In a bizarre diktat, the Rajasthan education minister Govind Singh Dotasara has said that the government will remove male teachers below the age of 50 from all the girls’ schools in the state. This move was aimed at curbing incidents of harassment and eve-teasing, said the minister while speaking to reporters in Mandawa in Jhunjhunu district, which is bound to go to the bypolls.
According to a report, the minister said that the preference will be given to female teachers to teach girl students in all-girls schools. He added that the male teachers below 50 will be utilised only when the need arises.
This outlandish decision has stoked controversy with experts who have called this move ‘regressive and immature’.
The former UNICEF policy planner, KB Kothari said that the minister had misdiagnosed the problem and that even the treatment he offered was not proper. The move of removing male teachers below the age of 50 was not a difficult task but would spark fear among parents and students.
While, Rashmi Jain, head of sociology department at Rajasthan University was quoted as saying that the move was aimed to create schools which were run by only women.
This peculiar move has also received flak on microblogging site Twitter, where the users accused the minister of insulting teachers.
After severe criticisms, the minister has taken a U-turn saying that the Rajasthan government is only concerned about the female student’s safety and do not intend to sack male teachers below the age of 50 from the girl’s school in the state, as previously announced by him.
To minimise #eveteasing in schools, Rajasthan govt has decided to recall male teachers aged below 50 years from girls schools
Education minister @GovindDotasra said priority will be given to field women teachers in girls schools@RajCMO @ashokgehlot51 pic.twitter.com/h7jRJdRZ9v
— Bhawani singh (@BhawaniSinghjpr) October 19, 2019
As per the Rajasthan government’s education report for 2018-2019, the state has just 1,019 girls schools while the rest 68,910 are co-ed. The ratio of male and female teachers is almost 2:1 in a pool of 3.82 lakh teachers. It means female teachers are present in almost all the 69,929 schools, contradicting the minister’s assertion that girl students are safe only in all-female schools.