Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday made a strong pitch for imparting school education in mother tongue throughout the country.
He also said history books should have chapters on local personalities and eminent Indians who have made the country proud through their deeds.
The Vice President, who gave away national awards to 45 teachers on the occasion of Teachers Day, said students should have a strong attachment to their motherland and develop a feeling of “Indianness” rather than “ape” the west.
While technology has made rapid inroads into the education sector, he said it cannot replace the teacher who only can mould the students into good citizens.
He said children who see Google should also apply their mind, adding “Google can never replace guru”.
“I would like to advice the government, not only the central government but the state government as well that eduction must basically be in the mother tongue” he said here.
Naidu, however, made it clear that he was not against English medium schools while he sought to dispel the impression that only students passing out from these schools can succeed in life.
He gave examples of himself, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some chief ministers who rose from humble background to occupy constitutional posts.
Talking about historical figures and social reformers such as Mahatma Phule, Narayana Guru, M Visvesvaraya and Kabir, the Vice President said history lessons should focus on them and not British rulers who “looted” the nation and “our mind”. He also slammed those opposing the inclusion of local history in textbooks.
Naidu suggested the teachers keep upgrading their professional competence and raise the standard of education, as he expressed concern over deteriorating standards of learning outcome in schools.
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javedkar listed various initiatives launched by his ministry under the ambitious ‘Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan’ to impart quality education.
The initiatives include upgradation of Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalayas from class VIII to class XII and giving annual grants to 15 lakh government schools for library and sports facilities.
The selection of the teachers for the national awards was conducted under a revised guideline this year, says a statement.
The number of awardees was brought down to just 45 from about 300 awardees.
Majority of the teachers awarded today used IT application in making learning interesting for students, it said, adding some of them even developed learning-based apps.
The nominated teachers had given a presentation last month before an independent jury comprising a senior educationist.
This ensured that all of them were given an opportunity to place before the jury their contribution and the work done by them, the statement said.
In all, 6,692 applications were received from teachers from all over the country. Out of the applications received, every district selected three best teachers and forwarded these to the committee under the state secretary of education who made a short-list.
A total of 152 nominations were finally received from all states, union territories and organisations, the statement said, adding the final selection was done by an independent jury.