Kerala’s Malappuram district has created a much bigger buzz after a private educational institute namely Al Farooque English medium school in Pandikkad, introduced two different uniforms for students in terms of their intelligence quotient and academic skills. According to the organization, this new unique system will help students improve their performance and hence will secure higher grades in examinations through out the year.

Now, I really don’t know about you, but I grew up in a class of 60-70 students. My teacher never saw my hand in the sea of hands that raised to answer a question. She only saw me when she could sense my fear because I did not know the answer. The calculus and momentum equations that I couldn’t solve were noticed. A big ZERO in trigonometry was a big deal and an A+ in clay modelling, flower arrangement, instrument playing was just nothing at all.

The academically smart kids will wear white shirts/tops and the average/dull students will wear red check shirts/tops. Al-Farooq English Medium school introduced this practice in June in order to promote ‘healthy’ competition in kids.

“WE WERE TOLD THE AVERAGE STUDENTS WILL YEARN FOR WHITE AND WORK HARD BUT WE FIND IT TOO DISCRIMINATORY.”

Parents are worried as this is causing mental agony to the children. They have informed the Child helpline and they have intervened as well.

The concept of ‘uniform’ in schools was to promote uniformity – to teach students that no matter where they come from, they are all equal. Labeling a student as average is demeaning on so many levels! You are destroying a child’s confidence to such an extent that he/she will grow up believing that he/she is nothing.

“When we asked the school principal he came out with a weird explanation that it will create a healthy competition and help students. He was not bothered about the psychological problem it triggered,” Childline district coordinator Anwar Karakadan stated about the matter. The state education department has also asked for a report from the district education officer on the matter. A spokesperson of the Al Farooque group claimed that action will be taken against the principal.
Toppers/smart people are gifted and hard workers, but I don’t need to tell you that Mark Zuckerberg, Aziz Premji and Mukesh Ambani are all college dropouts. They are not average now, are they? They were bigger than the education system. They knew their calibre.

The call is ours, do we want to build a country that is going towards the 21st century or just going back to the 18th.

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