The Congress government in Kerala on Tuesday said it was not mandatory that all schools show or air the Teacher’s Day address of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 5. A decision to that effect was taken in a meeting convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Congress ally Indian Union Muslim League, which is handling the Education Department, has come out against the move to live telecast the PM’s address. The IUML was irked over the Director of Public Instruction, which issued a circular asking all schools to make arrangements for showing Teacher’s Day message of the Prime Minister. Elaborate arrangements have been made to take the PM’s message to 14,000-odd schools in Kerala.
However, IUML protest seems to have forced the government to decide against the schedule. IUML state general secretary K P A Majeed said it was not proper on the part of the DPI to issue the circular.
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Since Education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution, the Centre cannot insist that the PM’s address should be shown in all schools. “The PM’s address and the directive to schools have political interests. If Kerala accepts that directive, the state would not be able to withstand the safronisation of education,” said Majeed.
With Tuesday’s decision, it has to be seen how many schools in Kerala would show the prime minister’s address. As per the education department’s schedule, Kerala schools, from lower primary to higher secondary, would be closed for Onam week on Friday. Schools would have Onam celebration before noon on Friday. Normally, children are allowed to go home after the celebration.
Besides, a large chunk of private educational institutions in Kerala are managed by Christian and Muslim organisations.