In the first mass contact programme of its kind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact live with millions of young students and teachers across the nation on Friday on the occasion of Teachers' Day.
Modi will address about 1,000 students at the Manekshaw Auditorium in New Delhi. It will be broadcast live by all Doordarshan channels and All India Radio.
The prime minister would also take questions from some students spread across the country through a video-conference facility.
Not quite an accha din for parents of Delhi school kids
"Attendance is compulsory for all the students [of classes VI to XII] and strict action will be taken against the absentees."
This order, which follows a Directorate of Education note, has been issued by several Delhi schools to students to make a grand success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's live address on Teachers' Day.
Since the address begins at 3 pm and goes on till 4.45 pm, this means students get to leave school only by 5 pm -- the highly-avoidable rush hour when Delhi's infamous traffic is at its impatient best.
It so happens that several schools rely on the Delhi Transport Corporation buses to ferry students to and from school.
In the evenings, once DTC is done with the schools, its buses cater to the office crowd.
And DTC has firmly declined to change that routine, not even for the prime minister and his much-publicised speech.
So the schools have issued another circular "appealing" to parents to make arrangements to collect their wards from school at 5 pm because, as they reiterate, "attendance is compulsory".
But the word "appeal" is something of an understatement: in one school, children were unofficially told that non-attendance would attract a fine of Rs 1,200.
Kashmiri students to miss PM's class
Students of Jammu and Kashmir will not be able to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address as the state government has ordered closure of all the schools in view of heavy rain and floods.
The decision to close all the government and private schools of the state was taken at a cabinet meeting which met here with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the chair.
"The Cabinet ordered closure of government and private schools and colleges in the state till September 7," an official spokesman said after the meeting.
The schools shall reopen on September 8.
"The closure has been ordered to ensure safety of school going children," an official spokesman said.
The state has been lashed by heavy rain for the past three days leaving several parts of the state flooded.
PM to teachers: Retain India’s vishwaguru status
On the eve of Teachers' Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India should regain the status of 'vishwaguru' (leader in education) by according high respect to teachers whom he asked to encourage students to think critically about issues concerning nation.
In an email message to teachers, he told them that their determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation as they are laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society.
"Teaching is not just another profession. It is a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten," Modi said in his message of greetings.
He said that by according high status to the teaching community, India had once attained the status of 'vishwaguru'.
"We must once again accord such respect to the teachers and thereby regain that status where India becomes the beacon of knowledge for the entire world," he added.
He said that in the present day, often learning is equated with either collection of information or mastery of skills for occupations and jobs.
"Yes, that is important but I call upon you to widen the horizon of thinking of your students. Encourage them to think critically about broader issues concerning our nation, society and the environment. Our goal must be to create good citizens who are capable of preserving the past and creating the future," the Prime Minister said.
"The wheels of change have put India on the march towards 'surajya' (good governance}," he said, adding "Your determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation!
"I want to see the day when every student is proud of his or her teachers and every teacher is proud of his or her students."
"You are also laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society. This is a responsibility of great significance because on this depends how our present and future generations will thrive."
He said lessons in good citizenship inculcated at a young age will go a long way in creating a better society.
"This could be as simple as traffic rules, cleanliness, gender sensitisation, concern for the weak and reverence for the elders," the Prime Minister said.
Bal Bharati school, Noida to test students
Class III-XII students of Bal Bharati School, Noida will be tested on PM Narendra Modi’s speech on Teacher’s Day (Sept 5) & and a question worth 2 marks will be asked in their upcoming 5 exam papers.
According to the school circular, the key points of the Prime Minister’s address are to be noted and learnt, for the school to evaluate the same during Summative-I.
“The weightage accorded to evaluate will be a question of 02 marks each related to the PM’s address in all the 05 main papers,” it said.
The school, however, would remain closed on Friday as students would be given preparatory off.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani had earlier said the attendance of students to listen to and watch the PM's speech was a "voluntary" exercise, amid a row that listening to his speech was being made mandatory for the children.
Defending the school move to add a question on PM’ speech, Principal Asha Prabhakar said, “No question of controversy. Parents have no objection to it. Let’s not mix education with politics.”
She asserted that the test is to assess speaking & learning skills of students.”They need to listen to it carefully, interpret it and analyze it after a discussion.”
“I am sure PM Modi wouldn’t be appealing for votes, his speech would be inspiring,” the Principal added.