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PM exhorts teachers, asks them to guard against lack of knowledge
Published on 5 Sep. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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The educational system in India is at “a very critical juncture” and teachers should guard against “lack of knowledge, poor understanding, or biases”, which students could imbibe, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday on the eve of Teacher’s Day.
The prime minister, recalling his own years as a teacher, described it as “the most satisfying and fulfilling” phase in his life and said, “Through teachers flow the values and culture of a nation and its people”.
“Teachers’ own value system, their character and their behaviour directly influence our children,” Singh said while addressing the winners of the Teacher’s Day awards here.
India celebrates Teacher’s Day Sep 5, in honour of the second president of India, academic-philosopher Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary falls that day.
“But, misinformation and limited learning behaviours that children sometimes internalise can also be traced back to teachers’ lack of knowledge, poor understanding, or biases. We must guard against these negative features,” the prime minister said.
Manmohan Singh expressed his worry over teachers being excluded from policy-making, governance and management of the educational system as well as “day-to-day instructional strategy and decision making”.
The prime minister said the government was committed to provide quality education to all.
“The Right to Education Act was passed by parliament last year. The Right to Education Act and Article 21-A of our Constitution guaranteeing elementary education as a Fundamental Right, have now become operational with effect from 1st April, 2010,” the prime minister said.
Pitching for better financial security to teachers in state government schools, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said unless this is given priority the country would not be able to “get the best minds.”
At a function to give away the CBSE awards 2009, Sibal said there has to be a better policy in states for teachers to ensure that they get a good deal and do not leave their profession in search of greener pastures.
He said that in the past, the government was concerned about the salary of bureaucrats and others in the service sector. “... in the process teachers were not given much importance,” he said.
Pointing out that every state has its own policy, he said, “At the national level we only guide the state to help it make policy decisions. CBSE has a much better pay scale (compared to that offered by state governments).”
Teachers play a major role in nation building and in creating a “huge force of academically-empowered and socially-conscious citizens”, Speaker Meira Kumar Saturday said while saluting their contribution on the eve of Teacher’s Day Sep 5.
“Teachers, a community which renders a noble service in nation-building, create a huge force of academically- empowered and socially-conscious citizens,” said the speaker in a message on the eve of Teacher’s Day.

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