President Pranab Mukherjee called the nation to harness digital technology to usher changes in education and to bridge the gap between digital ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.
Inaugurating the National Education Day celebration which was the birth anniversary of India’s great freedom movement leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the President said that it is education that can lead to the trinity of progress, which are greater political participation, social emancipation and upward economic mobility. “We have traversed a long distance from just one out of four children in school in the early fifties to a school accessible to every child today and almost universal enrolment with gender parity. In recent times, our expenditure on education has risen – from 2.9 percent of GDP in 2008-09 to 3.3 percent in 2013-14.”
President Mukherjee extolled the exemplary contributions of Maulana Azad in nation building, Institution-building and particularly his indelible imprints in the field of education.
Emphasising on the importance of teachers in the education, Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani said that they are the fulcrum of the entire education system. “Teacher should not merely be concerned with ‘income’ but also the ‘outcome’ to help improve the quality of education.” According to Irani, “the Mission of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is to enable higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth.”
Dr. Najma Heptullah, Minister of Minority Affairs said that there is a need to adopt a pragmatic view that blends modernity into tradition and synthesizes our inherent traditional strengths with modern day needs without losing our values.