The review of attendance in schools in Pune district during Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s speech reveals that the response in the city and the district to the speech was apparently “cold.” Data shows that less than a third of the students and less than half the teachers in the district actually watched or listened to the speech in their schools. The report was given to Primary Education Department by the Zilla Parishad on Saturday evening, said an official of the Zilla Parishad.
As per statistics given by the education department, only 4,645 schools showed the speech on Teachers’ Day.
A total of 5,83,296 students watched the speech as per the ZP report whereas the number of students in the district is 17,96,270 as per Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), 2013-14 data. About 23,745 teachers listened or watched the speech in their schools whereas the actual number of teachers is 56,296. Total number of schools as per the 2013-14 UDISE data is 6,996.
Talking about the poor response, Faizal Shaikh, chairman, Education Board, PCMC, said, “The poor response may be because of many reasons. Earlier, the speech was compulsory, and if it remained so, attendance would have been better. But when it was publicised it is not compulsory, attendance must have come down.”
It was announced on August 28 in a video conference meeting between the centre and the state secretaries that the PM’s speech on Teachers’ Day has to be shown to all the students in all the schools. It was later clarified by the Ministry of Human Resource Development that the speech was not mandatory in all schools. The school education department of Maharashtra had on Monday sent a report to the government on all schools in the state and their resources to telecast the speech scheduled between 3 pm and 4:45 pm on Friday. Another review has to be sent stating how many schools and how many students heard the speech.
“We will not ask any schools why they did not show the speech because as per the second directive, it was not compulsory. We are taking the review because the centre asked us to do so,” said Mushtaq Shaikh, District (Primary) Education Officer, ZP.