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Due to space crunch, some BMC school students may give PM’s speech a miss

Arrangements in place to accommodate all students of 480 city civic schools.

| Mumbai | Updated: September 5, 2014 1:14:38 am
Preparations under way for the screening of Narendra Modi’s speech at Kamraj Memorial School, Dharavi. (Source: Express photo by Vasant Prabhu) Preparations under way for the screening of Narendra Modi’s speech at Kamraj Memorial School, Dharavi. (Source: Express photo by Vasant Prabhu)

Even as more than 14 lakh government schools gear up to broadcast Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Teachers’ Day, the lack of space in  municipal schools in the city has come in the way of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plans to screen the speech at 3 pm on Friday. The civic body has now said it would reach out to as many students as possible at the stipulated time.

“We have made arrangements in about 480 schools, which have virtual classrooms in place. We will use televisions and computers with internet facility in some schools. We cannot stream the speech directly in the school hall, which is the biggest area in any school, but we will try and reach out to as many students as possible,” said education committee chairman Vinod Shelar. The civic body runs more than 1,200 schools in the city.

While the computer room cannot accommodate all the students in the school at a time, it will not be possible for schools to make arrangements for a projector to screen the speech directly in the assembly hall also.

Since September 5 is a non-instructional day, the municipal schools have  cancelled the morning sessions, asking students to come for the screening  after 1 pm. “We cannot make young children attend school the whole day and then wait till 3 pm. So, we have asked the students to come after 1 pm. We  will also make arrangements for their lunch,” said civic education officer Shambhavi Jogi.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had begun an unprecedented exercise to ensure that students are able to watch the PM’s Teachers’ Day engagement with nearly 1,000 schoolchildren at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi Cantonment between 3 pm and 4.45 pm. He will make an opening speech, after which he will engage with students from five centres, including Dantewada, Tirunelvelli, Bhuj and Silchar, in a Q&A session.

“This is the first time the PM will directly address students of the country. We want the students from Mumbai to benefit from it,” Shelar added.

On Thursday, the civic body also announced the names of 50 teachers who won the Mayor’s award for the best municipal school teacher. However, unlike the previous years, when the municipal teachers were felicitated on September 5, this year, they will receive their prizes in November, owing to the impending code of conduct before the Assembly elections.

Every year, the BMC selects teachers from across municipal schools to be awarded the Mayor’s award on Teachers’ Day. The 50 teachers were chosen this year based on a set of norms prescribed by the civic administration. The candidates were shortlisted by a panel of five, which included the education committee chairman, the education officer and three award-winning teachers.

The winners were chosen based on experience, school academic record and contribution to social causes. Instituted in 1971, the award comprises a cash price of Rs 10,000, a gold medal and a certificate.

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