The education department wants to know; however, many schools haven't bothered to send the reports and most officials at the zonal offices haven't kept track, despite the department making it mandatory this year

In August, the Education department had issued circulars instructing all the schools affiliated to CBSE, ICSE, IB, IGCSE and SSC boards to hold Independence Day celebrations within their premises, and send in reports of the same to their respective zonal education departments. More than a month after Independence Day, only 107 of 266 schools in South Mumbai, have reportedly sent in these reports.

Patriotism a must: More than a month after Independence Day, only
107 of 266 schools in South Mumbai, have reportedly sent in these reports

In course of scavenging for information, MiD DAY could only get its hands on the report status of 266 of the 347 schools in South Mumbai, as the EF (South) ward failed to provide statistics of the number of schools that had sent in their reports. Officials of the north and south suburb zones also failed to provide counts.

After an assembly debate denounced the fact that Independence Day was no longer being celebrated in the schools, the education department had sent the circular in the month of August to rectify the situation.

B Puri, Education inspector in charge of South Zone, said, "We will send letters to the schools which have not sent us reports on their Independence Day celebrations, asking them the cause behind the delay. We will take strict action against those schools which have not bothered to send reports, assuming that they have not celebrated the occasion as directed."

When this correspondent contacted the north zone education department, which has 480 schools under its jurisdiction, and the western suburb zone, which has 500 schools, the education officials claimed that they are yet to count the number of reports sent by the schools.

T Dongre, education inspector, north zone, said, "I am sure all the schools in my zone have celebrated Independence Day with their students. We still have not calculated the number of schools that have sent their reports."

P Pawar, education inspector, western suburb zone, said, "I still haven't checked with my deputy education inspectors, about the number of reports that they have received. I am sure all the schools have honoured the directives."

Arundhati Chavan, president of PTA United Forum, said, "Unless the education department is strict with the schools, these circulars will not be honoured. If they don't bother to even count the number of reports, why would the schools send them on time? This is why government resolutions are not given importance by the schools. The education department never bothers to monitor the implementation of its resolutions. Penalty should be imposed on truant schools, so that they follow the instructions given to them by the department."

Dr Deepak Sawant, an MLC from Shiv Sena who had introduced the issue in the assembly three years back, said, "If the schools don't respect the orders of the government, they should be derecognised."