The director of school education has asked chief educational officers in all districts to identify schools where students flaunt caste markers like wrist band and forehead tilak which have been leading to caste-based discrimination.
The order has come in the wake of complaints of students in some schools in the state wearing “colour-coded wrist bands” as caste markers. Such practices allegedly influence the selection of students in sports and other activities. In a directive dated August 2, director of school education S Kannappan directed to initiate stern action against those responsible for such practices.
According to the letter, the director was informed by officer trainees of IAS 2018 batch about students in some schools in the state being made to wear colour-coded wrist bands These wrist bands in various colours are an indication of their caste group thus making it easier to know whether a student is of upper caste or lower caste. In some cases, rings and tilak on the forehead are also used as caste marker. Such practices are enforced by students themselves and supported by people from influential caste including teachers.
The chief educational officers have been instructed to take appropriate steps to find such schools in their district where such discrimination is practised. The headmaster should be instructed to prevent it immediately and also take severe action against those responsible. The national human rights commission had issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government over reports of school students in some districts being asked to wear coloured ribbons and wrist bands based on their caste.
The chief educational officers of Tiruvarur and Pudukottai districts, they acknowledged having received such a letter from the director of school education. They said they have carried out inspection in some schools but have not come across any incident of such discriminatory practices so far.