NCERT Takes Down Gender Sensitizing Manual For Teachers After Social Media Backlash
The National Council for Education Research and Training has removed the teacher-training manual from their website which was aimed at increasing the inclusion of transgender children in school education after the social media outrage.
The manual was titled “Inclusion of Transgender Children in School Education: Concerns and Roadmap” and was published on the NCERT website earlier this year. It involved contributions from various professors including the ones from Ashoka University, University of Delhi, Centre for Law and Policy Research and some independent researchers. The manual comes as an outcome to develop gender sensitivity amongst the school environment and deconstruct negative constructs of masculinity and femininity.
The key objective of the manual was to sensitize the teachers regarding aspects of gender diversity while keeping the gender-nonconforming and transgender children at the centre. The manual recognized that the teachers might have some internalised societal perception that they may end up bringing the same to the classrooms. And this may further impact the minds of the children and impact the way they interact with the transgender, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary students in the school setup.
The manual further mentioned that it can also be sued to train and sensitise other stakeholders like the members of school administration, curriculum developers, parents, the public at large and textbook writers.
Soon after the report was published, while many appreciated the efforts made by the NCERT but some heavily criticised the same. The backlash was reportedly triggered by a caste-patriarchy that was assumed as an attack on the Hindu culture.
Some people expressed their opinions regarding the mention of puberty blockers for children who were suffering from acute gender dysphoria. However, it must be noted that the manual mentioned puberty blockers only twice to introduce Gender-Affirmative Hormonal Therapies and to explain certain aspects of a child’s psychology as a teenager.
Experts largely suggested that the backlash was mainly because people thought the manual was for the students but it was for the teachers.