Two students of Chalai Government HSS welcome the girl students | Express
Two students of Chalai Government HSS welcome the girl students | Express

203-year-old Kerala boys’ school admits girls for first time

Thursday was a special day for S Fiya Mary and Profulla S Vijay as well as their new school, Government Model HSS for Boys, Chalai.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thursday was a special day for S Fiya Mary and Profulla S Vijay as well as their new school, Government Model HSS for Boys, Chalai. The day marked the first time that the 203-year-old educational institution admitted girl students. For Fiya and Profulla, two of the 12 girls admitted to the science and humanities streams, it was a memory to cherish as they would be part of the first batch of girls who pass out of the institution.

“I had selected the school as my first option. I pursued high school studies in Cotton Hill HSS and was keen to study in a co-ed school. My parents were supportive,” said Fiya, who chose the biology-mathematics subjects.

The one hour it took Profulla to reach the school from her home in Kottukal could not dampen her excitement on the day. Profulla, who scored A+ in nine subjects in Class 10 — she missed it in Chemistry by a whisker — also said all schools in Kerala should have gender-neutral uniforms.

‘We expect more girl students to join in the
coming days’

The boy students were happy too. Kuriyathi native S Athul said the addition of girls would motivate them to study harder. The PTA, established in 1819, had gave a representation to General Education Minister V Sivankutty to convert the school into a co-ed institution in March. Principal Felicia Chandrasekharan, told TNIE that with the induction of girl students, the boys would have the added responsibility to be more disciplined.

“We are expecting more girl students to join the school in the coming days as supplementary allotment, school transfers and combination changes are pending,” Felicia said. At present, the school as 140 Plus One students, which include the 12 girls. In Plus Two, there are 250 boys. The school will admit girls in upper primary, high school and higher secondary sections from next academic year, which would see its total strength go significantly up from the current 325. On Thursday, Transport Minister Antony Raju who visited the school gave away saplings to the girl students.

Teacher dresses up as student
The occasion became more special for the girls when their journalism teacher S Sindhu donned the school’s uniform – sky blue kurta and navy blue pants – to welcome them. The teacher showing solidarity to gender neutrality was a welcome gesture, the students said.

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