Kerala school inches closer to gender neutrality, introduces new uniform for all students

Thiruvananthapuram: In a step closer to gender neutrality, a government in Kerala has decided to introduce a new uniform for all its students. Valayanchirangara Government Lower Primary School, near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district has introduced a new uniform – 3/4th shorts and shirt – which will be worn by all students.

The school, which has a strength of 754 students, had taken the decision on a new dress code in 2018. Initially, it was introduced in the lower primary section of the school but was extended to all students when the facility reopened post-lockdown.

Vivek V, the current president of the PTA said that they want all students to have the same level of freedom. He added, “We got the backing of the students and their parents. We wanted all the students to have the same uniform so that they could enjoy the freedom of movement. This was first introduced in the pre-primary classes of around 200 students. It was a big hit which gave us confidence to implement it for all other classes. “

General Education Minister V Sivankutty welcomed the decision and said that the government will encourage gender-inclusive activities, PTI reported. Sivankutty said that ideas of gender justice, equality and awareness will be stressed upon during curriculum reform. The minister added, “Admirable move by Valayanchirangara LP School. Students of all genders will now wear the same uniform here – short pants and shirts. “

The uniforms have been designed by Vidya Mukunan. The Kochi-based designer said that initially, parents were concerned about how girl students would use the washroom. She said that several designs were checked before finalising the present dress code.

She added, “Girls told us that they feel very comfortable with the new uniform. This was initially implemented among the pre-primary students. Later, after considering the positive response from the parents and the teachers, the school introduced it to the other classes. “

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