Manmohan Singh wants teachers to be associated in education policy formulation

New Delhi, Sep 4 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said the educational system in India is at a very critical juncture, adding that we have to maintain the fine balance between tradition and continuity, between tradition and modernity on the one hand, and innovation and change on the other.

"As teachers, you are the most important nation builders, you constitute our nation's most precious national resource, and we look to you to guide our children in their quest for knowledge, truth and in their capacity to lead a life of dignity and self respect," said Dr Singh addressing the Awardee Teachers on the eve of Teachers' Day here today.

Congratulating the distinguished Teacher Awardees on winning this very prestigious national award, Dr Singh said teaching has always been considered a noble profession.

"My own years as a teacher have been the most satisfying and fulfilling in my life. Through teachers flow the values and culture of a nation and its people. Teachers' own value system, their character and their behaviour directly influence our children," said Dr Singh.

"But, misinformation and limited learning behaviours, that children sometimes internalize, can also be traced back to teachers' lack of knowledge, poor understanding, or biases. We must guard against these negative features," he added.

The Prime Minister said the teachers are invariably seen as front-line participants in educational reform, critical to successful quality schooling in our country.

"But, sadly, teachers are often excluded from policy-making, governance and management of our educational system as also from day-to-day instructional strategies and decision making," said Dr Singh.

"It is my belief that all teachers are creative, talented people; teachers respond remarkably when they are respected and included in the decision-making integral to their work in the classroom," he added.

Dr Singh further said one critical area that all teachers must reflect upon is equality and inclusiveness of our educational system.

"Numerous programmes have been initiated in our country that focus on equality and inclusiveness paying particular attention to the girl child, or children from the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe or minority communities, or for differently-abled children with special needs and problems," said Dr Singh.

Further complimenting Union Human Resource and Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Dr Singh said the Government is committed to provide quality education to all and the Right to Education Act was passed by the Parliament last year in this regard.

"The Right to Education Act and Article 21-A of our Constitution guaranteeing elementary education as a Fundamental Right, have now become operational with effect from 1st April 2010," he added.

He appealed the teachers to develop in the children independence of thought, action and capacity of carefully considered, decision making which is based on reason and understanding.

"Through you, our children must develop a sensitivity to others' well-being and feelings. Through you, our children must develop the ability to work and participate in economic and social processes and in processes of social change," said Dr Singh.

Remembering former President Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan on the eve of Teachers' Day, the Prime Minister said the Teachers' Day is celebrated all over the country to honour and to express our nation's gratitude to all teachers for their dedicated service to the nation. (ANI)

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