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 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 through Internet from 3 PM to 4.45 PM on September 5.
The directive clearly states that, "Any laxity in the arrangements shall be viewed seriously."
The DoE notification came following an order by Ministry of Human Resources Development that all the 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 lot of burden on the teachers and they will not be able to celebrate the day.
"It's a good initiative on the part of Prime Minister to bond with students and also take efforts to enhance the image of teachers in the eyes of students.
"But Teachers day is a special day for the teacher's 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 PM's address to the 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 would be able to manage. But what about the smaller private schools," Sen asked.
She, however, said the initiative is a good one to get connected with students. "Students are eagerly looking forward to hear him," she 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 the 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 of DoE, government schools can use funds from Vidyalaya Kalyan Samiti for putting in place the necessary arrangements.
"In government schools, all the necessary expenditure for hiring items for aforesaid arrangements shall be incurred from VKS fund," the directive stated.
It said the Prime Minister's interaction with students would be telecast live by Doordarshan through its national and regional channels. It would also be available through live webcasting on different platforms of Doordarshan and the website of Ministry of Human Resource Development.
"Therefore, all heads of schools of government,government aided, unaided, MCDs, NDMC and Cantonment Board Schools shall make arrangement to assemble the children in order from 2.30 PM to 4.45 PM on that day so that children view the Prime Minister's address."
Further the directive says that all heads of the government schools of Delhi running in single shift shall make arrangement to hold the classes from 1.00 PM to 5.30 PM on September 5.
Government aided and unaided schools may opt for either of the timings from 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM or 01.00 PM to 05:30 PM. The Delhi government has asked the Education Department to to submit a report on preparedness for the event by 5 PM, September 2.
The directive also states that parents should be informed well in advance about the same through text messages, almanac, students diary, displaying on the notice board of the school etc., for security and safety of children during commutation.
In addition to that, all heads of schools have been asked to submit details of number of students viewing the programme to DOE.
"All districts of DDEs/EOs/DEOs will visit the schools during this time falling in their jurisdiction to monitor and ensure that directions are being complied with in letter and spirit.
"All above directions are to be complied with strictly by HOS of govt, govt aided/unaided/MCDs/ NDMC /cantonment board schools. Any laxity in the arrangements shall be viewed seriously," the directive stated.