Kerala High Court: Upholding the right of girls to study along with boys, the Single Bench of Chitambaresh, J. categorically ruled that primary schools whether it be lower or upper, shall be deemed to be mixed schools and admission thereto shall be open to boys and girls alike. No differentiation can be made between a boy and a girl as regards admission to the lower primary or the upper primary school since it is deemed to be a mixed school. A departure from this course is possible only if the Director of Public Instructions grants exemption in view of certain special circumstances.
The petitioner had applied for admission of her daughter to Standard I of a primary school in Palakkad District where her son was already a student of the same class. She was aggrieved by the headmaster’s order rejecting the application on the ground that the Education Department’s permission was required to admit girl students to lower primary section as in spite of being a mixed school, girls were not normally admitted to the primary section of that school. The petitioner challenged the order as violative of Rule 12 of Chapter VI of the Kerala Education Rules, 1959.
The Court observed that normally children up to the age of 12 years treat their classmates – girl or boy – alike without any oblique thoughts. A brotherly or a sisterly affection pervades amongst them and a mixed school atleast up to the upper primary section as permitted in Kerala Education Rules should be encouraged. A mixed school with a co-education helps the children to have healthy trends, helping than to grow with better discipline and morality, and their isolation at this young age would only prove to be detrimental to their growth.
The Court observed that there is no necessity for either the Director of Public Instructions or any Educational Officer to give permission to grant admission to a girl student in a primary school. Terming the impugned order as obnoxious, arbitrary and against Rule 12(1) of the KER, the Court quashed the same . Referring to Article 21-A of the Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the Court directed the school to grant admission to the petitioner’s daughter if she is otherwise qualified. [Jayasree v. Director of Public Instruction, 2016 SCC OnLine Ker 3220, decided on June 10, 2016]