Kerala state-run channel skips PM's address to children

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 5: Hundreds of school children in Kerala, both from government and private institutions, watched the Teacher's Day address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today but state-run education channel Victers skipped the live cast in a last-minute change of decision.

Though Kerala government had made it clear that it was not compulsory for schools to make arrangements to carry live the Prime Minister's message to children, many school managements showed it by making their own arrangements. Children in a majority of government schools, which depended on Victers channel, could not watch the programme as the channel did not air the event in the last minute.

Though there was no official word on what went wrong, sources at IT@school which runs the channel said though they made all arrangements to provide links to schools, the telecast was cancelled as it was not made mandatory.

Indian Union Muslim League, to which Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb belongs, has criticised the circular issued by Director of Public Instructions to schools for making arrangements for the event.

Though Rabb had said the government was not against telecast of the event, schools have freedom to decide on the matter. State BJP president V Muraleedharan came out strongly against the channel's failure saying it was "deliberately sabotaged" by the Education Department. Even though most schools were closed for the 10-day Onam vacation, a large number of children and teachers thronged their institutions in the afternoon to listen to the message of the Prime Minister and get a change to ask him a question.

Director of Public Instructions Gopala Krishna Bhat told PTI that since the state government had already made it clear that it was not compulsory for schools to live telecast the PM's address, the Education Department had not made any arrangements for monitoring the schools.


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