Chennai

GCC pulls up school for maintaining attendance registers with caste names

A primary school had been maintaining attendance registers organising the student rolls on the basis of caste before it was pulled up by Greater Chennai Corporation on Monday.

The GCC has directed the school to discontinue the practice at once. Since the school had also divided its students into three batches on the basis of their attendance roster owing to COVID-19, it turned out that students were bunched together on the basis of their community alone. The GCC directed the school to drop the existing practise and asked it to prepare fresh batches based on the alphabetical order of the name of students.

When this correspondent visited the school on Monday evening, the headmistress said: “This is not new and we have been following this attendance registers even before. We are not segregating students on caste basis. It so happened that most students of a caste are in one batch. It is unintentional.”

She also produced attendance registers that showed caste mentioned against every student and said students are enrolled in the attendance register in the following order – SC (A), SC (O), MBC, BC-Hindu, BC-Christian, BC-Muslim and OC. “This is only for administrative purpose. Students won’t know about the caste,” she maintained.

When contacted, D. Sneha, Deputy Commissioner (Education), GCC said: “Across all schools, the attendance is meant to be in alphabet order only. This has never been the practice, and we'll ensure it's set right. Thank you for letting us know.”

Asked about the batches, she said: “The batches will naturally change, the parents of the children will be informed today [Monday] evening.”

Activist V. Gopalakrishnan demanded that action be taken against the teachers concerned. “If this can happen in Chennai city, we can only imagine the scenario in remote areas. They are teachers and they are supposed to teach against casteism and not remind them of their caste. Action must be taken against the teachers concerned. Be it intentional or otherwise, discrimination is discrimination and it cannot be tolerated.”


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:43:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/gcc-pulls-up-school-for-maintaining-attendance-registers-with-caste-names/article37294785.ece

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