Delhi: Private schools keep track if students participated in diya campaign

April 6, 2020

Several Delhi private schools have asked parents to share details whether their children participated in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Diya Jalao’ campaign, citing directions from the state government. Following Modi’s appeal, the Education Secretary, Amit Khare wrote to all autonomous institutions stating, “As directed by Prime Minister on April 3, 2020, students may light a diya or torch of their mobile for 9 minutes on 9 pm on April 5 to realise the power of light and highlight the objective for which we are all fighting together. However, no one should assemble on roads, or colonies, or anywhere outside their houses.”

CBSE then forwarded Khare’s letter to all its affiliated schools. Meanwhile, MHRD said the letter was only an advisory and doesn’t mandate participation. Among the schools that sought the information were Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Mother’s International School and Delhi Public School, Rohini.

The schools had asked parents to fill a form asking if they have downloaded the ‘Arogya Setu’ app, a COVID-19 tracking app that uses Bluetooth and location to track one’s interaction with someone who might have been tested positive for the virus. In addition, they also asked whether their children lit candle or diya at 9 pm on March 9. 

On Sunday evening the Ministry of Human Resource Development tweeted, “MHRD has appealed to students and their families to download the Aarogya Setu app developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare but there was no form developed to monitor the activity. Mr Garg’s (joint secretary Maneesh Garg) email was only meant to inform students to voluntarily download the app and participate in the diya/candle lighting. There is no coercion on anyone to do the same. Since schools are closed there is no question of monitoring the students’ attendance.”

The Delhi Director of Education, Binay Bhushan said no such instructions was issued, “neither have we sent such directives to schools nor have we been asked to submit such information by the Ministry.”

Source: The Indian Express

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