A school in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district has instructed the staff to avoid hijab and allow students to communicate “comfortably”, local and national media reported.
The circular was issued by the Dagger Parivaar School, an institute that caters specifically to physically challenged children, is run by the army in collaboration with a Pune-based voluntary group, as per Kashmir Observer, a local newspaper.
Quoting a school official, News 18 reported that there was a miscommunication and school authorities would recall the order after holding a meeting.
In the circular, a copy of which lies with The Kashmir Walla, the Principal of the school has asked the staff to avoid Hijab so that students can feel “comfortable”. “The trust must be established with the students to make them feel welcome, safe and happy. The staff is hereby instructed to avoid Hijab during school hours,” the circular stated. “So that students can feel comfortable and are forthcoming to interact with teachers and staff.”
The circular came a month after the High Court of Karnataka upheld a state government order that banned headscarves in classrooms. “Parivaar school is a place to learn and grow emotionally. As the staff of school, the main purpose is to provide the fullest possible development of each learner.”
The circular that is widely circulated on social media triggered a litany of responses with many people expressing disappointment.
An Army official, whose name or designation was not disclosed by Kashmir Observer, said that some “miscreants” were blowing the issue out of proportion. “Let me tell you the circular was not on Hijab but for Niqab (veil). You need to understand that the students in the school are specially-abled children, who need significant physical interaction,” the official told the newspaper.