ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Inclusion of Queer Persons and NEP 2020

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The National Education Policy 2020 has two policy interventions associated with transgender students, namely identifying them as a category where the gap towards access to education is a question while also including them in a gender-inclusion fund, whereby the policy seeks to provide equitable and quality education for them. While the policy talks about an integrated teacher education programme, there has been no shift of formulating the inclusion of teachers who do not identify themselves within binary cis-heteronormative structures prevalent in the social imagination of the Indian nation state. The social imagination and the category of belonging to a non-conforming gender apart from the binary was given legal legitimacy by the NALSA v Union of India judgment of the Supreme Court in 2014. This legitimacy has not yet been channelised within the educational apparatus for teachers who are meant to affect the everyday realities of a school set-up.

The state may have enhanced its imagined inclusion of queer persons while making a policy that is imperative to act as an accessibility tool for transgender students, though it lacks the basic infrastructures to equip the school administration to cater to the demands of the learners themselves. The recent example of a transwoman teacher who was forced to resign from a private school in Uttar Pradesh shows the reluctant attitude of the educational apparatus to include teachers from gender non-conforming locations. The National Commission for Women has sought an enquiry about this incident, though it is compelling to note that there are no policy interventions with respect to queer teachers being included in the system. If the system does not allow a teacher who does not align with the cis-heteronormative structures, how would they be able to provide equitable and fair access to transgender/queer students that the present policy speaks about? The change in the inclusion of queer teachers inside the rigid institutional set-up involves asking the teachers to hide their gender/sexual identities, thus speaking the language of the state that offers a dominant cis-heteronormative structure to be the norm within the school. The resultant learning environment just becomes an ecosystem whereby nationalism and cultural domination become the language that the student grows to adopt following the pre-existing social order that keeps the hierarchy of dominant casteclassgender frameworks intact.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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