Nearly 2,000 students studying at five PMC-run schools were invited to a felicitation ceremony at Loknete Yashwantrao Chavhan Vidyaniketan School yesterday, which was graced by CM Prithviraj Chavan, Education Minister Rajendra Darda, Co-Operative Minister Harshavardhan Patil, District Collector, Municipal Commissioner and local MLAs.
For the esteemed guests, a well-decorated dais was arranged, however the students were made to sit in a messy temporary pandal. The chairs they were made to sit on was placed on slushy ground, causing inconvenience to them.
Moreover, the school’s main entrance was covered with fine sand to ensure that the dignitaries could enter the premises without any hassle, but no such attempt was made to cover the muddy ground.
Surprisingly, during their prolonged speeches, not a single minister or official expressed regret for the harrowing three hours the students underwent.
Balkrishna Bachal, principal of the school, said, “We made all the arrangements within two days. On Friday evening, we received a message from the state education directorate and PMC’s education board that our school has been selected for this state-wide drive to welcome students on their first day at school.”
When asked why no proper arrangements were made to accommodate the school students, he said, “We only provided chairs to children. Most of the arrangements were done by the education board.”
Pradeep Dhumal, chairperson of PMC Education Board, said, “Yes, I agree there were some inconvenience in the arrangements. We were not expecting such heavy rain in the morning. We only took the decision to erect a pandal the previous night.”
The state school education department made an announcement last week, asking schools to ensure a festive environment for students so that they feel welcomed on their first day back to school.