No separate uniforms for smart students and others, orders children's panel

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Kozhikode: Schools have been ordered to ensure that the system of using uniforms by students should not be tinkered with on any basis.

The Kerala State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) has directed the Director of Public instruction (DPI) and the regional director of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to avoid any kind of discrimination in uniforms of students on the basis of talent.

The order follows a suo-motu case taken up the Commission on the basis of media reports that a CBSE school in Malappuram district was following different types of uniforms for 'smart' children and 'others' in the same class.

Commission member Naseer Chaliyam issued the order directing the DPI and the CBSE regional director to immediately inform the school authorities regarding the same.

The school authorities admitted to using different shades of uniforms for students in the same class, but they said it was done without any bad intention, Naseer said.

“The school authorities said that different uniforms were being worn by students who were captains and smart children who excelled in sports and other co-curricular activities. However, an internal investigation conducted by the Deputy Director of Education (DDE), Malappuram, found that different types of uniforms were being used. They also agreed in writing that they would not proceed with the same in the future. Uniforms are prescribed in educational institutions to remove any kind of discrimination among the students and offer them a level-playing ground. So this is a serious offence on the part of the school,” he said.

According to section 13 (1) (j) of the Commission act, a case can be registered against the school authorities for discriminating against the students that may give rise to inferiority complex and anguish among them. The education department should ensure that the students in the same institution is not discriminated on any basis.

The Commission also directed the DPI and CBSE regional director to take action and submit reports to them within 45 days.

The incident took place almost a year ago and various complaints piled up at the commission subsequently.

Due to the delay in appointing enough members on the panel, nearly 50 per cent of the cases were not disposed of, said the Commission member. When the cases were not taken up, the petitioners also started refraining from submitting complaints, he said.

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