Pune: In a cruel joke to school teachers who are already reeling under the burden of non-teaching related work, the Central government demanded a copy of proof from schools across the country of whether they screened the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Pariskha Par Charcha’, that held on February 16.
School principals, who clearly showed their unhappiness over this circular, said that if the screenings have been a 100 per cent success in urban areas, it is doubtful as to how many schools in rural areas were successful doing it, owing to the scarcity of resources and inadequate infrastructure.
The PM’s address to the students, wherein he answered their select questions regarding dealing with the examination stress, was held on February 16, between 10 am and noon. While the schools were supposed to make necessary arrangements for the programme to be screened to the students, they were also told to submit a proof to that it was implemented, in the form of photographs or videos.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Raosaheb Avare, President, Maharashtra Secondary and Higher Secondary School Principals’ Association, said, “The government, as usual, imposed this programme upon us without checking on whether all the schools have necessary resources to implement it or not. There are many schools in the rural parts of the State where basic resources like television or computer or electricity are not available. There are some villages where electricity is available only for a few hours. These schools may not have been able to screen the speech. How are they supposed to produce the ‘proof’ now?”
This isn’t the first time that the association has questioned the government initiative. RM Gaikwad of Mawal, who works at a school for tribal students, said, “We get so many circulars every other day, regarding the celebration of days, or implementation of some programme. A teacher in a rural area has to put in more effort for the students to come to the school and learn, than his counterparts in urban areas. This extra work by the government not only burdens him or her, but also diverts the attention. Moreover, due to lack of resources, teachers have to go out of their way in the villages to make these programmes happen.”
He also said that despite difficulties, the teachers in rural areas try to make every initiative reach the students. “However, it will be helpful if, instead of just asking for the proofs bluntly, the administration helps us accomplish the tasks by providing us with better infrastructural resources,” he added.