Safe Washrooms, Gender Neutral Uniforms: NCERT Releases Draft Manual For Transgender Students

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Safe Washrooms, Gender Neutral Uniforms: NCERT Releases Draft Manual For Transgender Students

The NCERT has issued a draft manual for transgender children, recommending an inclusive curriculum, safe washroom facilities, and gender-neutral uniforms to integrate transgender students into the mainstream schooling process.

The new National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) draft manual has recommended a transgender-inclusive curriculum, gender-neutral uniforms, safe washroom facilities, and measures to prevent gender-based violence to integrate transgender children into the mainstream schooling process.

A 16-member committee made by Jyotsana Tiwari, head of NCERT's Department of Gender Studies, has made the draft manual titled 'Integrating Transgender Concerns in Schooling Processes.' The committee has also suggested other reforms in the draft manual to make schools more inclusive for transgender students across India.

The draft manual reads, "Some of the students, especially from Grade VI onward, have a preference for clothes, particularly school uniform. They do not feel comfortable in a particular dress. Schools can introduce gender-neutral uniforms which are comfortable, climate appropriate, fit and do not conform to a particular gender," Times Now reported.

The committee has also highlighted that teachers can identify the spaces (textbooks, pedagogy) where gender can be integrated, especially focusing on transgender children. Also, if the students are identified to be gender non-conforming or as transgender, the educators should help them to form healthy alliances with peers to enhance the school environment.

Intolerance Against Gender-Nonconformity A Concern

The committee noted down that due to societal intolerance against gender nonconformity, the children who don't conform to gender norms have to suffer through violence from an early age as compared to other gender-conforming children. The members said social interactions with their family or peers based on the same issue would help those students.

The transphobic and homophobic culture also affects the mental health of gender non-conforming or transgender students. The adverse effect on mental health includes stress, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem and depression. To combat the same, schools across India should become transgender-inclusive.

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