Thursday was a historic day for Government Model Boys Higher Secondary School in Chalai, Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, as it welcomed female students for the first time in four decades.
A total of 12 girls were admitted to the science and humanities stream in class XI.
On their first day at school on Thursday, the students were greeted by Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju who also presented them with saplings.
You want to study in a mixed school
One of the new recruits, who studied up to class X in an all-girls school, said she wanted to study in a mixed system.
“Not in favor of how gender is interpreted or taught in today’s society. We’re supposed to study together. So I came here to study like that,” she said.
One student’s parents told the media that their daughter had expressed a desire to study with the boys at school and so they admitted her.
The mixed school only became boys after the division
The school which was established in 1819 had started as a coeducational institution, but due to an increase in the number of pupils over the years, it was divided into three separate schools for boys, girls and another in Tamil language.
However, after the Kerala government’s decision to encourage gender neutrality in schools, which also gave opportunity for boys/girls only schools to become coeducational, the PTA approached Minister of Education V Sivankutty to the same thing.
And from the current school year, from upper secondary, the school will be open to both boys and girls.
No more boys/girls only schools in Kerala
Last month, the Kerala State Commission for Child Rights Protection recommended that all-boys and all-girls schools in the state be converted to coeducational schools from the 2023- 2024.
According to official figures, there were 280 girls’ schools and 164 boys’ schools in the state.
The Commission has recommended that all such schools, whether public, private or grant-aided, should switch to a coeducation system from next year.
Education Minister V Sivankutty had said that 11 single-sex schools in the government and aided sectors had been converted to co-educational schools in the past year.
If school authorities, the PTA and relevant local bodies make a collective decision and demand the conversion of single-sex schools to co-educational schools, the government would agree,” the minister said.
Earlier this week Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was not mandating gender neutral school uniforms and it was the prerogative of educational institutions to decide what type of uniform girls should wear. and boys should wear.
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