Published: 03rd August 2022
Did Sivankutty indicate gender-neutral uniforms for students? He refutes allegations
The Minister addressed various concerns of stakeholders in a meeting with representatives of various Parent Teacher Associations
Kerala's General Education Minister V Sivankutty shared the state's plan to convert all schools to co-educational institutions and assured stakeholders that due procedure will be followed. The Minister was speaking at a meeting of representatives of various teachers' associations.
It was the state's Child's Right Commission that had directed all schools to convert to the co-education model by the next academic year. Sivankutty said that the school authorities will be required to submit a letter to the General Education Department in order to commence the process of converting the school. However, this letter can be submitted only after seeking the consent of the Parent Teacher Association of the school and the local body concerned, as reported in The New Indian Express. Once the letter is submitted, the school will undergo an assessment of various factors by the General Education Department, added Sivankutty.
Addressing allegations of "smuggling in anti-religious thoughts" made by the Indian Union Muslim League MLA MK Muneer on gender-neutral uniforms in schools, Sivankutty clarified that there was no compulsion from the government on these uniforms.
Speaking on the increase in seats in educational institutions, Sivankutty said that Plus One seats in 81 additional higher secondary batches that were sanctioned on a temporary basis last year, as well as the seats enhanced district-wise to meet the demand, will be included in the first round of allotment this year. Usually, such additional seats are included in the subsequent rounds of allotment.
The Minister also discussed the re-constitution of PTAs and School Management Committees will be taken up, as per law. During the meeting, hastening the pace of infrastructure development in schools through Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) funding and launching a joint campaign with the Excise Department to check the use of narcotics in schools, were also mentioned. The Minister also decried the practice of collecting funds from students for school building construction. The general education department will seek the opinion of the public on ways to reduce the misuse of mobile phones by students while on campus, he said. The Arts and Sports state-level meet-up will be conducted this year after being put on hold for two years due to the pandemic, informed Sivankutty, as per a report by TNIE.