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Not Mandatory for Students to Attend School on Jan 16 for PM Modi's 'Pariksha pe Charcha': TN CM

File photo of Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami.

File photo of Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami.

His clarification comes in the wake of a controversy over a circular reportedly issued by the education department instructing students to attend school on that day to listen to Modi's speech on how to face examinations.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday clarified that students who do not have access to television may attend school on January 16 to watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Pariksha pe Charcha' event in New Delhi. He, however, said it was "not mandatory" for them to come to school on that day.

His clarification comes in the wake of a controversy over a circular reportedly issued by the school education department instructing students to attend school on that day to listen to Modi's speech on how to face examinations.

Speaking to reporters in Salem, Palaniswami said, "Only those students who do not have access to a television may attend school to watch the Prime Minister's address." There were families which still do not have a television at their home, he said.

In a tweet on the issue, the Chief Minister said, "only those students who do not have television sets in their home can visit their schools if they wish to listen to the Prime Minister's speech. It is not mandatory #PongalHoliday#."

School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan said students have been asked to listen to the speech only to encourage them before their board exams.

"Our objective is to make the students listen to his (PM) speech either through social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook... The government did not direct them to attend school on that day (January 16)", he told media in Erode in response to a query on the circular.

Criticising the circular issued by the school education department, DMK chief MK Stalin said it was "painful" to note that the students from class IX to XII have been asked to attend school on January 16 which is a declared holiday.

Refusing to buy the clarification of Palaniswami and Sengottaiyan on the issue, Stalin demanded that the government make a formal announcement in this connection.

Schools declare holidays from January 14 to 17 in Tamil Nadu on account of Pongal (harvest) festival season.


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