Navaratri holiday plans for lakhs of school students in the State after quarterly exam is likely to be affected as Tamil Nadu government has come out with a series of programmes for the children to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in all the institutions during the period.
All the students including teachers usually get a minimum of one-week holiday after quarterly exams since many of the Hindu festivals including Navratri falls from third week of September. However, the School Education Department suddenly announced that Gandhi’s birth anniversary celebration will be conducted from September 23 and will continue till October 2.
A senior official from the Directorate of Examinations told DT Next that the Gandhi’s birth anniversary will be celebrated in all the schools in line with the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) plan. “We have also released a list of programmes from September 23 to October 2, that has been drafted by MHRD, to be organised in all the schools without fail”, he said adding all the schools were instructed to send the photographs and reports of the programmes that would be organised for nine days. Stating that management of the schools were also instructed to appoint a co-ordinator to organise the programmes, the official said, “In addition to the weekly programme, we have also sent monthly programme, which would focus on Gandhi, to all the institutions.” Though the authorities from the School Education Department are still unclear about the programme with few officials saying that it is not mandatory for the students to attend it, Tamil Nadu Teacher’s Association president PK Ilamaran opposed the government’s plan and said, “It is a big question mark that whether Gandhiji’s achievement will be appreciated by the students if the programme is conducted during holidays”.
“The authorities have not come out with clear picture about the programme”, he said adding the programme especially during the holiday period will severely affect the teachers, who are involved in answer sheets evaluation.