The NCERT's new training manual on inclusion of transgender children in schools which ran into a controversy over its content is no longer available on the council's website. There was no response from NCERT officials about whether the manual had been taken down after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sought rectification of "anomalies" in the document.
The new manual for teachers titled "Inclusion of Transgender Children in School Education: Concerns and Roadmap" aims to educate and sensitise them towards the LGBTQ+ community and different gender orientations. It highlights practices and strategies to make schools sensitive and inclusive for transgender and gender non-conforming children.
These strategies include the provision of gender-neutral toilets and uniforms, sensitisation on non-teaching staff, discontinuing practices that segregate children into various school activities based on their gender, inviting members of transgender community to speak on campus, among others. Asserting that NCERT's gender-neutral teacher training manual will deny equal rights to children of diverse biological needs, the NCPCR sought rectification in the document.
It also claimed the text of the manual suggests gender-neutral infrastructure for children that does not commensurate with their gender realities and basic needs. "The idea of creating and removing binaries shall deny them equal rights of children of diverse biological needs. Second, this approach will expose children to unnecessary psychological trauma due to contradictory environments at home and in school," the NCPCR had said in a letter to NCERT. "It is also highlighted in the manual (chapter 3) that teachers are suggested to discuss with students about puberty blockers and its availability for adolescents," the letter read.
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