Lucknow: To bridge the rural-urban divide among students, the Uttar Pradesh government has asked its primary schools, run by the basic education department, to celebrate birthdays of the children.

Additional Director (Basic Shiksha) Mahendra Singh Rana issued orders to this effect to all district Basic Shiksha officials, asking them to prepare a database of students as per their birthdays and ensure the days are celebrated by the school staff "like it is done in most private schools".

A senior government official, who did not want to be named, said that the decision was taken after a departmental study.

According to the study, he said, efforts should be made to "bring children studying in government school at par with the culture in private schools". It had often been seen, the official said, that in comparison to the private education system, government schools were looked down upon.

The effort to celebrate birthdays of students is "just one step" in the government's efforts to "restore some self-respect and fun" among children studying in government primary schools. Under the plan, schools will celebrate birthdays as "small gathering" of children at the end of every month, on the last Saturday of every month.

The birthdays, in case the last Saturday is a holiday, will be celebrated a day earlier, the official said. Similarly, for students whose birthdays fall in May and June -- the time of summer vacation -- the days will be celebrated when the schools reopen in July.

While these birthdays would be largely "fun and frolic" not involving any financial burden on the schools, directives have been issued to the school authorities to gift books and saplings to the children. Several lakh students study in the rural areas of the state.


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