The National Council of Education and Research Training (NCERT) has recently removed the teachers' training manual on integrated transgender, or gender non-conforming students in schools off its official website after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sought rectification of "anomalies" in the document.
NCERT had put up the manual titled, Inclusion of Transgender Children in School Education: Concerns and Roadmap on the website to educate and sensitize its teachers towards practices and strategies to make schools more inclusive towards transgender and gender non-conforming students.
NCERT Recommended Gender-Neutral Toilets And Uniforms
NCERT had made recommendations to the schools to make gender-neutral toilets and uniforms for children and discontinue the practices and activities that required the segregation of children based on their genders. Moreover, the autonomous organization under the Government of India recommended the schools invite people from the transgender community as guest speakers in the schools.
'Unnecessary Psychological Trauma For Children'
On November 2, NCPCR had written to NCERT mentioning that it had received several complaints against the contents of the teaching manual. The former mentioned that it took a suo moto cognizance of the matter that concerned deprivation or violation of child rights.
Hindustan Times quoted NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo's words in the letter to NCERT, "The text of the manual suggests gender-neutral infrastructure for children that does not commensurate with their gender realities and basic needs.
He further wrote that the idea of creating and removing binaries would deny the students of equal rights for diverse biological needs. Secondly, he mentioned, the approach would expose the children to unnecessary psychological trauma due to contradictory environments at home and in schools.
NCPCR asked NCERT to take corrective measures to rectify the anomalies in the document and further added that the antecedents of the drafting committee members may be verified. The manual was taken down from NCERT's website, and the commission provided no immediate comment on the same.