Do not use the word director, it’s vulgar: Official Edu to schools | Nagpur News
Nagpur: what’s in a name? Apparently a lot of controversy, if it ends in ‘mistress’. The word headmistress came under scrutiny in a recent meeting between city principals and education officials, with the latter suggesting its use be dissolved.
Education officer Ravindra Katolkar told principals that “principal” is the official term for the post, regardless of the incumbent’s gender.
It is not uncommon for female principals in public schools to use principal when referring to themselves. In many schools, even stationery and rubber stamps would have this designation.
Speaking to YOU, Katoklar said, “We all know what mistress means. I told all the headteachers not to mention it as an official designation under any circumstances. Besides the vulgar meaning of mistress, there is a technical problem in its use.
Katolkar explained that when it comes to schools affiliated with the state board, no terminology such as “director” or “principal” exists. “Everyone is called principal up to Std XII, if the latter is attached to a school,” Katolkar said. “We really don’t know when the headmistress actually came on duty, but now it’s very widespread. Either way, all must now use only the director designation,” he said.
Although no circular was issued by his office, Katolkar said verbal communication was sufficient. “This is not a new rule. The state sanctions the post of ‘director’ and it is gender neutral. Just as Pratibha Patil was called rashtrapati, the gender of the post holder has no impact,” said Katolkar.
“Tomorrow we may even have a transgender at the head of the institution, so are we going to try to find yet another mandate?” said Katolkar.
TOI spoke to a few female city directors, who said it was a good move but the controversy over it never really came to the fore. “We never even discussed it because in state board circles and even in our associations, everyone is referred to as HM (short for director). We nonetheless appreciate his concern for female teachers and we will respect the same,” a principal said.
Even state directors’ associations are referred to as “directors’ associations.”
Another principal said, “It’s mukhya-adhyapak’ in the state council, the closest translation of which is director. In the old days, village teachers were called ‘maaster’, a sort of Marathi version of the word master. So director was the most logical term to use for the head of the institution.