Kolkata, Jan 20: President Pranab Mukherjee today asked the West Bengal government to focus on providing quality education environment and not just aim at increasing the number of educational institutions.
He also said there was no point increasing the number of educational institutions in the country without giving thrust on quality of education, and emphasised on the need to maintain the assets of such institutes.
Addressing the bi-centenary celebration of the Hindu School here, Mukherjee said "I would like to tell the state education minister that you have to give importance to higher education if you want to improve yourself in the modern era." "You cannot do things in an old manner. You have to give out-of-box solution," he said.
Emphasising on the need to give importance to quality education, the President said, "In West Bengal, it is good that we have 27 universities but increasing number of schools and colleges should not be our aim. We have to give importance to quality education and research and development."
On maintaining the assets of educational institutes, Mukherjee said "I am the Visitor of 126 central universities. ...we have only increased infrastructure, not the quality. We are building only assets and not maintaining them."
Asserting that there is a need to provide proper infrastructure for research activities in the country, he said otherwise the way noble laureates like Amartya Sen, Hargovind Khurana and S Subramanyam left the country for better education, the country's talented pool will also go abroad.
Just before the President's speech, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said there is an increase in number of universities to 16 from 13 in the TMC regime in the state and as many as 41 colleges have been constructed, while 4.5 lakh seats have raised. He also said that the state will recruit more teachers for primary and middle education schools in the next few months.
Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, the Presidency University Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia as well as alumni of the Hindu School were present at the event. The Hindu School was set up in 1817 with a motto to provide western education in the country.