The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that education must lay the foundation for developing a society that is strongly grounded in ethics and moral values to ensure peace and contentment in life.
Expressing his concern over the all-round degeneration of morals and ethics in the society, Shri Naidu said that the undesirable trend had to be stopped completely and schools were best placed for bringing about such a transformation.
Delivering the 10th Foundation Lecture at SAI International School in Bhubaneswar today, the Vice President said that education must inculcate social, moral, ethical and spiritual values apart from seeking to empower the future citizens with knowledge and wisdom.
‘What is important is your attitude towards fellow citizens, other living creatures, protecting the environment and your commitment towards the larger good of the society’, he said.
Shri Naidu also stressed upon the need to inculcate a sense of volunteerism among young students. He advised the students to join organisations like NCC, NSS, Scouts & Guides to learn life skills and volunteerism.
Referring to the seven deadly social sins mentioned by Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi ji, the Vice President said that education which does not build character was one of such sin.
Saying that schools play the most crucial and foundational role in shaping the destinies of a nation, the Vice President said that schooling must lay emphasis on the overall development of the child without focusing solely on academic achievements. He opined that it was extremely crucial for youngsters to become responsible, caring and empathetic citizens of the country.
The Vice President stressed that aligning the education with the best education pedagogies, teaching methods and techniques in the world, without losing our ethical moorings was necessary to regain India’s position as Vishwa Guru.
He advised schools to keep abreast with the latest methods of pedagogy and acquaint the students about the importance of the ancient civilization, culture, traditions, heritage and history of the country. “The understanding of the history should be complete and comprehensive without any scope for bias,” he said.
Shri Naidu advised schools to discard rote method of learning and promote innovative and creative thinking. He said that students must be encouraged to develop an inquisitive and questioning mind ever eager to learn new things and come out with bright ideas.
Shri Naidu wanted schools to keep themselves abreast with the rapid developments in technology and align the skill sets of the students in accordance with 21st century job market. He also advised the schools to promote entrepreneurial spirit among the students.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“It gives me immense pleasure to interact with students, teachers and parents of this institution and share my thoughts. Whenever I visit a school or a college, it fills me with intense optimism about the future of the country.
I have always held that schools are not just temples of learning but are important institutions that play a foundational role in shaping the destinies of a nation. They are the springboards for producing future teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers, chartered acountants, politicians and scholars in various disciplines.
Hence, good schooling which lays emphasis on overall development of the child without focusing solely on academic achievements is extremely crucial for youngsters to become responsible, caring and empathetic citizens of the country.
Dear students, you all have completed your exams and will soon be joining new academic session in the next class. I wish you every success in your academic career and a rewarding future.
In a school, we celebrate the colourful innovative ideas, innocent idealism, inculcate moral and ethical values and chase dreams with hope and optimism.
As our former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam used to ask students to dream – “Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.” Your dreams, ideals and ideas will shape the future of this great country.
Education is not only for employment. It is meant for empwerment of an individual through knowledge and wisdom. While imparting knowledge and keeping abreast with the latest methods of pedagogy, schools must acquaint the students about the importance of our ancient civilization, culture, traditions, heritage and history.
The understanding of the history should be complete and comprehensive without any scope for bias.
Of the seven deadly social sins enunciated by Gandhi ji, Education which does not build character , was one of such sin. Apart from seeking to empower the future citizens with knowledge and wisdom, education must inculcate social, moral, ethical and spiritual values.What is important isyour attitude towards fellow citizens, other living creatures, protecting the environment and your commitment towards the larger good of the society.The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had put it most profoundly when he said : “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.
True education emancipates you from the bondage of ignorance. It must remove obscurantist beliefs and superstitions. In Indian Tradition it is said – “Ya Vidya Sa Vimuktaye” – What emanicipates is the Knowledge. It is an essential part of all human life which makes an individual civilized, refined, cultured and educated.
For ages India was the Vishwa Guru. We excelled in abstract sciences and applied technologies. Those were not the days of claiming Intellectual Property rights. Rather, we believed that the knowledge only grows if it is spread and shared with others. True to our ideal, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” we shared our knowledge and excellence with global community. Our famous universities of Taxila, Nalanda threw open their doors for the students and scholars of other regions.
We have shared our knowledge and fortunes with every one as we believed in the sublime ideal of “ Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, sarve santu nira maya” i.e. may everyone be satisfied, may everyone be free of disease and sickness. Sharing and Caring has not only been an ideal but an article of faith in our long distinguished traditions.
These eternal virtues have been at the core of our education system that has inculcated strong value systems from generation to generation. True education lays the foundation for developing a society that is strongly grounded in ethics and moral values leading to peace and contentment in life.
Unfortunately, over the years, we have been witnessing an all-round degeneration of morals and ethics in the society. This undesirable trend has to be stopped completely and schools are best placed for bringing about the transformation.
In Indian tradition, it is said: “Knowledge brings humility, humility makes you worthy, with that you acquire wealth and with wealth your conduct becomes righteous that eventually leads to ultimate blissful pleasure.” Education and knowledge are the basis of a civilised living. Thirukkural says “The wealth of learning is alone imperishable; nothing else is true wealth”.
Today, I expect you to redeem our past stature.
As we aspire to become Vishwa Guru once again, we shall have to align our education with the best education pedagogies, teaching methods and techniques in the world, without losing our ethical moorings.
You are living in very promising times when the technology has opened up new opportunities and avenues for acquiring knowledge. Today On-line courses and study materials are available even on your Smart Phones. You can access almost every information anywhere in the world through internet.
The world has truly become a global village and barriers to knowledge are coming down at a faster pace than before. In this knowledge-driven digital era, schools must discard rote method of learning and promote innovative and creative thinking. They must encourage students to develop an inquisitive and questioning mind ever eager to learn new things and come out with bright ideas.
Schools must also keep themselves abreast with the rapid developments in technology and align the skill sets of the students in accordance with the requirements.They must also promote entreprenuerial spirit among the students.
In addition to making our education socially relevant and grounded in our cultural values, we need to inculcate a sense of volunteerism among young students. Students should join organisations like NCC, Scouts & Guides, to learn life skills and volunteerism.
The schools should become resource centers for the neighbourhood community service. There should be greater interaction between schools and neighbouring communities.
Students should take up community assignments and voluntary work in neighbourhood communities and adjoining villages, interact with local administration about the local issues and provide innovative solutions for community and rural development.
A large part of India lives in village. Socially- conscious students must stay in villages for a better understanding and proper perpesective on the travails of a village life.
It is also essential for you as students to acquire vocational skills, incuding those related to agro-economy. It will help in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among young students.
True knowledge is garnered through observation, reading, discussions, reflection, analysis and internalisation and this can only be possible if every school introduces experiential learning embedded with field visits.The curriculum should be oriented to make students think rationally, independently and express cogently.Focus of school education should be on instilling inquisitiveness and curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, communication.
I strongly believe that school education must aim to help students become compassionate and caring human beings, with a sense of empathy.We also need to infuse the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in each child.
Dear students, you must own up the glorious heritage of rich cultural diversity ofthis country. You are also the inheritors of the rich and living linguistic heritage of India. You must enrich this tradition. We must respect and take pride in our mother land and in our mother tongue. Use your Mother Tongue to express yourself creatively and enrich its literature.
I am happy that today Sports provide a promising career opportunity to our youth. It not only trains your mind and body but also inculcates the spirit of teamwork and leadership. Along with your studies, you must also pursue and excel in sports.
May all of you realize your dreams and achieve success in every endeavor you undertake. I would also like to compliment and congratulate the teachers and parents for the achievements of the students.