Following Vismaya’s death over alleged dowry harassment, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was contemplating inculcating gender equality and anti-dowry lessons in the educational system.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressing an event Photo : V Sivankutty, Facebook
news Education Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 17:05

“Kerala's school textbooks will be revised and audited to sieve out words and phrases disparaging women. Steps will be taken to turn our schools and colleges into spaces that embrace the idea of gender equality and equal rights,” announced Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on June 24. The move comes after the death of 22-year-old Vismaya, who was allegedly abused by her husband over dowry. Her death touched off debates on dowry harassment and how society conditions women to “comprise” in an abusive marriage. A few days ago, the CM said the government was contemplating inculcating gender equality and anti-dowry lessons in the educational system.

Kerala Minister for Education and Labour V Sivankutty also said that the school textbooks need to be audited from the perspective of gender equality, gender justice and gender awareness. In a statement on June 23, he said that the foundations of democratic and secular society are built on the foundations of equality and justice. He also emphasised that new ideas of gender equality are required now more than ever. The statement said that school education has a big role in this.

"Textbooks must be audited from the perspective of gender equality. It must be ensured that our school campuses are spaces that embrace notions of gender justice. These matters will be taken seriously as part of the revision of our school curriculum," the Minister had tweeted on June 23.

The Minister said that even certain words and phrases will be audited to check whether they go on par with gender equality. He also urged for a change in content and the teaching-learning process. "This process will even include the changing of words/phrases that go against notions of gender equality and justice. Efforts will also be made to inculcate constitutional values and develop civic consciousness among school students," he said.

In the statement, the Education Minister said that Kerala should transform into a knowledge-based society. He said that a generation with knowledge and a society where there is no place for gender discrimination has to be developed. He also said that when the school curriculum has been designed all these factors will be considered keenly. He also said that the curriculum will also include lessons to give insights on constitutional values as well as on the social responsibilities of the citizens.

Read: When a woman is nothing if not a wife: Vismaya's death points to our shared guilt

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.