The Congress government in Kerala Tuesday said it was not mandatory for all schools to telecast the Teachers’ Day address of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 5. The decision was taken in a meeting convened by CM Oommen Chandy.
Congress ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which handles the education department, has protested the move to live telecast the address. The party was irked over the director of public instruction (DPI) issuing a circular asking all schools to make arrangements to show the address. The IT @ School, an initiative under the education department, has been making arrangements to take Modi’s message to 14,479 schools in Kerala.
The IUML protest seems to have forced the state government’s move. IUML state general secretary K P A Majeed said it was not proper on the part of DPI to issue the circular. Since education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution, the Centre cannot insist that the PM’s address be shown in all schools, he said. “The PM’s address and the directive serves political interests. If Kerala accepts it, the state would not be able to withstand the ‘saffronisation’ of education,” he said.
As per the education department’s schedule, Kerala schools would be closed for Onam week on September 5, which is Teachers’ Day. Schools would have Onam celebrations before noon on Friday. Normally, children are allowed to go home after the celebration.
DPI Gopalakrishna Bhat said it was not compulsory for all schools to show the PM’s address. However, there would not be any fresh circular in this regard, he said.