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Schools must enhance social harmony: Sonia

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, July 3 (UNI) Emphasising on making schools the centres for enhancing social harmony, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today said such schools should be built where empathy and confidence could be generated in young minds.

''Education should be such that it helps the development of social and personal values in children along with a cultural and secular mindset,'' the Congress president said while inaugurating a Sanskar Valley School established by a newspaper group on the Madhya Pradesh capital's outskirts.

Referring to the UPA government's attempts in the education sphere, she pointed out that the Centre tripled the education budget besides launching a 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' for universal education.

''The Abhiyan is showing good results but dropouts and lack of education still constitute a challenge. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi always felt that children from the poor segment should receive equal education opportunities and that led to the setting up of Navodaya schools. He felt that education should prove useful in making kids eventually self-reliant,'' Ms Gandhi added.

Urging educational institutions to fulfill their responsibility towards the country's social concerns, she said learning should inspire children to comprehend challenges.

Expressing concern over commercialisation of education, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, ''Education ought to be liberated from government control and the responsibility bestowed on autonomous institutions. A national debate should take place in this context.'' Claiming that the state government's initiative in the direction of improving education had led to better results in government schools, he urged the Sanskar Valley School to reserve seats for Backward Classes' students.

Presiding over the function, renowned industrialist Ratan Tata issued a clarion call to private educational institutions to improve the country's education system.

''Forty to 50 per cent of India's population is below 25 years of age and educating them will strengthen the economy,'' said Mr Tata.

Among those present was Zee TV Chairman Subhash Chandra. Earlier, the newspaper group Chairman Rameshchandra Agrawal welcomed the guests.

UNI AG-AC VD DS1530

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