KANNUR: More often, the school festival grabs headlines for its sheer magnitude and creative display. But chances are high for the 57th edition to create news for the record number of appeals by the time it winds up. Despite several attempts by the organisers to prevent them, around 610 appeals have already been filed till Tuesday, with five days to go.
Though the appeals committee claims to have implemented several measures to bring down the number of appeals, nothing has been effective. Last year had seen 860 appeals stretching the already packed schedule to breaking point, giving the organisers a nightmare.
Two Director of Public Instruction (DPI) officials had visited each district this year and monitored the competitions and scrutinised appeals. But officials say the pile-up shows that neither demonetisation nor official measures brought down the number of appeals. Rather, there is a sharp increase.
A hike in the appeal fees, from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, was also implemented two years ago intending to reduce the number of appeals. “People don’t care about money when it comes to the arts festival. There are people who come with court orders by paying fines of Rs 7,500 to Rs 10,000,” said an official. The amount paid will be returned to the participant if he/she gets at least one point more than the participant who won in the revenue district Kalolsavam, which hardly happens.
“In this era, where even the difference of one mark can cost a student admission to a professional course in India, imagine who would not want to get their hands on those 30 grace marks,” said Latha K T, parent of a Mohiniyattam contestant.