SCHOOL, HOME, BACK
Anandi for starters
At all schools run by or affiliated to the Gujarat government, barring those in districts going to bypolls, students will have to watch Chief Minister Anandiben Patel from 11 m to 1 pm, after which the morning batch will go home and then be brought back so that everyone can listen to Narendra Modi in the afternoon. An education department circular refers to an HRD ministry circular and says all students must assemble at their schools by 2.30 pm. “Where TV sets are not available, panchayats have been asked to make arrangements,” principal secretary (education) Arvind Aggarwal said. The options listed are SATCOM, TV, Edsat, Webcast, YouTube, radio and National Knowledge Network.
TV, radio everywhere
At schools that give over early, students can go home but must then reassemble for the event, state education secretary R C Jain said. All primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools have been told to arrange for TV sets or radios.
All deputy commissioners have been told to ensure the programme is made accessible either with TV or radio. “We have told them to ask the students to assemble at 2.30 pm, after the midday meal,” said HRD Principal Secretary Aradhna Patnaik. “If there is no TV, they can use the radio. Schools can also ask panchayat offices to lend them one. If the school is close to a panchayat office, students can assemble there.” Students will not be asked to travel, she said.
Students at 40,000 schools will watch the event. The TRS government has directed all district education officers to ensure government and private schools have functional TVs with cable. “Since it will be live on Doordarshan, it will not be a problem. Many schools also have computers with an Internet connection. In 100-200 schools that do not have TVs, we have either made arrangements to supply these or asked principals to hire a TV and get a connection using school maintenance grants. At remote schools, radio sets have been provided,” said commissioner of schools M Jagdeeshwar. Power officials have been asked not to impose cuts.
‘how can we?’
“One fine morning you send an order that it has to be carried out in three days’ time. It is not done. Many schools have no TV sets. How can they listen to the address?” Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said. The education department is organising a function of its own in Kolkata. “There will be functions in the districts too, all fixed earlier, and we will have to spend our time on that,” he said.
‘why must we?’
A senior official with the school education department said they haven’t received any central circular. The principal of continued…