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Uttar Pradesh to have all-women staff in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas

April 29, 2023

Nishant Saxena

In a move aimed at ensuring the safety of girl students studying in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs), the Uttar Pradesh state education department has decided to appoint all-women staff in the schools. The decision means that the contracts of all existing male staff working in these schools, which offer free-of-cost residential schooling facilities to girls from grades 6 to 8, will not be renewed.

The KGBVs scheme was launched by the Government of India to make the education system more responsive to the needs of marginalized girls and to enhance their access and retention. Currently, the scheme offers education up to class 8, but there are plans to extend it to class 12. The schools provide free boarding facilities to girls belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, and minority communities, as well as children of below-poverty-line families.

The move by the Uttar Pradesh government to replace all male staff with women is based on a government order issued by the additional chief secretary, basic education, Deepak Kumar, on April 20, 2023, and a missive received from the joint secretary, school education and literacy department, of the Union ministry of education dated October 12, 2022. These orders stress the importance of the safety and security of girls availing of free boarding facilities in KGBVs and clearly define that the warden/in-charge teacher/resident teacher, and all other staff/workers working in or looking after the girls’ hostel should be females only.

Director General, School Education, Uttar Pradesh, Vijay Kiran Anand issued a letter dated April 25 in this regard to all district magistrates, ordering them not to renew the services of teaching as well as non-teaching male staff working in these schools in their respective districts. The officials have also been instructed to recruit eligible women for the posts left vacant following the exit of male employees.

This decision is likely to affect over 1200 male teachers and non-teaching staff of KGBVs functioning across the state. The affected male employees, some of whom have devoted 10–11 years to this job, are unhappy with the decision. However, officials have clarified that all staff of KGBVs are hired on an annual contractual basis for a particular school and therefore there is no provision for transfers to some other group of schools.

While some men in these schools are working as watchmen and accountants, most of them are teachers. For instance, in the 20 KGBVs of Prayagraj alone, out of the total staff of 209, there are 32 men, most of whom are teachers.

Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Prayagraj, Praveen Kumar Tiwari, has confirmed to media persons that, following the order, the renewal of contracts for male teachers and workers at KGBVs will not take place in Prayagraj. The officials hope that the move will help create a safe and secure environment for girls in the schools.

In conclusion, the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to replace all male staff with women in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas is aimed at ensuring the safety and security of girls studying in these schools. While this move may affect over 1200 male teachers and non-teaching staff in the state, officials have clarified that all staff of KGBVs are hired on an annual contractual basis for a particular school, and therefore there is no provision of transfers to some other group of schools.

Also Read: UP plans to Introduce Digital Literacy and Coding Programs in Upper Primary Schools

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