Speaking on the occasion of Teachers' Day, Mukherjee said: "There was a time when we had renowned seats of learning like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri." "They attracted scholars from far and wide.
The powerful minds who taught at such universities created an exalted position for our ancient education system. We have to regain our leadership position. We look towards teachers to guide the way," he said. Mukherjee honoured 378 teachers from across the country on Teachers' Day, which is celebrated Sep 5, the birth anniversary of India's second president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Mukherjee emphasised the need to create systems for continuous assessment of the quality of education and the outcome of country's educational inputs. "Since we won our independence, we, in India, have done very well in the fields of science, technology, innovation and economic development. Yet, we find that despite our accomplishments, we cannot claim to have evolved into a truly developed society," he said.
Mukherjee said development is not only about factories, dams and roads but about people, their values and their faithfulness to their spiritual and cultural heritage.
"An inclusive approach is critical for achieving our developmental goals. We have to empower our children, their parents and communities in every part of India," he said. Expressing "sadness" over the male-female gap in literacy, Mukherjee said: "Nothing is more saddening than the sight of a girl child being denied education."