Lack of infrastructure at most of the government schools here deprived children to watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s live speech on the eve of Teachers’ Day on Friday.
The district administration too failed to arrange televisions to make live telecast of the PM’s speech available to government school students in the “paucity” of funds. Moreover, most of the city schools even struggled to arrange a radio for the occasion.
The schools put the onus on the administration, claiming that neither they were given ample funds and nor were they sensitised about the event. Students in most of the government schools were seen roaming around or playing in the playgrounds when Modi was delivering his speech, reason — lack of infrastructure to engage children in creative and informative pursuits at the schools.
However, the scenario was different at Government High School, Faizpura, where students were having a gala time outside the school gate when the PM’s speech was on and there wasn’t even a security guard to stop them from moving out of the campus.
When HT interacted with the teachers, who were sitting with non-functioning radios, they said: “We have arranged radios, but these are not working. The district education authorities had asked us to arrange TV sets on our own, but it wasn’t feasible. The authorities have not made any arrangement and neither had they given us funds to make arrangements.”
At a government school, Faizpura, the school head was on leave and teachers were watching Modi’s speech outside a watchman’s room holding hand fans.
At Government Elementary School, Circular Road, students were watching Modi’s programme on the television of a watchman and the small corridor was jam-packed with the curious students. The school head, however, was on leave.
When HT team reached at , they said, “Wait let us get our children, take their picture not ours. Trust us, earlier they were sitting here but due to unsuitable weather and crammed space, they couldn’t sit here for long. Our students, from Classes 1 to 5, are not interested in PM’s speech and wanted to play.” They said the education authorities had not provided them with anything.
Kuldeep Kumar, a student, who was playing outside the class with his friends, said, “Our teachers are enjoying the telecast. There is no space in the tight corridor to accommodate all students, and with there are no fans it’s difficult to sit there.”
Students of Classes 9 and 10 at Government High School, Karampura, though watching PM Modi’s live speech on TV in presence of principal Joginder Singh and other staff, and the principal sensitising the students about the importance of a guru in their life citing examples of former President Abdul Kalam and Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, on whose birthday — September 5 — Teachers’ Day is observed.
“We do not have much space to adjust all students, thus only senior students watched the PM’s speech, while the rest of the students were sensitised orally,” says Amandeep Singh, a social studies teacher, who told Hindustan Times that district education officer (DEO) Satinder Bir Singh and deputy DEO Satish Kumar had visited the school.
Following the directions of the Union ministry of human resources and development, the dadministration had directed all schools in the city to telecast the PM’s Teachers’ Day speech live on September 4, but failed to make arrangements for it. The deputy DEO said, “The district administration does not have power to provide infrastructure and other facilities to the schools, it is with the government, what we can do?”
“We have made arrangements in a majority of higher secondary schools in the district, assured other schools that soon EdusAT facility will be made available in middle and elementary schools also. At present, Edusat programme is being run in 203 schools,” said Jasbir Singh, coordinator, district Edusat programme.
“The government should provide more funds if we want to expand Edusat programme facility to all schools in the state,” he added.