The statewide painting competition involving every single school, college and technical institute across Gujarat had a target other than tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary to find a place in the Limca Book of Records.
While it was mandatory for each educational institute to participate ensuring participation from every single student, these institutes were also passed on a set of instructions to be followed as per the guidelines provided by the Limca Book of Records.
The written instructions issued by the Gujarat education department on January 28 stated that ‘as per the mail received from the Limca Book of Records each school is required to follow these guidelines.’
These included a logbook of students participating in the event to be prepared by each school, including the names and contact numbers of the participants. These logbooks were required to be verified by two witnesses along with their mobile number and email IDs. Each school was asked to arrange these witnesses for this event who would not be associated with the school or the organisation.
The schools were also required to get the event verified by two residents of the village or locality and obtain the verification letters.
Each school had to prepare a 30-minute video recording 10 minutes each at the beginning, middle and end of the competition. This has to be submitted by the schools to respective District Education Officer who would then prepare a DVD out of these and submit to the education department. Even a DVD of photographs submitted by each school has to be prepared by the DEO and submit to the department.
Not only the DVDs but also cuttings of newspaper articles on this competition and a CD of the television coverage are mandatory to be submitted at the respective DEO office.
“Despite being a tedious task, all these documents have to be submitted latest by tomorrow. This also defeats the purpose of the event as all our attention is focussed in ensuring that all these rules are followed properly,” said a government school principal in Ahmedabad.
To ensure all students participated in the painting competition at the same time, starting 11 am, school timings across the state were changed and rescheduled from 10 am till 3 pm ending up in almost no-education day for schools as the staff members were seen busy preparing the above documents.
700 tribal schools included at the last minute
The education department did not leave any stone unturned in achieving maximum participation as 700 tribal schools were included in this competition at the last minute.
More than 1 crore students of all government and private schools, including Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Eklayva model schools, those affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education along with colleges and technical institutes across the state participated in this event with an estimated budget of Rs 10 crore.