Prez calls for raising teacher-student, gross enrolment ratios

New Delhi: With teacher-student ratio being an area of concern, President Pratibha Patil today stressed on the need to improve the figure and favoured an increase in the gross enrolment ratio which stands at 73 per cent.

Addressing an award function on Teachers` Day here, she said with declaration of primary education as a fundamental right and with increased focus on universalisation of secondary education, there is greater need for commitment and performance from all stakeholders to make this possible.

"The gross enrolment ratio at school level is 73 per cent. We need to increase this figure and also ensure that all sections of society are part of the knowledge thrust. The teacher-pupil ratio needs improvement, for which enrolment of teachers needs to be increased," she said at the national teachers award function.

The teachers on their part, should fulfil their responsibilities and be worthy of this respect. They should teach with all sincerity and devotion and try to be ideal teachers.

"Teachers posted in villages, generally teach students whose parents are not very literate and theirs is the first generation going to school. Teachers should pay highest attention to their education and be more particular and punctual," she said at the function.

Stating that children in schools must be introduced to the world with its history and its dynamics, she said focus should be laid on developing curriculum which gives students the understanding of the world.

"Mathematics, science, 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," she said.

Giving away awards to more than 370 teachers from across the country on the occasion, the President said the concepts of peace, harmony and tolerance must be learnt in school.

"They also need to be taught that we are a democratic nation, which means, there must be willingness to listen to the other`s point of view, and to have respect for differing perceptions. The education system must strengthen adherence to secularism, inclusiveness and pluralism," she said.

She felt the role of a teacher should be multi-disciplinary in nature where "you must be role models who instill good habits amongst the upcoming generation".

Speaking on the occasion, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said an environment of education should be created where a student is "free from trauma, fear and anxiety".

"An inclusive environment should also be created accommodating children from different sections," he said.

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