The UT education department which honours its teachers on August 15, January 26 and Teacher’s Day, has organised no events to honour student achievers on Children’s Day on November 14 this year.
There are no special plans to celebrate Children’s Day which is on a second Saturday (holiday) and coincides with Diwali break in most schools.
It will be marked with cursory speeches and assemblies in a few schools next week.
Teachers raised objections to the department’s lack of initiative to encourage student as well as student achievers.
“Many teachers were honoured in ceremonies, but with students, there is a total lull in activity. The city has students who have excelled in various spheres including academics and sports despite limited resources. It seems like the department is not interested in highlighting their achievements,” said a teacher of a local government school.
Meanwhile, St John’s High School principal Kavita C Das said the school’s junior wing marked celebrations last week “Even though the department didn’t issue any guidelines, we will try and do something for the senior wing in the coming week,” Das said.
District education officer (DEO) Vinay Sood was asked about why students weren’t acknowledged as compared to teachers, she diverted the question saying, “The municipal corporation, came to us with a request rather later to organise a set of competitions including painting, craft etc for children on Saturday. We tried to gather kids for that, but by the time we could inform them, the holidays began.” Acting on MHRD’s directive, local schools were directed to telecast the Prime Minister’s Teacher’s Day speech live on September 4, a day prior to the occasion which too was a holiday this year.
“We condemned the expenditure government schools had to incur, but the point to be noted is the effort made to make teachers feel ‘special’. So how about doing something for children as well,” said Swaran Singh Kamboj, president, UT Cadre Education Employees Union.
On the other hand, the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights would organise sports events and has invited homes such as Gur Aasra Trust, Children’s Home Sector 15, Missionaries of Charity and Snehalaya to participate and be present and see kho-kho and cricket matches.