Amid protest by sarpanches, who are opposing the e-tendering for infrastructure work in villages, the Haryana government has extended an invite to them to attend the Republic day function in schools at their villages as chief guests. The education department is celebrating the Republic Day on the theme of National Education Policy-2020 and has asked the officials concerned to follow the instructions issued to them on January 2o.
The Directorate of School Education (Haryana) has issued a letter to all the District Education Officers, principals and other officials concerned asking them to ensure that the sarpanch is invited for village school’s Republic Day function as chief guest. It says that the panchayat members should also be invited for the function and duly honoured.
The letter mentions that through this programme a message shall be conveyed that it was not only the teachers or schools, but also literate gram panchayats who are supposed to fulfill this collective responsibility of making an accomplished India and an accomplished Haryana.
The sarpanches do not appear in a mood to accept these invitations. The Haryana’s Sarpanch Association has called for a meeting on January 25 to discuss their future course of ongoing protest against e-tendering policy of the state government.
Haryana BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, however, told The Indian Express that sarpanches “should attend the event as it is a festival of democracy and it is an honour for the entire village’s elected representative”.
On the occasion, the education department has also asked that the sarpanches and panchayat members to deliver a message that children should not consider examination as a burden and rather treat it as a healthy competition.
“The gram panchayats understand the importance of education. That is the reason sarpanches and panchayat members shall be invited as chief guests. They would also address the students and tell them about the importance of examination and also clear the doubts in students’ mind regarding examination procedures and the phobia involved with it. The Panchayat members shall also be seeking assurance from the students and the teachers to ensure a cheating-free examination,” an official said.
The education department’s letter added that the sarpanches and panchayat members who will be attending the R-Day celebrations as chief guest should also get group-photograph clicked with new-born girl children and their parents. The officials have been asked to identify all such infants in their respective school’s neighbouring areas and invite them for the function. The officials have also been asked to upload these pictures on Facebook and other social media platforms and to have those pictures pasted in the office of the school’s principal.
The education department officials said that the framework of inviting sarpanches to the schools for R-Day is inspired from the government’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.
Special committees have also been constituted to identify such girl students who have achieved first position (in any subject) in their respective ward/ village. Their names shall be displayed on the school’s noticeboard prominently and they would be awarded certificates on R-Day.
The education department has also instructed schools to identify and honour all such girl students who have scored high marks in their class 10th, 12th, graduation or post-graduation or even in Ph.D. The girl students who might have participated in any national or international level competition would also be honoured on R-Day.