The National Council of Education, Research and Training (NCERT), in a landmark move, has released a training manual for teachers to educate and sensitize them towards the LGBTQ+ community and different gender orientations.
Why Is It Important To Sensitize Teachers?
Although Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which earlier considered homosexuality to be a crime, was revoked more than three years ago, people’s attitude towards it is yet to change. There has been, indisputably, more awareness and acceptance in recent years, but we still have a long way to go.
Awareness through education starting from an early age is a promising way to remove the stigma around it. Teaching kids that one’s gender and sexual orientation is not a choice and that every orientation is natural can change society’s outlook towards it.
While educating kids, it is crucial that teachers also believe in those lines strongly so that they can influence young minds with progressive views. How they perceive this issue will affect how they pass it on to kids. Any bias or notions against the community will reflect in their delivery, thus defeating the purpose.
In fact, there are many kids from the LGBTQ+ community who are bullied by their classmates and teachers alike for “being different than others”. This can traumatize kids, make them anxious of public spaces, and have an overall negative effect on their personalities.
Hence, to educate kids and make LGBTQ+ kids feel inclusive, it is first important to educate teachers about it. NCERT recognized it and released a manual for the same.
What Does The Training Manual Contain?
The training manual titled ‘Inclusion of Transgender Children in School Education: Concerns and Roadmap’ explains different kinds of sexual and gender identities. The project was headed by the former head of NCERT’s Department of Gender Studies, Dr. Poonam Agarwal.
The manual contains stories of people from the queer community who battled society’s ignorance towards their orientation and went on to become successful. The section is called ‘Success Stories of Transgender Persons to Serve as Role Models’.
“The inclusion of all children is part of our mandate as an institution, so we decided to prepare training material that would sensitize teachers and teacher educators about the lived experiences, achievements, struggles, and aspirations of transgender and gender-nonconforming children,” said Agarwal.
It also contains ways to make schools more inclusive. It highlights the need for having gender-neutral washrooms and uniforms.
In fact, it tries to educate teachers that tasks do not have any gender. The act of cleaning or cooking doesn’t have to be depicted by a woman’s photo and a man’s photo is not always to be used to show engagement in outdoor activities. Anyone can do anything.
This was a much-needed move and we welcome it with open arms. With such progressive changes, it is hoped that queerphobia would cease to exist one day.
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This post is tagged under: LGBTQIA+, LGBTQ community, homophobia, homophobic teachers, teaching, NCERT training manual, national council of education research and training, books, education, educating kids about homosexuality, homosexuality, gender orientations, sexual preference, love is love, homosexuality not a choice, discrimination, social change, section 377, inclusivity