Say teacher, not sir or madam – Child Rights Panel
A major decision has been taken to promote gender equality in Kerala schools. The Child Rights Panel of Kerala has ordered that all school teachers in schools, whether male or female, shall be addressed as ‘teacher’. The practice of saying sir or madam will be stopped. The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) in its recent order has said that teacher is a more respectful term in terms of gender equality than addressing them as sir or madam.
Instructions issued to the General Education Department
So now a big change will be seen in the schools of Kerala. School children will now call their teachers only as teachers. They will not have to be called sir or madam. A two-member bench of the Kerala Child Rights Panel, comprising chairman KV Manoj Kumar and member C Vijayakumar, on Wednesday directed the general education department to use only the word ‘teacher’ in all schools in the state. In this matter, the petitioner had earlier written to the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, requesting him to stop this practice in educational institutions.
The proper word for respect is teacher- panel
The panel issued the direction on a plea by a social worker against addressing teachers as sir or madam on the basis of gender. He said that this shows the feeling of discrimination, which should be removed. The complainant also submitted that gender-equality should be taken care of while dealing with the teachers. In its order, the panel said that steps should be taken to use the word teacher in all educational institutions, as it is the most appropriate word to address with respect without gender-discrimination.
Sir or madam was told the violation of fundamental rights
The panel is of the view that the respectable term Sir or Madam does not match with the concept of teacher. The panel has said that the word teacher will bring teachers and students closer. Along with this, it has directed the General Education Department to file an action taken report in this regard within two months. The petition was put before the panel by social activist Boban Matumanta, who says that the use of Sir or Madam violates Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (discrimination as to religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) of the Constitution. And violates Article 19(1) (freedom of speech and expression).
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About 43 lakh students will have to change their habits
According to media reports, according to the last year’s estimates of the Government of Kerala, there were 42,90,000 students and 1,80,507 teachers in the entire state. While the number of schools in the entire state was said to be more than 13,000. Out of the students, about 4 lakhs were enrolled in the first class. This number is when the new academic session was starting in the schools there after the Kovid epidemic. (Input-PTI)