SPEECH BY HER EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA SHRIMATI PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS OF THE DELHI PUBLIC SCHOOL, R.K. PURAM
New Delhi , 18th April, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
and My Dear Students,
I am very happy to be here for the 40th Anniversary Celebrations of R.K. Puram Delhi Public School, a well known school of the city. I convey my good wishes to the Management, Principal, teachers and students. In the last four decades, the school has produced alumni who have done very well in various professions such as engineering, medicine and architecture as also in the bureaucracy, defence forces and business. I congratulate all those who have won awards for outstanding achievements in different fields. In its work, the school has been guided by the vision of opening young minds through comprehensive and holistic education. I wish the school greater success in the years to come.
My dear students and teachers,
On this occasion, I would like to speak about the task before our youth and also the role of teachers in guiding, training and moulding students for these tasks. An effective education system is defined as one that prepares the youth to navigate the journey of life meaningfully. Schools constitute the basic pillars of an education edifice of a nation. Hence, the stronger a system of school education, greater the prospects of progress of a country. Therefore, it is very necessary for schools to impart good education and make students understand the worthiness of discipline, integrity and doing their work with dedication.
India is a land of creativity where an advanced civilization has flourished from ancient times. We had in the very early days, eminent scientists and mathematicians like Aryabhatta and Brahmagupta; poets like Kalidas and Subramanya Bharathi; musicians like Tansen and Tyagaraja, Sushruta considered as the first surgeon in the world; the grammarian Panini considered the founder of linguistics as he put together the structure of the grammar of Sanskrit. We can be proud of the achievements of our forefathers and our tradition of scholarship and learning. These should give us inspiration to acquire knowledge, to strive, to work hard and to leave a mark through positive and concrete achievements. Every generation must contribute constructively to human understanding of the universe and to find responses to challenges faced. This can be done by new inventions, new accretion to knowledge and to achieving new levels of excellence.
It is education that prepares a population that is not only knowledgeable and skilled, that can contribute to the growth of the nation, and as well as to the well being of society besides equipping an individual to lead a productive and successful life. It was wisely said by Plato, a Greek philosopher, that if education of a person is neglected then that person walks lame till the end of life. The creation of a future generation, which is capable of facing the challenges of the future, is indeed, an investment for future.
Teachers are a very important part of this investment. It is often said that there is no nobler service than that of instructing the rising generation. It is in schools that children must be introduced to the world, its history and its dynamics. They must be acquainted with science and its wonders. They should learn about society and its evolution. Languages will help them in building their communication skills. Mathematics, environment and other subjects are all very important. Hence, the curriculum has to be crafted in a manner which gives students an understanding of the world. Children today are watching television and have access to the internet. In this environment, teachers need to interpret the vast information that is available to students, so that they understand right from wrong, truth from untruth and correct from the 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. Teaching methodologies adopted should be such that children are helped to think critically, design actively and reflect. The education system needs to strengthen the values of secularism, democracy, inclusiveness and pluralism. These great values, enshrined in our Constitution, give strength and sustenance not only to our diverse multi-cultural society, but also to our country.
Some students present today, would be in their last year of school. Education should have made you aware of your responsibilities and duties, and of different aspects of life. I would like to remind that there would be times when you would find success rather easily and, there would be other phases, when you would be faced with difficult situations. The trying moments are usually moments of introspection for finding solutions to problems and for looking at other opportunities. So prepare well for meeting life's challenges and be ready so that there are no missed opportunities.
While no one can deny you your quest to pursue success, so that you can gain, you must also be conscious that in life material gains cannot be the only goal, there must be involvement with some higher cause so that you can serve humanity. Service before self is the motto of your school. You must learn to care for the elderly and the poor. You will realize that this also will give you deep satisfaction. Collect old clothes and distribute them amongst the poor. Collect unused medicines and give them to doctors for distribution to poor patients. Also develop a civic sense to keep your city clean. Embrace environment - friendly practices. We cannot ignore the planet on which we live and the challenge of climate change we face. Use water and energy with care, both are scarce resources so do not waste them. I hope it will be possible for you to follow these simple suggestions in your daily life and promote and propagate these among your friends.
In a rapidly changing and a technologically driven world, you will need to absorb and quickly comprehend streams of new information, use that information to solve new and unique problems, and then present those solutions in innovative and effective ways. Therefore, you will need to be independent learners and problem solvers. I am sure that the education you have received here has provided you with a strong foundation, which will be useful in your life. Students of this school have done well in life and I am sure that all of you will join the illustrious alumni of the school in achieving success.
With these words, once again, I wish all present here especially the children, good luck. I wish DPS R.K. Puram School many, many more years of success.