Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today stressed the importance of ensuring that there is no digital divide in the country, although he appreciates the measures taken by the center and the government government to promote digital learning.
He called for increased internet access, especially in rural areas and remote places, and keeping inclusivity at the heart of the educational experience.
“The mantra should be – embrace, engage, enlighten and empower,” he said.
Addressing a rally after the inauguration of the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) sports center in Chennai, Naidu expressed concern over the impact of the pandemic on education and said the school closures affected girls, children from disadvantaged backgrounds, those living in rural areas, children with disabilities and children from ethnic minorities more than their peers.
Naidu also called for strong steps to improve the skills of teachers 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”.
He emphasized the need for 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 constructive 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.”