Shades of insensitivity: Malappuram school uses separate uniforms to brand kids based on merit


Malappuram: An English medium school here has courted a controversy by introducing separate uniforms for students based on their academic performance.

The insensitive practice by the Al Farooque English Medium school at Pandikkad triggered widespread outrage among students and their parents as they felt it was discriminatory and an insult.

A TV report showed most of the students of the school in red shirt while the select ones, those rated as smart students by the teachers, in white.

The school has been forced to withdraw the practise following intervention by district childline authorities who had received complaints from a section of parents and students.

The parents and the kids approached the district childline authorities with written complaints following which a team visited the school affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

“Two sets of uniforms were introduced by the school in June and a section of the students and parents, who felt insulted by the move which discriminated among them, approached us with written complaints,” said Anwar Karaikkadan, convener of the Malappuram district childline committee.

“Following this, we made a visit to the school in June to inquire about the matter,” he said.

“Even after our two visits in July and first week of August urging the school authorities to withdraw their move, nothing happened,” he added.

Denying that the students were segregated on the basis of their academic performance, the school authorities replied that actually a special group was formed among the students only to motivate them, Anwar said.

“Last week, we moved the District Child Welfare Committee seeking action against the school for causing mental agony among its students,” he said, adding, “yesterday (Friday) I was informed by the school authorities that they had withdrawn the practice.”

Meanwhile, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has registered a case and sought a report on the matter from the school principal as well as the deputy director of education within two weeks. The school authorities were not immediately available for comment.

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