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Sunday, May 20, 2012

District Inspector of Schools Rules Out School Authorities’ Ban on ‘Salwar Kamiz’

MALDA, 8 MAY: District inspector of schools – secondary education (DIS-SE) stands beside the teacher wearing ‘salwar kamiz’ on the face of school authority’s pressure against it. Yesterday, when both the Headmistress along with the ‘accused’ teacher met the DIS-SE with their allegations against each other, DIS-SE Parthasarathi Jha categorically said, “School cannot compel the teacher to wear a particular dress. Rather exerting pressure in this regard would land the school in trouble.”

It may be recalled that Tandra Burman, an assistant teacher of Aiho Girls’ High School of Malda was hauled up on 3 May by the Headmistress Sipra Basak Bhoumik and the managing committee (MC) members. Ms Burman who has been teaching this school since 2002, was wearing ‘salwar kamiz’ instead of saree. Some other teachers too joined her in her attire. Of late the school managing committee which was won by Trinamul Congress was insisting the teachers to wear saree. Although the other teachers complie with the instructions, Ms Burman refused. On 3 May she was called in the meeting of MC over this issue. She said, “Being a left-hander it is really uncomfortable for me wear saree and do the board work. Moreover I feel at ease in my daily journey by bus wearing ‘salwar kamiz’.”

Mrs Bhoumik was reportedly in no mood of listening to her logic. This led a heated argument when Ms Burman demanded to see the order regarding this. Mrs Bhoumik along with other MC members lodged a complaint against Ms Burman at Habibpur police station. Mrs Bhoumik said, “Tandra misbehaved with me and the committee had decided to lodge complaint against her.” Taken aback with the school’s decision, Ms Burman too lodged a complaint to police feeling ‘insecure’ in the school.

Last evening both Mrs Bhoumik and Ms Burman came to DIS-SE. Mrs Bhoumik insisted that the ‘salwar kamiz’ goes against villagers’ sentiment. “Students too opined against it. They want to come with dresses they like if Tandra continued with ‘salwar kamiz’”, Mrs Bhoumik said. On the other hand Burman along with most of the teachers said, “Headmistress shows an intimidating attitude. She threatened us with dire consequence if we don’t follow her.”

Mr Jha observed, “Dress code cannot be imposed on teachers as per High Court ruling.” He urged both the Headmistress and teachers to withdraw complaints against each other and assured to visit school on 18th of this month. He said, “I presume that the real issue lies elsewhere not in dress code.”

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