THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Department of General Education has decided to transform the Government Model Upper Secondary School for Boys in Chalai, in the capital, into a coeducational school following a request to this effect from the Association of Parents of pupils (PTA) of the school. The school’s PTA, established in 1819, had made representation to Minister of General Education V Sivankutty to convert the school into a coeducational institution. The minister, while briefing on the decision, said that the government is willing to transform the schools established exclusively for boys or girls into coeducational schools if there is a demand from the relevant stakeholders.
“There should be a joint request from the school authorities, the PTA and the local body concerned. This will help create an enabling environment for education based on gender justice,” said Sivankutty. According to the principal of the school, Felicia Chandrashekaran, the school authorities had called a meeting of the PTA in March this year. It was during the meeting that the proposal to transform the school into a coeducational establishment was proposed. “The PTA meeting, at which the local ward councilor was also present, unanimously decided to turn the school into a coeducational establishment.
Minutes of the meeting and a complaint have been filed with the Minister of General Education,” the director said. The school has a total of 325 students enrolled in the upper primary, high school and upper secondary sections. In the wake of the government decision, admissions to the three sections would be open to girls from the start of the next school year.
“The school becoming coeducational would go a long way towards gender awareness, which is the need of the hour. When school authorities discussed the proposal and explained its benefits, all parents were in full agreement,” a PTA representative said. Previously, the LDF government had strongly supported the introduction of unisex uniforms in schools and urged more institutions to emulate the model of creating a gender-neutral learning environment.