203-year-old Kerala boys’ school admits girls for first time

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Express press service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thursday was a special day for S Fiya Mary and Profulla S Vijay and their new school, Government Model HSS for Boys, Chalai. The day marked the first time the 203-year-old educational institution admitted female students. For Fiya and Profulla, two of the 12 girls admitted to the science and humanities streams, it was a memory to cherish as they would be among the first group of girls to graduate from the institution.

“I had chosen school as my first option. I went to high school at Cotton Hill HSS and wanted to go to a coeducational school. My parents supported me,” said Fiya, who chose biology-mathematics subjects.

The hour it took Profulla to get to school from his home in Kottukal could not dampen his excitement that day. Profulla, who got an A+ in nine subjects in class 10 – she missed it in chemistry by a hair – also said all schools in Kerala should have gender-neutral uniforms.

“We expect more female students to join the
the coming days’

The male students were happy too. S Athul from Kuriyathi said adding girls will motivate them to study harder. The PTA, established in 1819, had made representation to General Education Minister V Sivankutty to convert the school into a coeducational institution in March. Principal Felicia Chandrasekharan told TNIE that with the induction of female students, the boys would have the added responsibility of being more disciplined.

“We expect more female students to join the school in the coming days as additional allowances, school transfers and combination changes are pending,” Felicia said. Currently, the school has 140 Plus One students, including 12 girls. In Plus Two, there are 250 boys. The school will admit girls into the upper primary, secondary and upper secondary sections from the next school year, which would see its total enrollment increase significantly from the current 325. On Thursday, Transport Minister Antony Raju, who visited the school, gave saplings to the students.

The teacher disguises himself as a student
The occasion became more special for the girls when their journalism teacher S Sindhu donned the school uniform – sky blue kurta and navy trousers – to welcome them. The teacher supporting gender neutrality was a welcome gesture, the students said.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thursday was a special day for S Fiya Mary and Profulla S Vijay and their new school, Government Model HSS for Boys, Chalai. The day marked the first time the 203-year-old educational institution admitted female students. For Fiya and Profulla, two of the 12 girls admitted to the science and humanities streams, it was a memory to cherish as they would be among the first group of girls to graduate from the institution. “I had chosen school as my first option. I went to high school at Cotton Hill HSS and wanted to go to a coeducational school. My parents supported me,” said Fiya, who chose biology-mathematics subjects. The hour it took Profulla to get to school from his home in Kottukal could not dampen his excitement that day. Profulla, who got an A+ in nine subjects in class 10 – she missed it in chemistry by a hair – also said all schools in Kerala should have gender-neutral uniforms. “We expect more female students to join us in the coming days” The male students were also satisfied. S Athul from Kuriyathi said adding girls will motivate them to study harder. The PTA, established in 1819, had made representation to General Education Minister V Sivankutty to convert the school into a coeducational institution in March. Principal Felicia Chandrasekharan told TNIE that with the induction of female students, the boys would have the added responsibility of being more disciplined. “We expect more female students to join the school in the coming days as additional allowances, school transfers and combination changes are pending,” Felicia said. Currently, the school has 140 Plus One students, including 12 girls. In Plus Two, there are 250 boys. The school will admit girls into the upper primary, secondary and upper secondary sections from the next school year, which would see its total enrollment increase significantly from the current 325. On Thursday, Transport Minister Antony Raju, who visited the school, gave saplings to the students. The teacher dresses up as a student The occasion became more special for the girls when their journalism teacher S Sindhu donned the school uniform – sky blue kurta and navy blue trousers – to welcome them. The teacher supporting gender neutrality was a welcome gesture, the students said.

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