Pathanamthitta: The dress codes for both teachers and students have become talking points in Kerala nowadays. While authorities at various other schools have said that there is no need to discriminate between girls and boys over uniforms, the higher education department recently had to step in to clarify about the dress of women teachers.
A few days ago, a government lower primary school at Valayanchirangara in Ernakulam was lauded for adopting gender-neutral uniforms for its students. The school has allowed its students, both boys, and girls, to wear the same uniform - short pants and shirts.
The gender-neutral uniform for students was implemented at the Ranni Government Lower Primary School in Pathanamthitta district in 2014. The uniform is three-fourth pants and shirt for both boys and girls. This uniform has been followed at the Karyambadi Government Lower Primary School in Wayanad since November 2018.
The Pilicode Government Higher Secondary school in Kasaragod had decided to shift to gender-neutral uniform two years ago, but it has not been implemented yet due to the hassles over the COVID-19 pandemic.
As schools reopened after a long hiatus in the state, many schools have not made it mandatory for students to wear uniform to class for now.
Last week higher education department issued an order stating that "teachers can wear any dress that is comfortable and decent."
"There are no existing rules that require a female teacher to wear a sari at work. Despite the higher education department clarifying the same on numerous occasions, teachers have complained about the stubbornness of certain institution heads and managements regarding a dress code that is inconvenient," the order states.
The order was issued in response to "certain restrictions and insistence on the dress code of teachers at higher education institutions in Kerala."