

The commission pointed out that the manual would deny equal rights to children of diverse biological needs
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: PTI
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: PTI

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sought rectification of "anomalies" in the NCERT's teacher training manual, pointing out that the current version would deny equal rights to children of diverse biological needs. It also claimed that the text of the manual suggests gender neutral infrastructure for children that does not commensurate with their gender realities and basic needs.

The new manual for teachers aims to educate and sensitise them towards the LGBTQIA+ community and different gender orientations. It highlights practices and strategies to make schools sensitive and inclusive for transgender and gender non-conforming children. These strategies include the provision of gender neutral toilets and uniforms, sensitisation for non-teaching staff, discontinuing practices that segregate children into various school activities based on their gender, inviting members of the transgender community to speak on campus, among others.

In a letter to the NCERT Director, the NCPCR said it has received a complaint regarding the content of the teacher training manual titled 'Inclusion of Transgender Children in School Education: Concerns and Road Map' published by the Department of Gender Studies at NCERT. 

"Also, the idea of creating and removing binaries shall deny them equal rights of children of diverse biological needs. Second, this approach will expose children to unnecessary psychological trauma due to contradictory environments at home and in school. It is also highlighted in the manual (chapter 3) that teachers are suggested to discuss with students about puberty blockers and its availability for adolescents," the letter said.

Further, the background and qualification of the members of the drafting committee were not verified, the apex child rights body said in its letter. The NCPCR sought rectification of anomalies in the document and also said the qualification of members of the drafting committee may be verified.

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