Acknowledging the role of teachers in nation building, he called for a holistic education where the children will imbibe a strong sense of enquiry, tolerance and the capacity to enter into a healthy debate. He said a sound education system is the bedrock of development.
Reminding the glorious past of the country in the knowledge sector, the President said it was only possible because of the respect given to the teachers in the society.
Calling for vigorous promotion of education to the girl child, he said that nothing is more saddening than the sight of a girl child being denied education. He further went on to say that the goal should be ‘All for Knowledge and Knowledge for All'.
Speaking on the occasion, the Human Resource Development Minister Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju said that a National Mission on Teachers and Teaching is proposed to be initiated soon to address, current and urgent issues such as supply of qualified teachers, attracting talent into teaching profession and raising the quality of teaching in schools and colleges.
It is also envisaged that the National Mission would pursue the long term goal of building a strong professional cadre of teachers by setting performance standards and creating top class institutional facilities for innovative training and professional development of teachers.
Noticing the emerging changes in the tasks and roles of teachers, he said it necessitates new orientations and new learning on the part of teachers. A key factor that directly influences the education sector and consequently the roles and tasks of the teachers is the generation and application of new knowledge.
The Minister of State of HRD Dr. Jitin Prasada said that the success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan has created a demand for secondary education. Describing education as the most precious of natural resources, he said that the government is committed to provide education to all children.
His colleague, Dr. Shashi Tharoor recalled the support the President had given to the education sector as a minister in various key departments.
177 primary teachers and 140 secondary teachers are among the awardees. 6 Sanskrit teachers and 4 Madarsa teachers were also honored on the occasion.
Teachers Day is celebrated on the birthday of the second President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan who was an eminent scholar. The scheme of the National Awards to teachers was introduced in 1958 with the objective of enhancing the prestige of teachers and giving public recognition to teachers of outstanding merit. Each award constitutes a certificate of merit, a silver medal and a cash prize of Rs. 25000/-.