With the HRD Ministry's directive to states to ensure that children watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Teachers Day address sparking protests from certain quarters, the Kerala government today denied that it had directed schools to make arrangements for the event compulsorily.
Responding to questions at a press meet here, state Education Minister PK Abdu Rabb said there was no need to withdraw the circular issued on this since it had not enjoined on school authorities that they should compulsorily make arrangements to ensure that the Prime Minister's message was carried to children live.
"Where is the need for recalling the circular since it has not made it compulsory for the schools to make arrangements... But we are not against making the Prime Minister's address heard by children... Whoever wants to hear it, they can do so," Rabb, who belongs to Indian Union Muslim League, said.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Instructions K Gopalakrishna Bhat denied reports that he had instructed schools to purchase radio sets if they did not have television or any other medium to broadcast Modi's message. CPI(M) and IUML have criticised the Education Department for issuing the circular.
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani had yesterday said in Delhi that participation of students in the event was "voluntary".
"This particular activity is voluntary in nature. If it is being politicised, then I would say it is regrettable," Irani had said when asked about the objections raised in some states over the Centre's directive to them to ensure students' participation in the event.