Punjab schoolteachers upset over column on ‘attire’ in ACR

Under the column, a dress worn by a teacher could be marked as ‘theek’ (right), ‘bharkau’ (provocative) or ‘itrajyog’ (objectionable)

punjab Updated: Jun 21, 2017 19:12 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
Punjab governmnet,schoolteachers,‘attire’
(HT File Illustration / Daljeet Kaur Sandhu)

A month after facing criticism over a controversial order on the dress code for teachers in government schools, the Punjab government has come up with a new format of the annual confidential report (ACR), wherein “attire” would be one of the criteria to judge the teachers’ performance, a teachers’ union claimed on Wednesday.

The Congress-led government in the state had faced flak last month over its order directing women teachers not to wear “jeans, tops and bright suits” as such outfits could have a “bad” effect on the students. Subsequently, the government withdrew the order, besides suspending two employees of the education department.

“A new column, ‘Pehrawa’ (attire), has been added in the ACR for 2016-17 by the government for evaluating the teachers’ performance. Under this, marks will be given to those teachers who come to schools dressed properly,” said Sukhwinder Singh Chahal, president of the Government Teachers’ Union, Punjab.

The ACR, to be prepared by principals, would keep in mind whether the teachers wore “provocative” or the “right” outfits, he said, adding that no clarification was offered as to what could be considered as “provocative” or “objectionable”.

Under the column, a dress worn by a teacher could be marked as “theek” (right), “bharkau” (provocative) or “itrajyog” (objectionable), he said, adding that out of five marks, the “attire” column would account for 0.5.

The ACR will evaluate several aspects, including the performance of the schools in board examinations.

“This new column added by the government in the ACR has left us surprised, despite the education minister withdrawing the controversial order on dress code last month,” said Chahal.

“Rather than focussing on improving the standards of education in the state, the government is concerned about the dresses worn by teachers,” he said. The union would take up the matter with education minister Aruna Chaudhary, he added.

Director general, school education, Pardeep Sabharwal, told PTI that his office had not issued any such ACR.

First Published: Jun 21, 2017 19:12 IST