Ignite the mind of the young, Pratibha tells teachers

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New Delhi, Sep 5 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today called upon the teaching community to show greater professionalism, commitment and dedication to transform the education system.

Teaching should not merely be an activity of planning a lesson or presenting readymade knowledge for achieving outcomes that can be measured objectively. It should also be a process of making the child think and try out what is being learnt, she said.

''Therefore, I would like to see teachers shift away from their traditional role of 'informing' to that of 'eliciting' and 'guiding'. I would also urge them to ensure that our great cultural heritage is preserved even while preparing our children to become global citizens, ''said the President.

She said teachers were at the heart of the education system.

There could be no viable solution to the educational challenges without revitalizing teacher education and promoting respect for the teaching profession.

She was speaking after giving away the National Awards to Teachers for 2007 at Vigyan Bhavan here on the occasion of Teachers' Day.

Ms Patil said, ''A good teacher is one who imparts knowledge in such a way that the fundamentals of the subjects become ingrained in the minds of students. A good teacher teaches well, but a better teacher imbibes humanistic values in the ward in such a way that they become the guideposts for a lifetime.'' She also said that India must take advantage of the era of the knowledge society in which the country found itself today live.

''This requires people who are competent, innovative and willing to find better and improved methods of functioning. A teacher can facilitate the construction of knowledge through active engagement of the learners,'' she said.

A teacher, who is constantly learning, alone can teach - like a lamp which can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame.

Ms Patil quoted English poet W B Yeats who said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." ''A teacher should ignite the minds of the young in such a way that throughout life they have a quest for knowledge and a desire to make this world a harmonious place to live in,'' she added.

Also education should equip the new generation to meet the ever increasing competition in a knowledge based economy and keep them in touch with our grassroot level life realities so that they have a human touch and develop the sense of fellow feeling for their disadvantaged brethren,'' she said.

On this occasion, Mrs Patil honoured 320 teachers from different states of the country with the National Awards.


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