Where are the uniforms, ask students and teachers

“My responsibility is only to conduct the examination. I can’t give clarifications on the circular.”H.N. GopalakrishnaDirector, Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board

The State Government’s circular making uniforms mandatory for students appearing for the SSLC, beginning on Monday, has left a large section of students and parents worried.

Many students of government schools have not got uniforms from the government for the last two years. They are worried about what to wear to the exam. Those who have got a pair of uniforms said they had got them stitched two years ago and do not fit into them now.

A teacher in a government school in Hassan said his students got the uniforms only when they were in Class 8. “For the last two years, they attended classes regularly only for a few months this year. There had no new pair of clothes from the government. We did not insist they come to schools in uniform. But, we don’t know how to make them follow this new circular,” he said.

Another teacher said, “The students who are busy preparing for the examination have one more issue to worry about now. How can we resolve this issue if such a circular is issued two days ahead of the examination?”

One more teacher questioned the very idea of uniforms during the examinations when students from different schools take the exam at one centre. “In each room, students from different schools are made to sit. The room is then filled with students in different uniforms. What are we going to achieve with this,” he sought to know.

Besides that, there is no clarity on uniforms for students who remained at home in the current academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and were attending online classes. They had not purchased uniforms all these days.

When The Hindu contacted H.N. Gopalakrishna, Director, Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board, on these issues, he refused to comment on the circular. “My responsibility is only to conduct the examination. I can’t give you clarifications on the circular,” he said.

Confusion in centres

In Mangaluru, many teachers said that there will be challenges in implementing the circular in some examination centres where girls wearing hijab and those not wearing it will appear. For instance, at a government school, which is an examination centre, at the Hoohakuvakallu cluster in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada, of 327 students who are eligible to appear for the examination, 243 are from the schools where hijab is a part the school uniform.

M.P. Jnanesh, Bantwal Block Education Officer, said there was no room for confusion. “We have clearly instructed the staff to patiently explain students about the circular. If anybody tries to create problem, the police will be called,” he said.

Haji Abdul Rasheed, president, Sayyid Muhammed Shareeful Madani Dargah in Ullal, said nearly 500 Class 10 students of their three schools have been told about the latest circular. “I do not think there will be any problem to allow our students to write the exam with hijab, which is part of our dress code. I hope the supervisors of the examination centres concerned do not create any problem for our students,” Mr. Rasheed said and added, “Our students have been told clearly not to miss this career-defining examination.”

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2022 12:46:36 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/where-are-the-uniforms-ask-students-and-teachers/article65262318.ece