CBSE schools shut, good governance drive fizzles out

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 26 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: It was Christmas as usual for most CBSE schools in the city on Thursday, notwithstanding the weeklong confusion and debate over keeping educational institutions open to celebrate December 25 as Good Governance Day.

The circular first issued by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to its schools stated that as part of the birthday/birth anniversary celebrations of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malaviya on December 25, the human resources development ministry wanted the institutions to observe it as Good Governance Day and set down certain activities for the students. Following an uproar among Rajya Sabha members and Christians, the ministry clarified that schools would not have to remain open and students could participate in an essay contest online.

"Participation is voluntary" seemed to be the most important bit of the circular issued later. "We had told our students about the online contest but since most of them are away on trips, we did not expect them to participate," said the principal of a CBSE school.

The board uploaded the essay topics for the three age categories on its website December 24 and also mentioned that the date for the essay contest had been extended to December 26 following a Delhi high court order. The circular said, "In compliance with the instruction of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, the online essay competition on Good Governance being held on 25th December, 2014, as a part of the CBSE Expression Series, will now be extended to 26th December."

But principals feel the extended period was not likely to attract more students. "Schools are shut for Christmas and it is not likely that those who did not take part the first day will be motivated by the extra day," said Ganesh Parameswaran, principal of Bal Bharti Public School, Kharghar. Also, classes X and XII students skipped the contest as their board exams are in a few months. "We are preparing for the board exams and the prelims at school are not too far off. Making time for an essay contest is not possible," said Ujwal Vij, a Class XII student of Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.

But some schools did have a handful of kids participating. "Around 35 of them took part. Kids are enthusiastic about competitions and had it not been a vacation, the participation would have been much better," said Jose Kurian, principal, DAV School, Nerul.

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