From a cycle rim being used to make an old antennae work to a sarpanch’s home being turned into a screening hall, it is desi jugaad which will help Prime Minister Narendra Modi reach students and teachers of government schools across villages of Punjab.
With the Punjab education department directing schools to ensure that the Prime Minister’s address on Teacher’s Day reaches students, village schools are pulling out all stops to follow the directions to a tee.
At Bhagpur village — the ancestral village of SAD minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon — the village sarpanch has decided to hand over his TV set to the Government High School that caters to 117 students. The authorities here are taking no chances. An LED screen has also been arranged and if both fail to work, a transistor will be attached to a microphone, a teacher said. “Arrangements have to be perfect as it is Dhillon’s village. He may come on a surprise visit. We have arranged for a cable wire but in case all fails, a transistor is ready,” he added.
In the remote village of Raiea, near Kohara, the 47 students in the Government Middle School will be listening to the PM’s address on a radi. “We are trying to get a TV as per orders but connectivity is not possible,” said the headmistress.
The students of the Government Senior Secondary School in Dhanansu on the Chandigarh road, were busy on Thursday preparing an antennae with cycle rims. “This antique antennae was picked from a store and cycle rims have been cut and used to make it work. At least we are receiving Doordarshan now,” said a teacher. Two TV sets have been borrowed from students’ homes for 450 students.
A neighbor has agreed to lend his TV set and antennae to the primary school in Bhainiya Araiyan village, where 50 students, mostly from families of migrant labourers, study. For students of the primary school in Sherpur Khurd village, the sarpanch’s residence will double up as a screening hall.
A teacher will be bringing her TV set for the 800 students of Government High School in Kot Mangal Singh area. “We have told area cable operator to give us connection and also RoT system has been kept ready,” a teacher said.
Some schools have been reporting problems with their RoT (receive only terminal) systems. “Our school is in a remote area. We are having issues with the cable connection but village’s cable operator has been asked to solve it. We have a RoT system but it hasn’t been working for a few days. A complaint was sent 12 days back but no one has come to repair it,” said a teacher at the High School in Dhulkot village near Mandi Ahmedgarh.
Then there is the problem of plenty in a number of village schools. The middle school in Jassar village with only 60 students has three TV sets as help poured in from all sides. “We need only one set but three people agreed to help us. The cable will be installed on Friday, and in case it does not work, YouTube will be used,” said a teacher.
Schools are also keeping their back up options in place. As heavy rainfall is expected on Friday, schools have kept radios ready. As per weather forecast of Punjab Agricultural University meteorology department, moderate to heavy rainfall is expected in next 24 hours in Ludhiana and adjoining areas.
Private schools prepare in own ways
Although the orders of Punjab education department to arrange for a TV and genset for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address on Teacher’s Day has created troubles for government schools, the condition is a bit appreciating in private schools where arrangements have been made as per convenience of students.
Schools have been directed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ensure that students and teachers listen to Modi’s speech.
Technology has been optimally used by schools using smart classrooms, websites, e-care portals of students and SMS system to keep students and parents updated about Modi’s speech.
In four branches of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, students will be shown the speech on September 6. “Since timings of speech are not in accordance with the school timings, we will be recording programme and running it on smart boards on September 6,” a teacher said.
Kundan Vidya Mandir principal Navita Puri said that students from Class V onwards will be shown the speech on September 6 in the school auditorium while parents have also been informed to ensure that students watch the speech at home.
At DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, arrangements have been made to show the speech live. Principal J K Sidhu said, “Students having their own conveyance can come to the school and watch speech for which screen has been arranged. Others will watch at home and we will take feedback. They will note down important points and discuss with teachers in class.”
BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar has put on its website the links to website of Ministry of HRD and also will be screening it live for Class VI onwards. “Youtube and other links of PM interaction have been put on the website. Students from Class VI onwards will watch it live in the school hall,” said principal Paramjit Kaur.
Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar will hold a special morning assembly on September 6 and students will be questioned on what they understood.
At Sat Paul Mittal School, affiliated to ICSE, students have been told to attend the screening but it will also be uploaded on their web portals. “Each student has been given a login ID and password. If they do not attend session, they have to watch it on portal,” said principal Bhupinder Gogia.
“Parents are not keen to let students stay back. We cannot take responsibility of their safety after school hours so they have been told to watch the speech at home but we will also screen the event in the school,” said Mona Singh, Principal Guru Nanak Public School.