Now, a dress code for teachers in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand

The move by the government and the RSS Pracharak-turned Education Minister is being opposed by the school teachers’ bodies

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

SMA Kazmi

Thousands of government school teachers in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand will be forced to adhere to a dress code from August 1, 2017. As per instructions issued by the state Directorate of Education, the dress code needs to be strictly followed by all government school teachers in the state from August 1. The teachers’ bodies, however, have strongly opposed the move.

The Directorate has issued instructions to all schools in both the Garhwal and Kumaon regions to strictly implement the dress code.

The dress code for government teachers is the latest in a series of moves by the state BJP government to apparently instil nationalism, patriotism and Indian values amongst students as well as teachers of schools, colleges and universities of the state.

“Since coming to power in March this year, the state government has failed to look into the grievances of school teachers. They have not even called us for any discussion on the dress code,” said Ram Singh Chauhan, president of the Rajiya Sikshak Sangh, a body of school teachers.

Meanwhile, Alok Shekhar Tewari, Director General, School Education, said that it was a voluntary dress code and teachers were free to decide what they wanted to wear. On the necessity of such a dress code, he said that “uniform brings in discipline”. He further said that when the state Education Minister was willing to wear a uniform, then teachers should also fall in line.

But teachers argue that uniform dress code for teachers would not bring in the desired changes in the standards of school education in the state. “The state government should call the teachers and look into their grievances and demands. There should be discussions on the issue of a dress code. Without discussions with the representatives of the teachers, the acceptance of such a dress code is impossible,” said Ram Singh Chauhan.

After taking over the reins of the state following a landslide victory in the state Assembly elections, the state BJP government and the Uttarakhand Higher Education Minister, Dhan Singh Rawat, a former RSS ‘parcharak’, have taken a number of steps to achieve this objective.

The minister has ordered installing the National Flag on 100-feet-tall poles in all universities and colleges, followed by compulsory singing of the National Anthem in the morning and ‘Vande Mataram’ in the evening. He has recently also ordered installing photo galleries in universities of Army heroes who have won the Param Vir Chakra.

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