A private school in Kerala has sparked controversy for its bizarre rules on students’ uniforms. Al Farooque English medium school in Pandikkad in Malappuram district is accused of differentiating students by asking academically sharp students to wear a different colored uniform from underperformers. According to the uniform code, students who excel academically will wear white shirts and tops while the average and underperforming ones will wear red check shirts and tops. The new uniform dress code began after the school reopened post summer break in June.

While parents were against the new rule, they were told that the change in uniform will ensure a healthy competition among under performing ones and help them improve. However, there was no mention of the psychological pain it caused to students According to a New Indian Express report, 32 of its 800 students were asked to wear different colored uniforms to school while the rest followed regular uniform.

While parents protested that the school did not think about mental issues that were caused among students due to the uniforms, they did not receive a concrete reply. The parents then approached Child Line, a body that works under the state social welfare ministry for rights of children. After conducting a survey among students, Child Line asked the school to withdraw its new rule. Explaing how students felt discriminated with the new system, Child Line counsellor Mohammed Rashid said, “We found most students were unhappy with the new system. We demanded appropriate action from the school.” Girl’s uniform in Kerala school termed ‘vulgur’, case filed

Child Line also approached Kerala State Commission to intervene in the matter. However, principal Abdul Kareem said, “Students were selected based on their academic, co curricular activities and discipline. The intention was very positive and we received no complaints from the students or parents.” Reportedly, a spokesman for the Al Farooque group later said that the school will discontinue the new uniform code and take action against the principal.

Earlier in June, the design of girls’ school uniform in a Kerala had sparked controversy after a photographer called it ‘vulgar’. After heated discussions on the topic on social media, the photographer has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Following which reports said that the uniform was completely changed. (Edited by Nithya Nair)