Date will be revised as it coincides with Attukal Pongala

The Kerala State Annual Examinations scheduled on March 7 will be postponed for all the schools in the district as it would be coinciding with this year's Attukal Pongala.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Director of Public Instruction A. Shahjahan said that the annual examinations on March 7 would be postponed in Thiruvananthapuram district alone.

“Instructions have been given to revise the dates in case the examinations coincide with any regional festivals. Separate question papers will be arranged and the revised date of the examination will be released tomorrow [Wednesday] after consultation with the Deputy Director,” he said.

During the Pongala festival, the entire area within the 5-km radius of the temple become the festive ground where women gather to offer Pongala to the deity of the Attukal Bhagavathy temple. Unlike in the previous years, this time no holiday has been declared for schools on account of the Pongala festival. The examinations timings are from 9.45 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 3.45 p.m.

The scheduled timing for the Pongala rituals, according to the temple authorities, is between 10.45 a.m. and 2.45 p.m.

Protest

Various organisations in the city have come out in protest against conducting the annual examinations on the day of the Pongala.

“The festival holds a notification in the government calendar. In spite of this, the Department of Education has gone ahead to schedule examinations on these days,” said S.R. Krishnakumar, member of the Sree Chatambi Swami Samskarika Vedhi, told a press conference here on Tuesday.

He urged the Chief Minister and Education Minister to hold talks with the Central Board of Secondary Education authorities to postpone the CBSE examinations scheduled on the dates.