Vice President exhorts students to join national effort to take education to the underprivileged

Tamil Nadu
May 18, 2022

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Vice President visits Lawrence School in the Nilgiris

The Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu exhorted students to join the national effort to make education more inclusive by taking it to the underprivileged and needier sections of society. He pointed out that the Government is making every effort to change the educational landscape of the country and to make it more equitable, inclusive and accessible. Shri Naidu added that “we should be mindful of the fact that we cannot afford to let any section of society fall behind when it comes to education and socio-economic development.” The Vice President made these observations while addressing the students and staff of The Lawrence School at Lovedale in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu on his visit to the school.

The Vice President described education as the most powerful agent of change which can lend an impetus to the pace of the country’s development while giving it a qualitative thrust. He observed that India today stands poised on the threshold of becoming one of the front-ranking nations in the world. Referring to the rich demographic dividend which India boasts of, he underscored the need to leverage it to our advantage mentioning the fact that more than 65% of India’s population is under 35 years of age. “Harnessed to their full potential, the talent and creative energies of our young minds will power India into the league of the strongest nations on world stage”, Shri Naidu said.

The Vice President hailed the National Education Policy-2020 for its ground-breaking approach to education at all levels. “Once NEP is applied in letter and spirit in schools, colleges and universities across rural and urban India, it is set to revolutionize education in our country, making it more accessible and inclusive,” he added. He pointed out that NEP spells out the way forward giving us a clear path for engaging educational institutions directly in national development. Elaborating further, the Vice President added that “an important dimension of NEP is that it seeks to restructure our educational institutions and orient them towards the challenges of the knowledge economy.” Referring to the role of schools in this context, Shri Naidu said that they play a key role in nation-building and are destined to be a critical component of this knowledge revolution.

Shri Naidu reminded the gathering that India was once an ancient cradle of knowledge and home to great centres of learning, such Nalanda and Taxashila, which had earned it the status of Vishwaguru. He exhorted students to bear in mind the fact that as inheritors of this rich spiritual and cultural heritage, it is our duty to preserve and protect this glorious legacy. He added that we should strive collectively to ensure that India regains its position of Vishwaguru in the comity of nations. 

Recalling the great tradition of higher learning in ancient India, the Vice President said that the colonial rule not only exploited our economy, but also destroyed our education system, and called for breaking away from the colonial mindset still prevailing among some people. Stressing the need to build upon our ancient education tradition and Parampara, Shri Niadu called for Indianising our education and not blindly aping the west.

Further emphasising the need to promote and propagate ‘Bharateeyata’ or 'Indianness' in every walk of life, he said that we must strive to protect Indian culture and traditions. Shri Naidu also said that Indian culture is not about any one religion, rather it belongs to all.

The Vice President commended the community initiatives taken up by the students of The Lawrence School including rebuilding a settlement in tribal villages and helping villagers in flood-affected areas of Wayanad reconstruct their houses as well as a school. He further said that such work will motivate them to be a part of larger, more ambitious community initiatives.

Shri Naidu said that schools should focus on fostering all-round growth of students’ personalities and must also provide the required ambience and facilities for sports and games. He counselled the students to take up a sports activity, game or form of exercise which appeals to them and build a healthy lifestyle. He also called for promoting Indian sports in a big way. The Vice President highlighted the fact that the knowledge the students had acquired has the power to change the world and urged them to be a part of the mission to build a new, vibrant India.

It may be noted that The Lawrence School, Lovedale is a premier 164-year old boarding school near Ooty, Tamil Nadu. The school is affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and governed by an autonomous body, the Board of Governors, which is appointed by the Ministry of  Education, Government of India.

The Minister of Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu, Thiru K. Ramachandran, District Collector, Shri S P Amrit, members of the Board of Governors of The Lawrence School, teachers and students were among those present on the occasion.

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