Alomst 80 per cent of the high-end international schools, that Newsline spoke to, said they will not be able to show Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on September 5, on the occasion of Teachers’ Day.
The reasons ranged from early school timing to holiday already being declared for Teachers’ Day. However, education department officials have said that since they have not got any intimation on the speech not being mandatory, they have asked all schools to show it.
An official of the D Y Patil International school at Lohegaon, on the behalf of Principal P Karkaria, said, “Our school ends by 3: 30 pm and the speech is scheduled to start around that time. All students would have left the school by then, hence we will not be showing the speech to the students.”
Symbiosis International School official said: “Our school ends at 4 pm but on September 5, we have a holiday. Hence, we will not be showing the speech.”
The entire controversy had erupted when it was first announced on August 28, in a video conference meeting held between the centre and the state secretaries, that the PM’s speech is mandatory for all schools. It was later clarified by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the media that the speech was not mandatory. The school education department of Maharashtra on Monday had sent a review report to the government on all schools in the state and their resources to telecast the speech which is scheduled between 3 and 4: 45 pm. Another review report will be sent to the government on September 5 stating how many schools and how many students actually heard the speech.
Cambridge International School officials said since September 5 has already been declared as a holiday, the school will not be changing it and hence, PM’s speech will not be telecast in the school. Vibgyor High School officials said since the school timings are from 7: 30 am to 2: 30 pm, they will not be asking students to stay back and watch the PM’s speech.
However, Lexicon International School principal Amruta Prabhu has made an exception and decided to telecast the speech to secondary class students. “We have decided to put up an LCD projectors and telecast the event. We have decided to let the primary class students go home and have only asked the secondary class students to be present for the speech. We will be showing the recorded version of the speech the next day to the students of the primary classes,” said Prabhu.
While the director of the Secondary and Higher Secondary, Sarjerao Jadhav at a press conference on Wednesday said: “Initially we got the order that all schools should make arrangements to telecast PM’s teacher’s day speech. Later, we came to know that HRD Minister Smriti Irani had told the media that it is not compulsory. But we have not got any formal order regarding this development and we will be going as per the previous plan. Also, it will be a good message for them.”