New Delhi, Sept 4 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday congratulated the winners of National Teachers Award and said that the awards conferred on them were a token of the nation's appreciation of their efforts, dedication and commitment.
The Prime Minister met the awardees today here on the eve of Teacher's Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Singh said: "I started my career as a teacher and teaching had always remained my first love. So I am very happy to have this opportunity to meet you, to congratulate you on the important prestigious National Award. I congratulate each one of you who are going to be honoured for their meritorious services in the field of school education. These National Awards are a token of our grateful Nation's appreciation of the role teachers play in processes of nation building."
"On this occasion, I extend my felicitation to the entire teaching community in our country, who are working unitedly to strengthen designing of national integration, secularism and democracy, " the Prime Minister added.
Paying his tribute to former President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whose life and work symbolises the ideals of a teacher in its true sense and whose birthday is aptly celebrated every year as Teacher's Day, Dr. Singh said: Investment in the education sector especially in the areas of school education has increased manifold in the last four years. he XI Five Year Plan can be described as an education plan for our country. It has been our effort to ensure that every section of our society gets access to education."
Dr. Mammohan singh pointed out that several new scholarship schemes were being implemented for educational development of children belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and religious minorities.
" Special emphasis is also being laid on the education of the girl child. Suitable educational interventions are being attempted to redress the existing disparity in access to quality education. This is important because for many deprived social groups, education could be a major instrument for upward economic and social mobility," he added.
Expecting greater professionalism, patriotism, commitment and dedication among the teaching community for transformation of education, Dr. Singh said: "I have strong conviction that no system of education can go beyond the level and motivation of its teachers.
Urging the teachers to ensure that great cultural heritage is preserved while preparing the children for global citizenship, he appealed to inculcate high moral values and progressive outlook among children so as to enable them to compete with the rest of the world without losing our own cultural identity.