A Kerala government school introduces neutral uniforms for its students

Indian school uniforms for girls largely consist of either salwar kameez, or skirts in combination with T-shirts – and, at times, can be quite onerous and uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately, a government primary school in Kerala decided to remove bulky skirts and introduced neutral costumes for children – with girls and boys wearing shorts.

The idea behind the introduction of neutral gender scooters and shirts was to facilitate better mobility for girls and to challenge the notion that girls should only wear skirts. Raji C., head of the Valayanchirangara Lower State Primary School, said in a leading daily: "This is especially handy for girls who can easily play now. At first we were worried about the reaction from parents who may want their girls to continue But most parents welcomed the idea. "The uniforms also have pockets, which the girls were excited about. The school tested uniforms with students from last year's school.

The 104-year-old school has teaching and support staff. The school also has a group health insurance policy for its students with the premiums paid by the Parents' Association. The school wants to promote the idea that a government school is as good as a private school. "We have 40 new entries for grades 2 to 4 this year alone, although there are many private CBSE schools in the area," says Raji. The total number of students in 2015-2016 was 609 and for the current academic year it is 681.

However, the school does not have a staff room and has not received any infrastructure support. An outdoor tent acts as a makeshift classroom for some classes, as three classes were pulled 18 months ago to build five new ones with the local MLA fund. They were not manufactured due to payment problems with the contractor.

In other news about rising temperatures, in June, the Delhi State Government Education teamed up with the NGO Society for Awareness and Enhancement of Peoples (SPACE) to launch the Purple Board pilot program. This program aims to create awareness about the needs of non-conforming and transgender students, the bullying they face, and the need to create gender-neutral baths in schools. These workshops also raised children's awareness of immigrant students and the people they meet. These small steps are important in order to become a more tolerant society.

Photo Credit: The Hindu & Getty Images