Confusion in Bengal over PM's speech

Confusion in Bengal over PM's speech

When  rest of the nation will tune into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address on September 5, most schools in West Bengal are likely to miss out his speech due to a confusion created by the state government.

Even as the Centre makes it mandatory for all students to listen to the prime minister’s address on Teachers’ Day, the West Bengal government has expressed its inability to televising the speech in government schools due to “lack of suitable infrastructure”.

A notification on the education department’s website on September 1, however, asked schools to go ahead and telecast the speech live.

Authorities of various schools, however, are still at a loss whether to air the live speech for students because they were following the state government’s earlier declaration. Sources within the education department said that since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not in favour of airing the speech in the state’s schools, heads are likely to roll for putting up the notification on the department’s website.

Although there is no official confirmation to the axing of officials for putting up the notice, education minister Partha Chatterjee said, “We have already made it clear that the state government will go ahead with its own pre-declared programme. We’ve not put up any notification asking schools to show the prime minister’s address. The website must have been hacked.”

Principal Rupak Home Roy of Jenkins School at Cooch Behar in north Bengal, one of the best government schools in the state, said, “We had been told not to make arrangements to show the PM’s address. Now, we don’t know what to do.”

Principal Raja McGee of Calcutta Boy’s School, a missionary-run institution, however, has asked students of classes VIII onwards to attend the event. Most private schools, however, will not air the address as it will take place between 3 pm and 4.45 pm, a time past school hours.

“Our school gets over at 2.30 pm. Many students are on study leave due to imminent exams. We’ve only asked senior students to come for the telecast at the school hall,” said Principal Anjana Saha of Mahadevi Birla World Academy.

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