Punjab govt withdraws medieval order on dress code for lady teachers

Punjab Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary on Tuesday suspended two department officials with immediate effect.

Published: 09th May 2017 07:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2017 07:11 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Government on Tuesday made a U-Turn within twenty four hours of issuing orders in which it had banned lady teachers from wearing jeans, tops and bright suits in government schools.

Taking swift action after the furore by teachers across the State after orders were issued by the State education department on Monday, Punjab Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary on Tuesday suspended two department officials with immediate effect.

She said that deputy director Amrish Shukla and assistant director Amarbir Singh have been suspended for issuing these instructions without the knowledge of senior officials.

“These instructions reflect an old mindset and I do not agree with them. How to dress and what girls or ladies should wear is not done, we are encouraging girls to do their best in their respective fields and this defeats the whole purpose,” Aruna Chaudhary said.

Punjab Education minister Chaudhary said the letter has been withdrawn and clarified that any affront to the dignity of the nation’s teaching community would not be tolerated. She further said that such a mindset needs to be condemned in this age of women empowerment.

Sources said that the department had on Tuesday issued a medieval diktat that lady teachers in government schools cannot wear jeans, tops, bright-coloured suits and fashionable dresses as this leaves a bad influence on students.

This controversial circular issued to all the Circle Education Officers and District Education Officers of Punjab read, “We are receiving complaints that teachers in government schools, especially female teachers, are delivering their duties while sporting bhadkeela pehrawa (bright suits). Some lady teachers wear jeans, tops and many more fashionable dresses during their duty hours. This affects students.”

It further directed all district officials to regularly conduct checks in schools to ensure no teacher wears such clothes. “A dress code should be implemented as it affects students. Regular checks should also be conducted to ensure it is followed,” it stated.

Interestingly, teachers constitute more than 50 per cent employees in the education department of the State. They termed it a “Talibani Farmaan”.

Trying to justify himself, suspended official Amrish Shukla said “these instructions were issued in 2012 and again in 2014. We just retreated them, but we should have checked the oversights with the government first. A letter had come to the chief minister’s office that teachers do not wear decent clothes in schools and it was marked to the department, hence the orders.”

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