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Saturday , February 26 , 2011
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Missile man draws up new equations
- Former President asks students to create, not seek, jobs

Jamshedpur, Feb. 25: Knowledge equals creativity, righteousness and courage. That’s former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s equation for good citizenship.

Kalam, the chief guest at the Dr Jamshed J Irani Awards for Excellence in Education at Rabindra Bhavan, today asked students to be unique and teachers to be nurturing.

The jam-packed auditorium testified to the popularity of India’s missile man.

Faces in the audience nodded avidly when the former president asked students to be employment-creators rather than jobseekers.

He also clearly expected more from students than marks. “A student should be physically fit, academically sound with a capacity for research and inquiry, moral and entrepreneurial leadership. He should be emotionally mature and spiritually awakened,” said Kalam.

He had high expectations from teachers too. “A teacher should radiate knowledge and purity. The education system has to develop the five minds as mentioned by Howard Gardner — disciplinary, synthesising, creative, ethical and respectful,” the scientist said.

“Can a school bring up a Jawaharlal Nehru, an Amartya Sen, a Graham Bell, a J.N. Tata or a JRD Tata?” asked Kalam to loud applause.

The Dr Jamshed J Irani Awards for Excellence in Education that honours the noted metallurgist, is an education assessment programme under Tata Steel’s Education Excellence Programme which started in 2004. It is done by assessors and mentors from across schools, institutes and corporate agencies, based on the Malcolm Balridge system of United Kingdom.

But, for the sixth consecutive time, none of the 33 participating schools crossed the 600-point cut-off out of 1,000 needed to qualify for the award. Only Loyola School and Baug-E-Jamsheed crossed the 550 mark for the first time.

Schools in the 500-600 band — Loyola School, Baug-E-Jamsheed and Kerala Samajam — got a certificate, a plaque and Rs 2 lakh. Those in the 450-500 band got Rs 1.5 lakh and those in the 400-450 band got Rs 1 lakh. The ultimate winner will bag Rs 5 lakh.

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