Not all schools ready for speech

Small schools worry about arrangements to broadcast Modi address

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to reach out to every student through TV, radio and the internet on Teachers’ Day has failed to enthuse private schools of Delhi, which feel that “forcing” them to make arrangements for it will dampen the celebration of the occasion.

The Directorate of Education (DoE) of the Delhi government has issued a notification directing all private as well as government schools to organise a broadcast of the Prime Minister’s address and a ‘question and answer’ session with schoolchildren through television or internet from 3 pm to 4.45 pm on September 5.

The directive clearly states: “Any laxity in the arrangements shall be viewed seriously.”
The DoE notification came following an order by the Ministry of Human Resources Development that all schools throughout the country will have to make arrangements so that students can watch the Prime Minister’s live address on TV.

The government directive asked all head of schools to make available the requisite number of televisions, set-top box connections, projectors, screens, amplifiers and generator sets or inverters on hiring basis, if these are not available in the schools.

Though a number of private schools termed the initiative as “good and positive”, they feel making the necessary arrangements for showing the address to the students will put a lot of burden on teachers, and they will not be able to celebrate the day.

Special day for teachers

“Teachers’ Day is a special day for teachers to enjoy. So though it is a good initiative, teachers will end up spending the entire day to ensure implementation of the government directive,” said Ameeta Mulla Wattal, Principal of Spring Dales, Pusa Road.

Madhulika Sen, Principal of Tagore International school, Vasant Vihar, said many private schools will find it difficult to make the arrangements for showing the PM’s address to students.

“The main concern is getting all the students assembled at one place and then making them listen to the PM. We have two auditoriums, so we will be able to manage. But what about smaller schools?” Sen said.

Wattal also talked about “many structural, administrative and technological difficulties” in implementing the government directive.

Another school principal, on condition of anonymity, said implementation of the government directive will require “lot of expenditure” and that schools are unhappy about “the way it is being forced on them”.

“Besides the expenses, we will have the problem of lack of space in our school. We will allow the nursery students and students till class 5 to leave early. They are too young to understand the speech and will be tired by afternoon,” the principal said.

Authorities of a number of other private schools also expressed unhappiness over the government directive. Principals of several government schools refused to comment when asked about their reaction to the directive by the DoE.

According to the directive, government schools can use funds from Vidyalaya Kalyan Samiti for putting in place the arrangements. “In government schools, all the expenditure for hiring items for arrangements shall be incurred from VKS fund,” the directive stated.

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