5 Sep : President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented National Awards to teachers at a function at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday, every year 5th Sep the birth anniversary of former Prez Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, is celebrated as Teacher’s Day.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that teachers must be empowered in the realm of decision making in educational development and reforms.
Addressing the national awardee teachers on the eve of Teacher’s Day, Dr. Singh said “Teachers has always been considered a noble profession. My own years as a teacher have been the most satisfyimg and fulfilling in my life”.
Strongly condemning incidents of ragging in educational institutions, President Pratibha Patil exhorted teachers to prevent the menace from taking place in any establishment in the country.
“It must be strongly condemned and should not take place in any institutions of the country. You have a role in preventing it,” Patil said.
“Today one sees the disturbing trend of ragging in our institutes of higher education. I have often said this practice is not healthy, as it is a manifestation of intolerance on the part of senior students towards their juniors,” she said at the function, where about 374 teachers were felicitated.
With some incidents of harsh punishments meted out to children apparently weighing heavy on his mind, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the school environment should be “free from fear, trauma and anxiety” to make the Right to Education (RTE) a grand national movement.
“The RTE Act bans corporal punishment and mental harassment. It also bans detention and expulsion. These provisions have led many teachers to question how discipline will be maintained in the classroom,” he said.
Addressing the National Award winning teachers at his residence on the eve of Teacher’s Day, Dr. Singh said that no child, irrespective of caste, gender or community should dread the thought of going to school.
Every year 5th September, the birth anniversary of former President Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, is celebrated as Teacher’s Day.
He said that the answer to the issue of maintaining discipline was given by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti who said, “Discipline is an easy way to control a child, but it does not help him to understand the problems involved in living…If the teacher can give full attention to each child, observing and helping him, then compulsion or domination or discipline in any form may be unnecessary”.
Noting that the government was committed to providing quality education to all, Dr. Singh said that time has come to ensure that every child in the country has the opportunity to exercise his or her right to an education of equitable quality and making the RTE a “grand national movement”.
“The educational system in our country is at a very critical juncture,” the Prime Minister said stressing the need to maintain the fine balance between tradition and continuity between tradition and modernity on the one hand, and innovation and change on the other.
Observing that teachers as front-line participants in educational reforms and nation’s “most precious national resource”, he said, “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”.