Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that earlier students used to get “kitabi gyan” (bookish knowledge) but the new National Education Policy (NEP) will change that.
Addressing teachers gathered here from across the country for the 29th Biennial Educational Conference, organised by the All India Primary Teachers Federation, Modi said Google can give data and information but the role of teachers is to be the mentors of students.
“Earlier, we used to give just ‘kitabi gyan’ to our students, but this will change with the introduction of the New Education Policy,” Modi said.
He said the new NEP focuses on practical learning. "Such an education system is at the centre of NEP and now it is the responsibility of the teachers to implement this system on the ground,” said the PM in an appeal to the teachers.
He recalled how one of his school teachers used to make him and other students learn about numbers using grains.
Referring to the changes made in the NEP, Modi stressed the need for giving primary education to students in their mother tongue and added that NEP has made provisions for it.
According to Modi, education imparted in local languages will also help talented youths from villages to become teachers.
“After our Independence, English became a dominant language. Even today, parents want their kids to study in English medium. As a result, talented teachers from villages and from poor family backgrounds stopped getting opportunities just because they never got a chance to learn English. Since NEP puts stress on education in local languages, it will also help such teachers in getting opportunities,” he said.
Praising what he called the noble profession of teaching, Modi said whenever he met any world leader, including royal rulers of Bhutan and Saudi Arabia, they told him that they had received their education from teachers from India.
The King of Saudi Arabia (Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud), who is a very senior and respectable leader, told me that his teacher was from Gujarat, Modi said.
Modi said though he has never been a teacher in his entire life, he has been a lifelong student who observes things happening in society.
He told the audience that despite being the PM, he is still in "live contact" with his school teachers who are alive.
Modi said that the role of a primary teacher is very important in shaping a child because, after family, it is the teacher with whom he spends the maximum time and learns from the teacher's behaviour and mannerisms.
In his address, Modi highlighted that the disconnect between students and schools is widening today as the students hardly remember their school after finishing their studies.
To bridge this disconnect, the PM suggested that the school management along with teachers and local residents should start celebrating the foundation day of that school every year and invite past students.
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