Use 'teacher', it's more gender-neutral than 'sir' or 'madam': Kerala child rights panel
The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) believes that using the term 'teacher' is more gender-neutral, can help promote equality among students, and will improve students' attachment to their teachers.
In the latest development, the Kerala child rights panel has directed all school teachers in the state, regardless of their gender, to be addressed as 'teacher' instead of 'sir' or 'madam'. The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) believes that using the term 'teacher' is more gender-neutral and can help promote equality among students and improve students' attachment to their teachers.
A Bench comprised of panel chairperson K V Manoj Kumar and member C Vijayakumar passed the directive on Wednesday and asked the General Education Department to issue instructions for using the term 'teacher' in all schools across the state.
The directive was issued while the court was considering a petition filed by a person seeking to end the practice of addressing teachers as 'sir' or 'madam' based on their gender.
The panel, in its order, said that steps should be taken to give a directive in all educational institutions to use the term 'Teacher' as it is the appropriate word to address them respectfully and without gender discrimination. The panel said that the honorifics 'sir' and 'madam' do not match up with the concept of the teacher.
Furthermore, the panel said this move would help students build better relationships with their teachers and make them more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This is expected to result in a more effective learning environment for students.