Tamil Nadu

Not compulsory for students to come to school on Jan. 16: CM

‘Those who don’t have TV can watch PM’s speech at school’

A day after the School Education Department issued a circular stating that students of Classes IX to XII were expected to attend school to watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ (Discussion on Examinations) speech on January 16, during the Pongal holidays, both the Chief Minister and the School Education Minister on Saturday said it was not mandatory.

The circular had asked education officials to ensure that television sets in schools were in working condition, and to procure generators, if need be.

In a tweet on Saturday, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said that if students who did not have television at home wished to watch the Prime Minister’s speech, they could do so by visiting their school. He clarified that the School Education Department had asked schools to make this provision available only for students who wished to watch the speech there, and that it wasn’t compulsory for all students to attend.

Separately, School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan said no circular was issued mandating students to come to school on January 16. Addressing mediapersons at Gobichettipalayam, the Minister said students can watch the speech on television at home, and also through social media. “If they don’t have television at home, they can visit their school,” he said.

Earlier in the day, DMK president M.K. Stalin threatened to stage a protest in front of the School Education Minister’s house and the Directorate of School Education, against what he described as the State government’s decision to cancel a day of the Pongal holidays to make students listen to the Prime Minister's speech. “If the government does not withdraw the order, we will organise the protest,” he said in a statement. Mr. Stalin said the direction of the State government to keep generators and inverters ready to prevent disturbances during the speech exemplified the AIADMK’s willingness to go to any lengths to further the BJP’s propaganda. “If the Prime Minister is speaking on government examinations, students can listen to it from their house. There is no need for them to attend school,” he said.

MDMK leader Vaiko urged the government to withdraw the order ‘cancelling’ the Pongal holiday.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:24:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/not-compulsory-for-students-to-come-to-school-on-jan-16-cm/article30422289.ece

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