The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Award 2014 to teachers on the occasion of Teachers Day today at New Delhi. The President while giving away the award said “Education empowers and enables a nation. A sound education system is the bedrock of an enlightened society. To build India of our dreams, the foremost task before us is to improve the quality of education infusing modern technologies and addressing the concerns of equality.” While talking about the role of teachers in the present day society he added “The education has to liberate a person from narrow world view and the boundaries of caste, community, race and gender. Teachers have been entrusted with the responsibility of moulding the young minds to understand the world and make it better. To achieve this, teachers working in the schools, colleges and universities need to define to themselves what it is to be a teacher and what effort can make their performance meaningful to achieve this aim. This is a high time for introspection.”
The Union Human Resource Development Minister Smt Smriti Irani while welcoming the President of India on the occassion said that the Government was able to achieve the 100 per cent target of completing the construction of separate toilet for boys and girls in schools under Swachch Vidyalaya Abhiyan within one year of the announcement made by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to this effect on Independence Day last year. The Minister said that we have provided physical infrastructure but it is teachers who instill and inculcate the importance of cleanliness among children in their lives.
The Union Minister of HRD further added that Kala Utsav would be celebrated each year show casing every State’s culture and tradition which would be theme based. The theme for Kala Utsav this year will be “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. While mentioning about the flagship scheme Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat, she expressed her views on the declining standards of mathematics and science for classes VI to VIII and exhorted the teachers to help children in basic understanding and comprehension of these subjects. She also made an appeal to the Ministry of HRD to collect best practices in teaching along with identifying best teachers from across the country and disseminate the same for the benefit for one and all.
Minister of State for HRD Shri Upendra Kushwaha while welcoming the President of India and other dignitaries present at the function said that to impart quality education to the countrymen and bring about reforms in the education is the primary task of the Ministry of HRD. He added that the teachers are expected to pay special attention to students coming from economically backward section of society.
Minister of State for HRD Shri Ram Shanker Katheria said that the actual wealth of the nation is not in the banks but in the schools in the form of students. They are the human resource available in the country who are an asset to the nation. The teachers are the depository of this wealth. He added that India’s stature will be measured by the achievements of its students and the responsibility of attaining that rests on the teachers.
The Award to Teachers carries a Silver Medal, Certificate and Rs 50,000 as award money. 338 teachers were awarded the National Award 2014. These awards were instituted in 1958. From mid sixties onwards, 5th of September has come to be the date of investiture to accord public recognition to meritorious teachers working in elementary and secondary schools.
Shri S.C. Khuntia Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and Shri V. S. Oberoi ,Secretary, Department of Higher Education were also present on the occasion among other dignitaries, teachers and other senior officials of the Ministry of HRD.