A school in Kerala has come under severe criticism for categorising class 3 students on the basis of religion and caste. An image showing the school’s blackboard, where the student strength is noted down as per various categories, has been widely shared on social media.
The incident came to light when Chithira Kusuman, a journalist, shared the photo from St Teresa’s lower primary school in Ernakulam, on Facebook on January 7. However, the post was later deleted after the teacher who wrote on the blackboard apologised.
In the photo, the students are grouped into various categories – SC (scheduled caste), OEC (Other Eligible Communities), OBC (Other Backward Communities), General, Hindu, Muslim and Christian. This was followed by the class time table.
The blackboard showed the strength of class 3 students in the school, where Kusuman’s relative is studying. In the post, Kusuman also said that a complaint was registered against the teacher, reported The News Minute.
On January 8, Kusuman further shared an apology letter the teacher wrote to the Principal. In the post, Kusuman added that the earlier post had been deleted upon the teacher’s request.
“For official purposes, they ask for students’ strength many times throughout the year. So, to avail the data on even on the days I am on leave, I wrote the list on the board. This was done only in my class. It was not intended to discriminate or harass students. I apologise for my mistake,” the teacher wrote in her apology letter.
നേരത്തെ, എൽകെജി ക്ലാസിലെ ബോർഡിൽ കുട്ടികളുടെ strength ജാതി അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിൽ തിരിച്ച, മേലുദ്യോഗസ്ഥർക്ക് കൊടുക്കാനുള്ള ഡാറ്റ…
However, in the comments on the post, many slammed the school and the teacher for categorising students on the basis of religion and caste. Many also pointed out that displaying the data on the blackboard was unnecessary, as the data would be easily available in school offices.