All secondary and higher secondary school students in Gujarat will have listen to a live video address by Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, Teacher’s Day — whether they want to or not.
Education Officers in every district have sent out a circular to all such schools making it mandatory for the principals to arrange for TV sets on the premises and ensure that all students and teachers watch the live telecast of Modi’s address on Doordarshan’s state channel.
“Negligence in following the instructions will not be tolerated,” the circular warns, adding that there could be surprise checks. How the TV sets should be procured has not been spelt out. Nor does the circular make any mention of former president Dr S. Radhakrishnan, whose birthday Teacher’s Day commemorates.
No teacher wanted to comment on the circular. But Congress leader Arjun Modvadhia said Modi was making a mockery of the occasion. “It is a day which celebrates teachers, in which politicians should have no role,” he said.
When pointed out that there was no precedent of a CM addressing students on Teacher’s Day, Education Minister Ramanlal Vora said: “There’s always a first time.”