New Delhi, Sept. 1: Don’t jostle for the food packets. Don’t giggle or whisper. No cellphones. Shh… SILENCE!!!!
Teacher, behave yourself!
The Union human resource development ministry may have picked 335 schoolteachers for the national awards to be given on Teachers’ Day, but it is not taking any chances on these best of the best being on their best behaviour come Thursday.
So, it has issued a strict code of conduct. (See chart)
Not only must the teachers mind their manners at Vigyan Bhavan where they will receive the National Awards for Teachers from the President, but also during a sightseeing trip to the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan afterwards. Not to mention the courtesy visit to the Prime Minister’s residence the day before.
Ministry officials told The Telegraph that such dos and don’ts are issued every year to the teachers to ensure smooth conduct of the award function, though this is the first time the instructions have been posted on the ministry website.
“Some teachers try to touch the feet of the President. Such things are not allowed for security reasons. It’s better to sensitise the teachers on these matters,” a bureaucrat said.
He added that President Pranab Mukherjee, a former college teacher himself, had set aside an hour and a half for the event where he will deliver a speech apart from handing out the awards.
“If people start touching his feet or shaking his hand, how can you finish the event within that time?” the official asked.
Sangeeta Bhatia, an awardee in 2008, said the teachers come from diverse backgrounds, and most would not have graced such a national platform before.
“The teachers do know how to conduct themselves, but since it is a national-level function, there is nothing wrong in issuing a code of etiquette. These tips are advisory in nature,” she said.
Teachers are recommended for the awards by their state governments on the basis of their classroom performance. The awardees receive a citation and a shawl but no monetary prize.
The ministry will put the teachers up at hotels during their three-day trip to the capital. Each teacher can bring one companion to Vigyan Bhavan.
Former Central Board of Secondary Education chairman Ashok Ganguly too supported the ministry move.
“These selected teachers are supposed to be role models. The occasion is very important, too. If they are imparted certain behavioural skills for the event, I think it will empower them,” he said.