Schools warned not to send learners home over hairstyles
The Ministry of Education on Thursday issued a memorandum to schools stating that learners must not be sent home over perceived hairstyle breaches.
This memo comes after a consultant provided a report consisting of changes that should be implemented after considering several conditions as it relates to hair and school.
The memo states, “In keeping with the guidelines provided in the Ministry of Education’s Manual of Guidelines for the Maintenance of Order and Discipline in Schools, learners must not be sent home or suspended, denied entry to school or access to teaching and learning, sent to the Department of Education, administered corporal punishment or any other forms of punishment, for having a hairstyle that is perceived to be a breach of the school’s rule.”
Further, head teachers are reminded that their main priority is to ensure all learners are in school and are being taught with the aim of reducing any further learning loss.
It warns that in any instance of a learner being deemed to have an inappropriate hairstyle, then the school must invite his or her parent or guardian to discuss the perceived infraction.
Previously, the Education Minister Priya Manickchand said there will be a change to the rules and regulations that cover hair styles that are acceptable in classrooms. Several rounds of consultations were held with parents, teachers, and other stakeholders before this decision could be taken.
Conversations about outdated hairstyle policies in the school system started in March 2022 after the ministry issued a memo that announced a one-day relaxation of existing hairstyle rules in schools for teachers and students.
It was to observe International Women’s Day. With a national debate permeated on social media where persons called for the abolition of the rules, the minister immediately started the consultations.