Noting that India faces a big challenge to improve the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in schools, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said the nation needs more competent and willing teachers to achieve these objectives.
Teachers should imbibe in students the values of tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness to make the world a safer and better place to live in, he said addressing the National Teachers Awards function here coinciding with Teachers’ Day.
“India today needs many more competent and willing teachers to dedicate themselves to improving the standard and quality of education being currently imparted.
“Teachers have a vital role to play in the process of upgrading the quality of education which is a direct consequence and outcome of the quality of teachers,” he said.
Observing that a robust and quality-oriented education system is the force multiplier to transform India, he said the country was investing substantially in the education system and has allocated Rs 29,000 crore for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and another Rs 5000 crore for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.
Other important initiatives include launching of a school assessment programme and the Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme for imparting new training tools and motivating teachers, he said.
He also asked the teachers to keep pace with rapidly changing technologies and pointed to recent budget where allocations were made for setting up virtual classrooms as communication linked interface for cultivating knowledge and online courses.
Mukherjee said the mentoring of teachers should be such that it transforms children into capable, knowledgeable and worthy global citizens.
“The world today faces challenges of violence, terrorism, intolerance and environmental degradation. The values of truth, tolerance, integrity, secularism and inclusiveness need to be imparted to our children to make the world a safer and better place to live in.
“Dear Teachers, please remember that your mentoring and your way of educating our children must be such that it transforms them into capable, knowledgeable and worthy global citizens,” he said.
In all, 357 teachers from across the country were presented the national awards by the President in recognition of their contribution to the field of education.
The President said the difference an outstanding teacher makes to the learning process is central to the spirit of inquiry that needs to be kindled in young minds.
“The big challenge that we in India today face is to improve the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in our schools. This cannot be done without upgrading the skill and knowledge quotient of our teachers and without involving them fully as equal partners in the nation’s progress,” he said.
He said while the government was aware of the working condition of teachers, substantial improvements in salary scales have taken place over time.
Construction of proper school buildings with toilets and drinking water have also been carried out.
Regular up-gradation programmes for teachers, in-service training and at-hand academic support systems have also been instituted across the length and breadth of our country.
“These constitute welcome steps and are part of an ongoing process aimed at making the work environment for our teachers positive and encouraging,” he said.
It is also vital for teachers to be comfortable in using Information and Communications technology (ICT) and to ensure that students get full benefit of ICT and emerge as citizens knowledgeable in the use of the information technology with the aim of pursuing higher education or entering the job market with relevant IT skills, he said.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani also spoke on the occasion.