The Udupi institution where the hijab dispute began

The school, created in 1985, has never seen its pass rate fall below 95%. There is no lack of teachers

The PU section includes arts, science and commerce sections with around 1,000 students. Among them, 95 are Muslims. Image provided by the author

The Govt Pre University College For Girls in Udupi, Karnataka is where the hijab dispute started. The college building accommodates grades 8 through 12 (11 and 12 are considered pre-college). The PU section includes arts, science and commerce sections with around 1,000 students. Among them, 95 are Muslims.

A resident of Udupi, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Udupi has several reputable private colleges. Even then, a government college for women with this kind of strength shows the quality of education.

“My daughter studied at this college. She is currently doing her master’s degree at Mangalore University. UP has state-of-the-art facilities. Most students are from lower middle class or poor families. Otherwise, they would have attended a private college. But they compete on par with private college teams in all extracurricular competitions,” said the individual working as a private company driver.

Several NGOs, organizations and even individuals have reached out to the students of this institution time and time again. Whether it’s equipment for the science lab, cell phones, laptops for taking online courses during the pandemic, books or even uniforms and bags. The majority of students come from nearby villages, roughly within a five to ten kilometer radius.

The school, created in 1985, has never seen its pass rate fall below 95%. Teachers abound.

Besides the protesting female students, Muslim girls are attending the exams taking place in the same college building. The faculty locked the doors as soon as students enter class to keep media and protesters away.

Everyone hopes that things will soon return to the way they were.

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