To curb harassment, Bengal school teaches boys and girls on separate days
According to the plan for classes 11 and 12 at Barhra high school, boys attend classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while girls are taught on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.india Updated: Jul 16, 2017 07:08 IST
A 159-year-old co-educational school in West Bengal has adopted a segregation policy after complaints of boys harassing the girls.
According to the plan for classes 11 and 12 at Barhra high school, boys attend classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while girls are taught on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“The boys use lewd words at us, shout in class and also use mobile phones even when the teacher is present in class,” a girl said.
The school, established in 1858 and affiliated to the state education board, is about 225km northwest of Kolkata on the West Bengal-Jharkhand border. It has 439 students, including 257 girls, in the two classes.
“After getting several complaints from the students of classes 11 and 12 that the boys create trouble, we were forced to take the decision of asking them to attend school on separate days,” headmaster Kanchan Adhikari said.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the school’s managing committee.
The district inspector of schools disapproved of the move.
“I am not aware … But if it is true, we will take necessary steps,” said Rejaul Haque, the inspector in Birbhum district. “I say such a decision is illegal. Before taking this step, they should have consulted us.”
Headmaster Adhikari, who is the deputy head of the local panchayat, clarified that the decision is not permanent and the measure will be withdrawn if the students “change their attitude”.
Parents are worried that the alternate-day schedule leaves students and teachers with little time to complete the syllabus.
“My son is attending school three days a week. The number of classes is reduced further in case of holidays,” said a guardian who didn’t wish to be named.
For teachers, the segregation entails double duty as they have to teach the same lessons twice to the boys and the girls separately.
“We are aware that it will be difficult to complete the syllabus. But what can we do? Even after warnings, the troublemakers did not mend their ways,” a teacher said.
Former headmaster Jamaluddin Ahmed is surprised at the move.
“I taught there for more than 35 years. The school authorities have taken a strange decision,” he said.