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Minister says dress code will ensure teachers’ attendance

School education director RK Kunwar supported Arvind Pandey on dress code. “What’s the harm in wearing uniform. It will keep teachers away from the burden of selecting next day’s attire,” he said on a lighter note.

dehradun Updated: Jul 12, 2017 20:18 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,teachers,dress code
A teacher teaching students in a government primary school. (HT Photo)

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand school education minister is firm on enforcing a dress code for government schoolteachers, saying the move will ensure their attendance.

“Once government schoolteachers wear a uniform, it won’t be easy for them to attend wedding and mundan (first haircut of a child) functions, or roam around in market places or skip the school,” minister Arvind Pandey told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

“They (teachers) will be caught if they do not attend schools. I want to strengthen attendance of teachers with this move.”

Pandey said he was making efforts to get approval of teachers associations for a unified dress code.

Government teachers’ association general secretary Sohan Singh said, “The allegations that teachers do not work and roam around are baseless . We have asked for suggestions from all teachers and if dress code gets a majority, we will follow it. If not, then we won’t.”

Odisha enforced a dress code for government schoolteachers in 2010 -- black pant and sky blue shirt for men and pink sari and black blouse for women. Officials of the eastern state said the dress code was an attempt to curb teacher absenteeism, a major cause behind falling education standards. Reports said saris were later linked to the local handloom industry giving the sector a boost.

Pandey said a dress code would infuse discipline in the school system. “I remember our gurus wearing cotton kurta and dhoti. Everyone used to identify them by their clothes. It’s about discipline,” the minister said. “When we want our students to be dressed in uniform, then why not teachers?”

School education director RK Kunwar supported the minister on dress code. “What’s the harm in wearing uniform. It will keep teachers away from the burden of selecting next day’s attire,” he said on a lighter note.

In Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath banned jeans and t-shirts in April for male and female teachers. Women teachers were allowed to wear suits and saris and men were asked to wear shirts and pants.

Punjab passed an order in May, stating the impact of ‘indecent, bright and provocative clothes like jeans, tops and fashionable dresses’ on students. Two senior education officials were suspended after teachers’ associations raised objection to the language of the order that, they said, denigrated women teachers. The order was later withdrawn.

Shaktiman statement

Clarifying his controversial statement -- “I am not Shaktiman” – made a few days ago in Nainital when questioned about the safety of students studying in dilapidated government schools, Pandey said what he meant was safety of kids.

“I said I am not Shaktiman because I cannot save anyone. What I meant was it’s advisable for students and parents not to send their kids to dilapidated schools when it’s raining heavily,” he said.

The state, Pandey said, faces a high-risk situation during monsoon, so parents should not send their kids to schools when the climatic conditions are extreme. “We need to save lives of students first, studies come later,” he added.

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 20:18 IST