Mars mission or exam: Government schools in a fix

  • Deepa Sharma Sood, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2014 12:00 IST

Taking a cue from the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Teachers’ Day address to students earlier this month, the human resource and development ministry has decided to again connect with school students. Ministry officials have instructed district secondary education officers to make arrangements for the live satellite broadcast transmission of the Indian Mars Orbiter mission entering the red planet’s orbit at all government schools in the country.

However, the timings of the telecast - from 6:45 am to 8.45 am – have left school heads in a fix as summative assessments are currently being held with the exam starting in the morning at 8 am.

A principal, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “After we received the ministry’s message, we decided to begin the exam at 9:30 am to enable students to watch the telecast. Due to the space constraint at the Edusat labs, only students of classes 9 and 10 will be there.”

Another principal, who also wished not to be named, said, “The ROT (receive only terminal) at our school has not been functional since July. We’ve informed the district Edusat coordinator we won’t be able to arrange the telecast if the system is not up again.”

Meanwhile, DEO (secondary) Paramjit Kaur Chahal said: “The idea behind showing the live telecast to students is to update them on our scientists’ accomplishments in space exploration. Schools heads have also been asked to send an attendance report to my office”.

Of the 329 government high and senior secondary schools in Ludhiana, only 292 have Edusat labs, 49 have ROTs and 41 have satellite interactive terminals terminals. However, ROTs in at least 49 schools are not working, due to which they will not be able to arrange the telecast. A receive only terminal is a one-way communication system whereas a satellite interactive terminal enables two-way communication.

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