New Delhi: Technical snag and power outages spoilt telecast of the Prime Minister's much talked-about Teachers' Day speech at many schools, while many parents rued the ‘wrong timing' of the event as they had to make a dash from offices to pick up their wards.
Non-availability of last mile connectivity, rains, lack of refreshments, and poor set-top boxes, television sets and speakers also disrupted the telecast at many city schools.
"A television and a set-top box were provided to us last night. Unfortunately, there was some problem in the speakers, so the speech was not audible and many students left in between," said Surender Sharma, yoga instructor at Secondary School, Babar Road. Sharma was the in-charge of the programme at the school.
The story was repeated at Balwant Rai Mehta Vidyalaya in South Delhi's Lajpat Nagar area as the students here had to miss a substantial part of the Prime Minister's speech as power went off after first 30 minutes.
"We were very excited to be able to hear Prime Minister's speech and almost all the student were present. But lights went off at the very moment and we could not hear him," said a disappointed Diksha Bharadwaj, who is a student of class 10 of the school.
On the other hand, parents complained of non-availability of any facility to them as they had to wait for hours to pick up their wards.
"It is good to make the students listen to the speech as they should know what their PM wants from them. But the school authorities should have prepared for the event in a better way. They should have at least made seating arrangements for us," said Shobha Gupta who had come to pick up her child from a government school in the capital.
"I took an off from office today as the school did not provide any facility to drop the child. There were no instructions provided to us as to when should we come to pick them up. There are many who have been waiting since afternoon," said Inder Kumar Dubey, who waited amid rain to take his two kids home.
At Delhi Public School in Mathura Road, a giant screen was set up and speakers were installed in all classrooms to broadcast Modi's speech. However, students complained of poor quality speakers which spoiled their tryst with the Prime Minister.
"We were waiting for the clock to strike three, but as soon as the Prime Minister started to speak, not a single word was audible," said Vipul Jain, a eighth standard student of the school.
MI Hussain, Principal of the school who had made attendance compulsory for his students, said "People can argue that students could have watched it at home but it was the order of the department and we have to follow it."
However, things went well in other schools like Frank Anthony Public School.
At many places, students said that had Modi spoken in a more simple language they could have understood better.
"We really could not understand several things he said. The words were very heavy, but otherwise I liked it," said Prateek Verma a Class XI student of the school.
The authorities aimed to ensure that all students attend to hear the Prime Minister's speech, but they did not succeed as even government-run NDMC schools failed to register a 100 per cent attendance.
"Out of the odd 550 students in our school, around 400 students turned up for the event," said Vishnu Ram, Principal, Secondary School, Babar Road.
"Though we tried to persuade all the students to be present today, only 181 out of the 300 students turned up," says Renu Prabha Sharma, Head Mistress, Nursery and Primary School, Babar Road.
At many places, students also complained of not being given anything to eat for long hours.
"We were not given any instructions for providing additional refreshments by NDMC. Only mid-day meals are given to them," said a teacher.
Owing to the space crunch, many schools restricted the telecast to some selected students.
"We had arrangements for broadcast in the gym of our school as we did not have any large auditorium. Only 10th and 12th class students were asked to join in. We were asked to report in the school by 1 and shown the telecast from 3 to 5," said 11th standard student Nakul Murli of Vidya Bharti School, Rohini.