The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that there is a need to revive the spirit of excellence and asserted that we must never let mediocrity be the norm. Conveying his thoughts on the occasion of Teachers’ Day in a Facebook Post, Naidu reminisced that India was at one time known as the ‘Vishwaguru’ and contributed much to the world of learning.
Naming institutions like Nalanda, Takshashila and Pushpagiri that exemplified excellence, Naidu said that India was a society that valued learning and considered teaching to be one of the most noble and sacred of professions.
In the Facebook Post, the Vice President expressed his deep sense of gratitude to all his teachers who left an indelible impression on his personality. Quoting India’s mantra, ‘Acharya Devo Bhava’, the Vice President said that teachers are manifestations of the divine because she or he ‘creates’ a well-rounded personality and fosters innovation; ‘preserves’ the best thoughts and ideas and transmits ideals and values across generations; ‘dispels’ doubts and clarifies concepts and nurtures excellence.
Stating that the National Education Policy 2020 rightly recognized “teachers and faculty as the heart of the learning process”, Naidu said that we must, as a society, continue to revere the immense contribution of teachers to national development.
Observing that the 21st century was an era of disruptions and paradigm shifts, the Vice President said that the world is now truly a global village. He emphasized that it is the prime responsibility of the teachers of the 21st century to mould responsible global citizens but with deep Indian roots.
He called upon the teachers of the 21st century to harness the power of technology to make teaching and learning joyful, learner-friendly and effective. Citing the need for greater use of technology in education, necessitated by the current pandemic, Naidu appreciated the teachers for quickly adapting to the changed scenario and switching to an online delivery mode very effectively.
He conveyed his appreciation to all the teachers who showed the commitment to update their own knowledge and skills and change with the changing times and said that this is the courage and confidence that must pervade the system.
Stressing that we recognize lifelong learning as an essential facet of life in the Indian tradition, the Vice President said that in addition to teachers in formal settings, we learn from parents, elders and peers and from a variety of sources of wisdom. Recalling the story of Dattatreya who learnt valuable lessons from nature like the oceans, wind, Sun and moon as well as from other living creatures like the elephants, fish, deer and bees, Naidu said that we learn from everyone and everywhere. “Learning throughout life and absorbing the best from all has always been India’s approach”, he added.
The Vice President called for the retention of the spirit of curiosity, the spirit of expanding our intellectual horizons and the nurturing of our ability to be receptive to new ideas. He said that the teachers who were striving in this direction deserved our deep gratitude and added that we must collectively create conditions for this tribe of excellent teachers to thrive and expand. “That alone will ensure a Shrestha Bharat and a Saksham Bharat”, he said.
Paying rich tributes to Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President and the second President of India whose birth anniversary is celebrated as Teachers’ Day, the Vice President said that Dr Radhakrishnan was an eminent statesman, philosopher and author.
Admiring Dr S. Radhakrishnan’s versatility and scholarship, Naidu said that he had an in-depth knowledge of various fields such as logics, philosophy, psychology and social sciences. And was a well known authority on great names such as Socrates, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Karl Marx and Edmund Burke.
The Vice President said that on Teachers’ Day, we must recognize countless inspirational teachers like Dr S. Radhakrishnan who have been shaping and continue to shape the destiny of our country.