President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday said that there should be level playing field so that students from all sections of society can attend premier institutions like Indian Institutes of Technology. “Our endeavor should be to create a level playing field in educational competitiveness so that students from all sections of society can enter premier institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs),” Patil said in her address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day. Patil said, “Our special efforts to reach out to students from tribal and remote areas, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other backward communities must be augmented”. She added that special focus has to be given to primary education. “It is said that mother is a child's first teacher and the next is the primary school teacher. Both make lasting impressions on children in their formative years. In primary schools, teachers are doing good work. We should regularly assess issues relating to training of teachers and quality of education including checking instances of absenteeism of teachers,” the president said.