President Ram Nath Kovind conferred National Awards on 47 teachers from across the country in the first-ever award ceremony held virtually on Saturday on the occasion of Teachers’ Day.

The President in his speech congratulated the winners of the award and appreciated the steps taken by the teachers in order to improve school education qualitatively. He observed that about 40 percent of the winners of the National Awards were women and appreciated the role women have played as educators.

Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre also graced the occasion. Anita Karwal, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and Amit Khare, Secretary, Department of Higher Education and other senior officials were present on the occasion.

Paying obeisance and tributes to Dr S Radhakrishnan, President Kovind said that he was a visionary, statesman and most significantly an extraordinary teacher. Celebrating his birthday as Teachers’ Day is a mere token for the services he had rendered towards the development of the nation and also a mark of respect for the entire community of educators, he added.

This occasion also gives an opportunity to pay respect to our teachers for their commitment and supreme contribution to the lives of the pupil. He further opined that it is this commitment that is the foundation stone for any school as teachers are the true nation builders who are instrumental in building the character and knowledge of the children.

Emphasizing on the importance of digital technology in challenging times of COVID pandemic, President Kovind said that our teachers are taking the help of this technology to reach out to the children.

Applauding the skills of teachers in shifting to this new technology-driven teaching, he said that it is important for all teachers “to upgrade and update” their skills in the field of digital technology so as to make education more effective and also make the students conversant with the new techniques.

President Kovind said the online education system has made it obligatory for the parents to join hands with the teachers and encourage children to evoke interest in new fields of learning. Pointing out at the digital divide, he also emphasized that steps should be taken so that children from tribal and far-flung areas are also benefitted.

Talking about the National Education Policy, President Kovind opined that the newly introduced policy is an endeavour to prepare our children for future needs and has been designed after considering the opinion of various stakeholders. It is now the teachers who would be at the centre-stage for making the policy successful and productive, he added.

All efforts are being made to make the teachers competent to implement the new National Education Policy and only the best would be chosen for the field of education, President Kovind said.