The reviewed report of the new hair policy for children in schools has been taken to Cabinet for approval, ahead of the commencement of the new school term on Tuesday.
During a telephone interview with the News Room on Thursday, Education Minister Priya Manickchand explained a consultant has provided a report consisting of changes that should be implemented after considering several conditions as it relates to hair and school.
But that report will be taken to the cabinet before being implemented at schools in the new school term.
“We are going to take the policy to receive the benefit of Cabinet’s input,” Manickchand said.
She explained that the policy report will be discussed before the schools will be notified of it.
Previously, the minister said there will be a change to the rules and regulations that cover hair styles that are acceptable in classrooms. Several rounds of consultations with parents, teachers and other stakeholders were had before this decision could be taken.
The minister said she doesn’t believe that children should be sent home for their hairstyles.
“We are sure the changes will be made you had to balance health and safety, neatness with the realities of different hair types and that’s what we will be doing. So we hope to get that out by the new school term,” she added.
Conversations about outdated hairstyle policies in the school system started in March 2022 after the Ministry issued a memo that announced a one-day relaxation of existing hairstyle rules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.
In a panel discussion hosted by the News Room, Tamika Henry-Fraser, the creator of the social movement Curl Fete contended that the policy or rules which require that students’ hair is kept neat and tidy do not consider Afro-Guyanese children.
Manickchand who participated in the panel discussion, had agreed that the hairstyle rules in schools needed to be examined and possibly changed.
The conversation also addressed the idea that the rules are outdated because hairstyles cannot determine whether a child learns in class.