With every academic year, more and more students being admitted to Kerala’s private and government schools are stating that they don’t belong to a particular caste or religion. This year, the government has officially declared that a record 1.24 lakh students in the state left the caste and religion columns blank at the time of admission.
During the Question Hour of the ongoing session of the state Assembly on Wednesday, CPM MLA from Vamanapuram, DK Murali enquired about the number of students who preferred not to fill the ‘caste’ and ‘religion’ columns at the time of admission. In response to the question, education minister C Raveendranath announced that while 1,23,630 students between classes 1 and 10 stated they had no caste or religion, the number of such students in classes 11 and 12 were 278 and 239, respectively. The figures are from the 2017-18 academic year. The district-wise classification or region-wise classification of these figures are, however, not available. The figures have been collated from over 9,000 schools in the state.
The education minister was not available for comment.