Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to open State school arts festival at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Palakkad

From Sunday, all roads will lead to the 18 venues of the 54th State School Arts Festival that will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at Indira Gandhi Stadium here at 4 p.m.

A total of 12,000 high school and higher secondary school students will compete in 246 items during the week-long festival.

Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb said here on Friday that the preparations for the ‘largest teenagers’ festival in Asia’ was almost complete.

As many as 14 new items have been included this time. Judging of the competitions will be made complaint-free, fair, and transparent.

The panel of judges will be following the guidelines issued by the government on the matter.

Festival theme

‘Protect the Right of Children’ is the theme of this edition of the festival. The inspection of the venues will be completed by Saturday.

Registration of participants from all the districts was completed, with the final tally at 8,185.

Most from Kottayam

The maximum number of participants are from Kottayam (604), followed by Malappuram (603), last year’s champion Kozhikode (598), host district Palakkad (591), and Thiruvananthapuram (591).

Candidates who got favourable decisions on appeals and court orders will be participating and their number is expected to be around 4,000, said P. Venugopal, programme committee convener of the festival. Teachers and parents accompanying the students will number around 5,000.

Thus, over 17,000 people will be reaching Palakkad from Saturday to take part in the arts ‘mamangam.’ This is the third time that Palakkad is hosting the festival, the last time being 2000 when the number of participants was less than 5,000.

Indira Gandhi Stadium, Lions School, Kanikkamatha Higher Secondary School, Fort Maidan, BEM High School, M.D. Ramanathan Hall, Government Victoria College, PMG Higher Secondary School, and Government Moyan L.P School are the main venues.

A mega kitchen and dining halls for the participants have been set up on the Victoria College campus.

Food courts have been set up in each venue as it will be difficult for participants to reach the dining halls at Victoria College from the venues that are far away from the college.

According to Mr. Venugopal, efforts are being made to strictly follow the time schedule of the competition.

This is a major problem that has to be tackled and the stage mangers are being given two-day training classes for the same.

Attempts will be made to dispel the myth that contestants who participate first in the competition will not win prizes.

Thus many a candidate comes late for the contests, delaying the events. A list of candidates who have contested first and won first prizes will be published, he said.

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