Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has called for the revamping of our entire education system to equip our youth with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the 21st century. He was inaugurating the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, in Bengaluru today.
Terming the completion of 50 years, as a ‘crucial milestone’ in the journey of the institution, Vice President Naidu said that the achievement was an eloquent testimony to the enduring vision of Sri Satya Sai Baba, an extraordinary guru and a transformational leader, who inspired millions of people across the globe to actively participate in the service of humanity.
The Vice President asserted that education is one of the major catalysts of growth and added that nations prosper only when its citizens become educated. Quoting the Kothari Commission’s report of 1964-68 which laid down the country’s education policy, Vice President Naidu said that the destiny of our country is shaped in our classrooms.
Referring to the draft National Education policy 2019 that covers a whole range of issues in great detail, the Vice President spoke about the need to aim for excellence and equity and strikes a balance between the national needs and ethos and the need to prepare our students to be among the best in the global context.
Vice President Naidu called for a pragmatic language policy in which mother tongue and other languages are given due importance in order to help our youth excel in a multilingual world.
Highlighting India’s improving literacy rate, the Vice President said that in the next few years, we must ensure that our population can read, write, compute, articulate and participate with greater self-confidence in the developmental processes.
The Vice President opined that our school system must be more child-friendly and geared towards holistic development of each child’s innate faculties and that our higher education system needs to be re-engineered to bring in a greater emphasis on excellence in research and teaching. He emphasized that the crucial responsibility of moulding the future rests upon us collectively and asserted that we must not fail. He spoke of the need to draw inspiration from our country’s great heritage and blend it with the best elements of thought and action from around the globe.
Stating that India is today a knowledge-based economy, the Vice President said that we cannot afford to have a mediocre or qualitatively sub-optimal system of education if we are to thrive in this rapidly changing world. He called for a much larger number of educational institutions that focus on the all-round development of an individual’s personality. ‘The head, hand and heart must develop simultaneously’, he added.
Opining that good quality education gave us the ability to sift the chaff from the grain, Vice President Naidu said that it would also liberate us from ignorance, superstition, bigotry, prejudices and narrow tunnel vision.
The Vice President also said that intellectual brilliance must be combined with good deeds and compassionate behaviour. Quoting Sri Satya Sai Baba’s words: “Education is for life not merely for living”, he said that education must be as ‘transformational’ and not merely ‘transactional’. He applauded the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning for continually striving for excellence in education.
The Chancellor of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Shri Chakravarthi, the Vice Chancellor of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prof. KBR Verma, the Trustees of Sri Satya Sai Trust, RS Ratnakar & Naganand and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.