Digital Connect should’n cause digital divide: VP Naidu

Naidu: embrace, Engage, Enlighten and Empower

Digital Connect should’n cause digital divide: VP Naidu

‘Inclusivity at the heart of educational experience’

Venkaiah Naidu said we need inspirational, transformational leaders in our classrooms, especially in rural India.

CHENNAI, Feb 14 (The CONNECT) - While Central and State governments are taking measures to promote digital learning, it is important to ensure that there is no digital divide, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today said.

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Sports Centre at the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training & Research (NITTTR), Naidu called for increased access to the internet especially in rural areas and remote places and to ‘keep inclusivity at the heart of the educational experience’. ‘The mantra should be — embrace, engage, enlighten and empower’, he said.

The Vice President expressed concerns about the impact of the pandemic on education, and said that school closures affected girls, children from disadvantaged backgrounds, those living in rural areas, children with disabilities and children from ethnic minorities more than their peers.

On this occasion, the Vice President also inaugurated the NITTTR Open Educational Resource (OER). 

Describing it as an important step in improving inclusivity through distance education, he observed that it would help the teachers in improving their knowledge base and teaching methodology.

Calling for corrective action from the governments, Naidu suggested that one of the important measures is to upgrade the skills of teachers in e-learning. He said that ‘teachers constitute the intellectual lifeline of a nation and play a critical role in charting its development’.

“We need inspirational, transformational leaders in our classrooms, especially in rural India”, he said.

Talking about India’s demographic dividend, he said that teachers have greater responsibility in moulding India’s huge youth population into responsible citizens.

“Education does not mean just degrees,” he said and opined that true purpose of education is enlightenment, empowerment and wisdom. The Vice President also called upon the institutes to focus on developing a constrictive and positive attitude among the students.

The Vice President lauded the role of teachers as ‘COVID warriors’ and doing their best to ensure the academic continuity of their students during the pandemic. He noted that the teaching community explored technology and showed ‘remarkable flexibility in reinventing their strategies and methodologies to support the learning of students’.

Referring to the National Education Policy 2020 as a visionary document, the Vice President said that it seeks to transform the education ecosystem in our country and underlines the importance of energising and motivating young faculty members. He urged teachers to adopt innovative strategies to address important national and global challenges and opportunities in an intellectually vibrant, collaborative environment.

Stressing the need for de-colonisation of India’s education system, the Vice President called for taking inspiration from India’s ancient knowledge systems and great sages who had made our country a Vishwa Guru – a knowledge giver. Calling for regaining that position, he underscored the need to make society free from the divisions based on the cast, religion, region and language.

Naidu appreciated AICTE for starting technical courses in Indian languages. Reiterating that no languages should be imposed or opposed, he opined that one must learn as many languages as possible but primacy should be given to mother tongue.

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