Kozhikode: A Muslim group on Wednesday opposed the practice of making boys and girls sit next to each other according to alphabetic order during an ongoing quarterly examination in schools in Kerala, and threatened to launch a State-wide agitation if it was not stopped immediately.

“We oppose the decision and our activists have already visited some schools and urged the authorities to ensure separate seating arrangements for boys and girls in classrooms,” Samastha Kerala Sunni Students Federation (SKSSF) general secretary Nasser Faisi Koodathayi said.

Claiming that “mixing of genders” at the school-level would arouse sexual passion among the children, he said the federation would persuade parents to withdraw their children from the schools if the practice continued.

Based on a directive from the Director of Public Instruction following a court order prohibiting any kind of gender discrimination, the school authorities recently gave up the practice of calling out names of boys before those of girls while marking attendance and started calling the names in common gender as per alphabetic order.

“There is no problem regarding the roll call but making boys and girls to sit together will set in an unhealthy trend,” Mr. Koodathayi said. — PTI