President underlines the need to improve quality of education

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The President Shri Pranab Mukherjee has underlined the need to improve the quality of education in the country, stating that this is the first and foremost task before us towards building the India of our dreams. Addressing teachers while giving away the National Award to Teachers 2011, here today, he said, “Your sacred duty is to enable your pupils to construct knowledge,pranab to discover their own talents, and to develop their physical and interpersonal skills, cognitive abilities and subject-matter expertise. Education must enrich their minds, broaden their horizons and give them ever lasting hunger for exploring new ideas and vistas of opportunity.” The National Award to Teachers, 2011 were given away to 310 teachers from across the country. For the first time 20 additional awards were given away under the category of National ICT Award for School Teachers(for the years 2010 & 2011).

The President pointed out that now educational activities and learning processes are no longer confined to classroom-based curriculum. He stated, “It is necessary to design appropriate learning experiences for the students. Development of a scientific temperament is essential. Adaptation to and application of new technology has to be an integral part of the curriculum development for all stages of education. New methods and teaching aids must equip the younger generations to learn more, explore more and contribute more to the society.”

The President called upon teachers to give themselves a new orientation and evolve an enhanced institutional capacity. He said, “Qualified and competent teachers, continuously renewing their capabilities and excellence through research, experimentation and innovation would be the nation`s strength. We must work for the long term goal of setting performance standards and creating top class institutional facilities for innovative training and professional development of teachers. I expect that the Government of India`s National Mission on Teachers and Training will address all these urgent priorities and the related issues in a holistic manner.”

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal said that the role of the teacher is undergoing seminal transformation, as also are the expectations of parents, students and society from the education system. He said, “Teachers still occupy the pivotal role in shaping minds and characters, but teachers today are not the sole medium for transfer of knowledge. The interactions in the classroom are supplemented by various other sources of information and competing thoughts. Recognising the changing role of the teacher and to orient the education system towards this change, we propose to launch the National Mission on Teachers & Teaching in the Twelfth Plan.”

Shri Sibal said that education will help foster a learning society that will create for others a path out of poverty and want. He said, “Education is thus an investment in the genius of the human mind – unlike investment in land, capital, finance or technology. If education has the power to transform lives, then at the core of the transformation is the teacher.”

The Scheme of National Award to Teachers was introduced in 1958 with the object of raising the prestige of teachers and giving public recognition to teachers of outstanding merit. Under the scheme , school teachers are selected for the award on the basis of their academic efficiency, desire for improvement in education, genuine interest in and love for children, involvement in social life and reputation enjoyed in the local community. The names of the teachers for these awards are recommended in the first instance, by the District Education Officer etc. on the basis of teacher’s record of work. It is further vetted by the District Committee. The recommendations of the Committee are scrutinized examined by the State Selection Committee which forwards its recommendations, in order to merit, to the State Government. The State Government in turn sends the same to the Union Government along with Character Certificate of faultless antecedents and absolute integrity duly signed by the State Education Secretary. The final selection is made by the Union Government. Each award consists of a Certificate of Merit, a Silver Medal and a Cash Prize of Rs. 25,000/- .

Also present on the occasion were Shri E Ahamed, Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Secretaries in the Ministry of HRD, Smt. Anshu Vaish and Shri Ashok Thakur.

Press Information Bureau

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