The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for revamping the education system to prepare students to effectively face the challenges of the 21st century, while upholding the Indian values and ethos at the same time. Inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of BHS Higher Education Society, in Bengaluru today, he wanted the New Education Policy to focus more on comprehensive history of India, apart from our rich culture and heritage.
He said the history books should contain the contributions made by great freedom fighters from different parts of the country.
Mr Naidu said that our education system must make our institutions of higher learning and universities the centres of excellence with international standards.
"We need an education system that transforms a student to become a complete human being, who is sensitive to the needs of others, understands the other point of view and respects and values others for what they are," he added.
The Vice President advised the teachers, educationists, researchers, and parents to make a study of the draft of the New Education Policy put forth by the government and make their suggestions to make it robust and more Indian, more equitable and inclusive.
"Policymakers and the educationists must ensure that every child receives a holistic education," he added.
Expressing his concern over the rising cost of education, particularly and said that it was a worrisome trend.
Saying that education was the fundamental requirement and it must be made affordable, he asserted that providing quality education should not be equated with costly education.
The Vice President also urged business associations, corporate firms, trusts, entrepreneurs and philanthropic organizations to create dedicated funds for the promotion of affordable education.
Mentioning that India was a great repository of knowledge and wisdom and once upon a time it was known as Viswa Guru, he said that India's ancient Gurukul education system with its Guru Shishya parampara used to provide value-based and holistic education, which empowered individuals. "We must once again get back to the roots", he added.
Pointing out that 65% of the Indian population was below the age of 35, the Vice President said that education plays a pivotal role in realizing the demographic dividend. He called for steps to ensure that the educated and empowered youth, the human capital of the country, were given adequate opportunities and support, especially in terms if skilling.
Mr Naidu also stressed the need for bridging the urban-rural divide and ensuring accessibility to affordable education to the people.
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