PM asks teachers to preserve cultural heritage

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New Delhi, Sep 4 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sought the active involvement and cooperation of the teaching fraternity in preserving the country's great cultural heritage, while preparing the children for global citizenship.

Speaking to the National Awardee teachers who called on him here, Dr Singh urged the teaching community to ensure that India's cultural heritage is preserved by inculcating high moral values and progressive outlook among children so as to enable them to compete with the rest of the world without losing their cultural identity.

Calling for greater professionalism, patriotism, commitment and dedication among the teaching community for transformation of the education system, he said no system of education can go beyond the level and motivation of its teachers.

"I would appeal to you and through you, to the entire teaching fraternity, to inculcate high moral values and progressive outlook among our children so as to enable them to compete with the rest of the world, without losing our own cultural identity." Stating that the involvement of teachers was necessary in view of the urgent need to initiate reforms in curricula, examination systems and development of text books, Dr Singh said teachers empowered with information technology skills will make classrooms more interesting and activity-oriented.

"This will enhance the teacher's learning process and will help our students to learn more and to learn better. Interventions need to be designed to address the problems of low learner's achievements and poor classroom transactions. The local community needs to be actively involved," he added.

Describing teachers as the "true builders of the Nation", the Prime Minister said the National Awards conferred on them were a token of the nation's appreciation of their "efforts, dedication and commitment".

Stating that investment in the education sector, especially in school education, had increased manifold in the past four years, he said the Eleventh Plan could be described as "an education plan" for the country and efforts were to ensure that every section of our society gets access to education.

Stressing that concerns of equity and social justice of the development of a cohesive Indian polity were being sought to be addressed, he said suitable educational interventions were 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 a upward economic and social mobility," he told the National Awardee teachers.

He felicitated the entire teaching community for working unitedly to strengthen the designing of national integration, secularism and democracy.

On the occasion, he paid tribute to former President Dr S Radhakrishnan, whose birthday is celebrated every year as Teacher's Day, saying his life and work symbolised the ideals of a teacher in its true sense.

He recalled that he had started his career as a teacher and teaching remained his first love.

UNI SD SBC KN1610

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