The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that Kerala’s social progress has set the stage for its lift-off into economic progress that is socially and environmentally sustainable. He was addressing the International Conference on ‘Inclusive Quality Education: Towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Lessons from Kerala Model’, here today, organized by the Institute of Social Sciences on the occasion of the Bicentenary of Royal Rescript – 17 June 1817, Travancore, Kerala.
The Vice President said that Kerala will have to focus on economic activities which make use of its unique strengths – an educated workforce, democratic institutions, and a favourable natural environment. He further said that the requirement for transition of Kerala into a true knowledge society is more education in ‘twenty-first-century skills’, like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and digital literacy. Robust, inclusive and high quality education systems – underpinned by qualified, professionally trained, motivated, and well-supported teachers – will be the cornerstone of this effort, he added.
The Vice President said that education played an important part in Kerala’s transition from a caste ridden society into one of our more egalitarian states. He further said that the initiative was taken two centuries earlier and paved the way for mass mobilization for education and the creation of active citizenry that is a defining aspect of modern Kerala. These roots are Kerala’s indigenous intellectual history and the impact of its global exposure, he added.
The Vice President said that the spread of education in Kerala has enhanced the public’s capacity for assertion of rights. Kerala’s socio-economic indicators approximate those of the developed countries than developing ones and are a testimony to the transformative nature of mass education, he added.