A private school in Kerala’s Malappuram district has introduced a bizarre rule for its students’ uniforms. The students will wear clothes according to their academic performance. Those who are better performers will wear white shirts, while average and under-performing students will wear red checked shirts and tops.

The new system has been implemented in June. The parents of the school’s students had initially opposed the idea.

“We were told the average students will yearn for white and work hard, but we find it too discriminatory,” said the mother of a student.

After the school did not listen to the parents’ protests, they approached Childine officials. Childline is a body working under the state social welfare ministry to ensure the rights of children.

“When we asked the school principal, he came out with a weird explanation that it will create a healthy competition and help students. He was not bothered about the psychological problem it triggered,” said Childline district co-ordinator Anwar Karakadan.

It is now reported that the school will discontinue the new uniform and take action against the principal. As many as 900 students study in the higher secondary school.

Anjali Gupta, dance teacher, and mother of two girls, says that the system is discriminatory. “There are already competitive systems like house captain, prefect etc. To add a further layer of competition at a systemic level will add too much pressure,” she told SheThePeople.tv. 

Neena Kothari also agrees. She says that the system of two uniforms would simply deteriorate a child’s performance, rather than push them to perform better.

The state government has sought a report from the district education officer in this regard. Let’s hope that this serves as an example for schools not to try out such schemes with their students. Wearing marks on their sleeves, and constantly being reminded of where they stand in class, won’t be good for the self-esteem of students!

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Picture Credit: Hindustan Times