New Delhi: Vice President Mr. Venkaiah Naidu today stressed that while central and state governments are taking steps to promote digital learning, it is important to ensure that there is no Numeric fraction. To ensure this, he called for increased access to the internet, especially in rural areas and remote places, and to “keep inclusivity at the heart of the educational experience”. “The mantra should be – embrace, engage, enlighten and empower,” he said.
Addressing the gathering after the inauguration of the National Institute of Technical Teacher Training and Research (NITTTR) Sports Center in Chennai today, Shri Naidu expressed concern over the impact of the pandemic on the education and said school closures were affecting girls and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. , those living in rural areas, children with disabilities and children from ethnic minorities more than their peers.
On this occasion, the Vice President also inaugurated the NITTTR Open Educational Resource (OER) today. Calling this an important step in improving inclusiveness through distance learning, he observed that it would help teachers improve their knowledge base and teaching methodology.
Calling for remedial measures from governments, Shri Naidu suggested that one of the important measures is to improve teachers’ skills in e-learning. Stressing the importance of quality teacher education in India, he said that “teachers are the intellectual lifeline of a nation and play a vital role in planning its development”.
Shri Naidu further emphasized the need to develop teachers who are “learners and creators of knowledge – teachers who touch lives and seek to uplift the human condition”. “We need inspiring and transformative leaders in our classrooms, especially in rural India,” he added.
Speaking about India’s demographic dividend, he said teachers have a greater responsibility in transforming India’s huge youth population into responsible citizens. “Education does not just mean degrees”, he said and believed that the true goal of education is enlightenment, empowerment and wisdom. The vice president also called on the institutes to focus on developing a restrictive and positive attitude among students.
The vice president praised the role of teachers as “COVID warriors” and doing their best to ensure academic continuity for their students during the pandemic. He noted that the teaching community has explored technology and shown “remarkable flexibility in reinventing its strategies and methodologies to support student learning”.
Referring to the National Education Policy 2020 as a visionary document, the Vice President said it aims to transform the education ecosystem in our country and highlights the importance of energizing and motivating young members of the faculty. He urged teachers to adopt innovative strategies to address significant national and global challenges and opportunities in an intellectually dynamic collaborative environment.
Emphasizing the need to decolonize India’s education system, the Vice President called for inspiration from India’s ancient knowledge systems and the great sages who made our country a Vishwa Guru – a giver of knowledge. Calling for this position to be regained, he stressed the need to free society from divisions based on caste, religion, region and language.
Emphasizing the need to promote and preserve Indian languages, Shri Naidu praised AICTE for initiating technical courses in Indian languages. Reiterating that no language should be imposed or opposed, he felt that one should learn as many languages as possible but that primacy should be given to the mother tongue.
Advising teachers to impart “experiential learning” to students, Shri Naidu observed that such a learning methodology helps promote creativity and innovative outcomes. He called for teaching to shift from a one-way mode of communication to a two-way mode where activities must be linked from content to context.
Calling on NITTTR to take the lead in developing outstanding teachers through well-structured and scientifically designed training programs, he appreciated its efforts to train more than 60,000 learners over the past two years. He commended the institute for training international participants as well as under the Ministry of External Affairs Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation.
Expressing his joy at the inauguration of the NITTTR sports center, Shri Naidu, who is a sports enthusiast himself, urged the teachers to keep fit and encourage their students to practice sports or yoga regularly. He said this pandemic has highlighted the importance of physical fitness and healthy diet for good immunity against disease.
Later, while interacting with NITTTR students and faculty members, Shri Naidu emphasized the need to transform our teaching methods, especially in technical institutions. In response to a question, he called for the creation of better facilities such as good hospitals, schools, roads and connectivity in rural areas to bridge the rural-urban divide and stem migration to cities. He also urged state governments to focus on the Smart Cities program and create model cities to inspire other urban centers to improve their facilities.
Thiru Ma.Subramanian, Tamil Nadu Minister of Health, Dr. VSS Kumar, Chairman of the Board of Governors, NITTTR Chennai, Dr. Usha Natesan, Director, NITTTR, Chennai, Dr. G. Kulanthaivel, Professor, NITTTR, and d others were present.