Education should be affordable, meet challenges of 21st century: Vice President

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday expressed concern over the rising cost of education and urged people to give their suggestions over the draft new education policy to make it “more robust and Indian”.

Inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of BHS Higher Education Society, here, he called for revamping the education system to prepare students to effectively face the challenges of the 21st century.

Naidu said the New Education Policy should focus more on a comprehensive history of India, apart from its rich culture and heritage.

He advised the Government, academia and the industry bodies to join hands in implementing rigorous academic standards and in creating the necessary infrastructure.

The Vice President said the history books should contain contributions made by freedom fighters from different parts of the country.

He said that the education system must make institutions of higher learning and the universities centres of excellence with international standards.

“We need an education system that transforms a student to become a complete human being, who is sensitive to the needs of others, understands the other point of view and respects and values others for what they are,” he added.

An official release said the Vice President emphasised that there is a need to make education more equitable and inclusive and policymakers should ensure that every child receives a holistic education.

“I advise all the teachers gathered here, the educationists, researchers, and parents to make a study of the draft of the new education policy and make their suggestions to make it robust and more Indian”, he added.

Expressing his concern over the rising cost of education, he said that it was a worrisome trend.

“The rising cost of education, especially on the higher education front is a bit worrisome. Since education is the fundamental requirement, it must be made affordable. Providing quality education should not be equated with costly education,” he said.

Naidu called upon business associations, corporate firms, trusts, entrepreneurs and philanthropic organizations to create dedicated funds for the promotion of affordable education.

The Vice President also urged business associations, corporate firms, trusts, entrepreneurs and philanthropic organizations to create dedicated funds for the promotion of affordable education.

Noting that India was a great repository of knowledge and wisdom and was known as Viswa Guru, he said that India’s ancient Gurukul education system with its guru-shishya parampara used to provide value-based and holistic education, which empowered individuals. “We must once again get back to the roots”, he added.

He said any policy or strategy to provide universal education must ensure that the vulnerable sections of population, women, differently-abled and the economically weak were fully covered.

Noting that 65 per cent of Indian population was below the age of 35, the Vice President said that education plays a pivotal role in realising the demographic dividend.

He called for steps to ensure that the educated and empowered youth were given adequate opportunities, especially in terms if skilling.

Voicing concern over instances of social and gender discrimination, he called for a change in the mindset of the people.

Naidu also stressed the need for bridging the urban-rural divide.



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