State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday said state-run schools across West Bengal will not observe International Yoga Day on Wednesday. “We will hold a separate yoga competition among state schools at a later date. Tomorrow, there will be no celebration of International Yoga Day in state-run schools,” Chatterjee told The Indian Express.
However, schools affiliated with Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) — which conducts ICSE and ISC examinations — and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will observe celebrations. Started in 2015, International Yoga Day is a flagship annual event by the Modi government to promote yoga. “Our school education department will organise this yoga competition in a centralised manner. But tomorrow, there will be no such programmes in government schools,” said the education minister. There are similar reports from Odisha, where state-run schools may skip the third International Yoga Day celebrations.
On the other hand, Secretary of Association of ICSE schools in Bengal and Northeast Nabarun De said it was “routine affair” for all schools in the state under CISCE to celebrate International Yoga Day. “We have been doing this for the last three years, and our schools are also doing this. It is a routine affair for us. This will begin in the morning assembly, and will continue all day. This is mainly to create awareness on the usefulness of doing yoga,” De told The Indian Express. Bratati Bhattacharyya, Secretary General of Shikshayatan Foundation, said students at the Shri Shikshayatan School — which is affiliated with CBSE — perform yoga on a daily basis.
“Our students do yoga on a regular basis, as it is part of our curriculum.Tomorrow also they will be doing as it is International Yoga Day. The junior section and as well as the senior section will do yoga separately,” Bhattacharyya told The Indian Express. Authorities from the same school had earlier faced flak from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly playing speeches of a political leader to its students in classrooms. Meanwhile, state universities will follow the circular issued by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and University Grants Commission (UGC), asking them to celebrate International Yoga Day.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Calcutta University Registrar Rajagopal Dhar Chakraborti said: “Our National Service Scheme (NSS) unit will conduct a day-long programme on International Yoga Day tomorrow. It will be held at Calcutta Rowing Club near Rabindra Sarovar Lake. This is the first time we are doing this in this manner. We will try to organise it in a bigger way in coming years.” Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das said the varsity organises such a programme every year. “Every year, our physical education department and NSS unit conduct such programmes,” he said.