President emphasises need for innovative teaching methods


New Delhi : Paying rich tribute to educationists on Teacher’s Day Wednesday, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil emphasised the need for innovative teaching methods and curriculum to realise the dream of universal education in the country.

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“Teachers should adopt innovative teaching methods to make studying in schools interesting and sustain the interest of children so as to reduce dropout rates from school and to achieve the goal of universal elementary education,” Patil said as she gave away national awards to 314 teachers for their meritorious public service.

“The role of teachers in giving quality education to each and every child who enters formal and alternative learning centres is crucial,” she emphasised.

Asking educationists to update their knowledge, skill and competence through professional preparation, Patil said: “Teachers need to keep themselves up-to-date with new knowledge and interpret the vast information that is available to the students so that they understand right from wrong, truth from untruth and correct from incorrect.”

“Teachers have to give children the finest education because if they do not give them good education, children will not be able to make tomorrow’s India excellent.”

She said the teacher training programmes need to reflect critically the multiple contexts in which schools function and come out with specific solutions relevant to teaching in schools located in urban areas, rural areas, tribal areas and in disadvantaged regions.

“In pre-service teacher education programmes, there is a need for integration between theory and practices and between subject content and pedagogy.”

The national awardees for 2005-06 included 88 lady teachers, 11 Sanskrit teachers, three Arabic teachers and 12 teachers involved in education of children with disabilities.

The national award carries a silver medal, a certificate and Rs.25,000 in cash.

Thirty-three Special Awards were earmarked for teachers involved in the inclusive education of children with special needs.

The National Award for teachers was instituted in 1958. Since the mid 1960s, the awards have been officially given on Teacher’s Day, which is observed in honour of former president of India S. Radhakrishnan, a renowned philosopher and teacher.

In her presidential address Patil urged teachers to set the highest standard of morality so that students can imbibe them for nation building.

“Teachers are role models for students and therefore, their own conduct sets example for the young. If teachers practice discipline, honesty and punctuality in their lives, children would also practice these virtues,” she said.

Touching upon the need for girl child education, Patil said: “For a stronger future of India, the need for girl child education is clearly very important. I would urge that programmes for girl child education be strengthened, including imparting physical education to girl students.”