By Shruthi H M, Bangalore

At a meeting held in the City recently which was attended by registrars, finance officers, deans, collegiate education officials, senior faculty of universities and other higher education officials in the State, it was unanimously decided that students should not cover their face while attending classes.

The decision taken in this meeting recommended that the State government issue directions to this effect: “A student must reveal his/her facial identity while attending the class, laboratory, library, internal-university examinations and programmes of the institution.” While this decision was with respect to veils covering the face, other dress code specifications would be left to individual universities or colleges.

This recommendation will be soon sent to the higher education minister for approval. An official in the Department of Higher Education told Deccan Herald that the move was initiated after the deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district wrote to the department seeking the same.

The official said the senior faculty expressed that such a rule was necessary to increase the interaction between the student and the lecturer in the classroom. “The teachers felt it would be difficult to gauge the student’s concentration or understanding if their face was completely covered. This decision has been taken in the interest of enhancing the learning process.”

Another senior official who was part of the meeting said their decision was in the interest of classroom interaction. “Women in many communities have the practice of covering their head with a veil. Students can take the veil off once they enter the classroom. We are not dictating what they wear outside the classroom.”

Other side

The other argument posed by the academicians who took part in the meeting was that allowing an attire that covered the face of the student completely would increase cases of impersonation in examination. Students would have signed at the time of admissions that they would abide by the rules of the institution and hence in the larger interest, they would be obliged to follow this rule, the official added.

It may be recalled that a similar instruction to students at a college in Bantwal in 2009 created much furore.

Visvesvaraya Technological University Vice-Chancellor H Maheshappa felt that such rules won’t serve any purpose. “We are in a democratic country. Everyone has a right to follow their cultural practices.

First, in all these years of my teaching I have hardly seen any girl covering her face completely while in the class. Even if there are a few who are conservative, they should be given their freedom. This has got nothing to do with classroom interaction.”

With regard to examination, he added that those who wanted to copy in the exam will try their best to do so with their faces covered or not. “This is provoking people’s sentiments unnecessarily,” he said

Courtesy: Deccan Herald April 26,2013

 

 

 

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