President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday conferred the National Teachers'' Awards on 44 teachers from across the country for their contribution to developing innovative methods of teaching.
The national-level awards are given on Teachers' Day to celebrate the unique contribution of some of the finest teachers in the country and to honour those who, through their commitment, have not only improved the quality of school education but also enriched the lives of their students.
Noting that every child has different capabilities and talent, the President said teachers need to focus on the all-round development of students keeping in mind their different needs and interests.
"Teachers should pay special attention to the fact that each student has different abilities, talents, psychology, social background and environment. Therefore, emphasis should be laid on the all-round development of each child according to their special needs, interests and abilities," he said during the virtual award ceremony.
"The primary responsibility of combining the inherent talents of the students lies with the teachers. A good teacher is a personality-builder, a society-builder and a nation-builder," he added.
President Kovind congratulated all the teachers who received the award for their distinguished contributions.
"Such teachers strengthen my belief that the future generation is safe in the hands of our well-qualified teachers. Teachers have a very important place in everyone's life, people remember their teachers lifelong. Teachers who nurture their students with affection and devotion always get respect from their students," he said.
The President urged teachers to inspire and enable their students to envision a golden future and acquire the aptitude to fulfill their aspirations.
"It is the duty of teachers to inculcate interest in studies in their students. Sensitive teachers can shape the future of students through their behaviour, conduct and teaching," he said.
Noting the challenges posed by the pandemic, President Kovind said for the last one-and-a-half years, the whole world is going through a crisis caused by coronavirus.
"In this situation, even when all schools and colleges were closed, teachers did not allow children's education to stop. For this, teachers learned to use digital platforms in a very short time and continued the education process.
"Some teachers have developed remarkable infrastructure in schools with their hard work and dedication. I appreciate such dedicated teachers and hope that the entire teaching community will keep on changing its teaching methods according to the changing circumstances," he said.
The President said that the National Education Policy (NEP), which was implemented last year, has set an ambitious objective of establishing India as a global knowledge superpower.
"We have to provide such education to students that would be helpful in building a just society based on knowledge," he said.
The education system should be such that students develop a sense of commitment towards the constitutional values and fundamental duties, it strengthens patriotic feelings among them and makes them aware of their role in the changing global scenario, he added.
The National Awards to Teachers were first instituted in 1958 to recognise the excellence and commitment of teachers in shaping the minds as well as the future of the youth. From the mid-60s onwards, September 5 came to be the fixed date for the function on account of the birthday of Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, former president of India and an eminent educationist.
The awards accord public recognition to meritorious teachers working in elementary and secondary schools.
This year, online self-nomination process was followed by a three-tier selection process at district, state and national level.
A documentary film on each of the 44 awardee teachers was also shown during the virtual award ceremony.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)