Pune school withdraws instruction on colour of innerwear for girl students

Parents of students had also accused school authorities of imposing other ludicrous rules, such as allowing students to visit the washroom only at a fixed time, asking girl students to wear bloomers every day and specifying the kind of earrings they could wear: only round studs not bigger than 0.3 cm.

After its diktat specifying the colour of innerwear for girl students drew flak from every possible quarter, MAEER’s MIT Vishwashanti Gurukul School decided to withdraw it on Thursday evening.

The school’s decision came after angry parents approached the state education commissioner on Tuesday, held a protest on Wednesday and staged a dharna outside the principal’s office on Thursday.

The school’s bizarre instruction to girl students — asking them to wear only white or beige innerwear — even reached the state assembly session in Nagpur on Thursday, where Education Minister Vinod Tawde assured that he will order a government inquiry into the matter.

Parents of students had also accused school authorities of imposing other ludicrous rules, such as allowing students to visit the washroom only at a fixed time, asking girl students to wear bloomers every day and specifying the kind of earrings they could wear: only round studs not bigger than 0.3 cm.

As MIT Vishwashanti Gurukul School’s directives made headlines, Joint Director of Education, Dinkar Temkar, ordered an official inquiry, following which a team of officials, led by Deputy Director of Education (in-charge), Pune,

Meenakshi Raut, visited the school on Thursday. Police personnel were also deployed outside the principal’s office.
By Thursday evening, the school had issued a letter withdrawing the controversial directives. “The instructions given about school uniforms in the school diary were not meant to hurt the sentiments of any person or group. It was taken in the students’ interest. The concerned instructions and school diary are being recalled,” the school said in a statement.

Confirming the development, Suchitra Karad Nagare, executive director of MIT, said, “We have called for a meeting with PTA representatives on Friday. A new diary will be issued, but we will be cautious this time and will speak to everyone before we do that”.

Raut told The Indian Express that the problem had been “resolved” as the school had withdrawn its instructions. “We had visited the school to inquire if any such directions were issued and to find a solution. The school authorities agreed to withdraw the instructions and the problem was resolved. In the future, education department authorities, as well as parents, will have to be consulted while drafting a new diary.”

Voicing his disapproval about the rules, one parent said, “What the school was doing was a violation of the Right to Education Act. How can they make rules about when the children will visit the washroom and decide to levy fines otherwise? What if our children suffer from urinary problems because of the restrictions on washroom timings? This is tantamount to playing with the health of the child”.

Another parent said the school’s decision to specify the colour of innerwear for girl students was demeaning. “They imposed these restrictions without any discussions with parents or offering any explanation. The parents were asked to sign the school diary as a sign of acceptance for these bizarre rules,” said another parent.

The school management and parents have been at loggerheads in the past as well over several issues including fee hike, switching to CBSE and change in school timings, among others.

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