Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, was the first Union Education Minister of independent India from 1947 to 1958. National Education Day, celebrates his contribution to education every year on this day, November 11. It is also a day to emphasize the importance of education and its betterment throughout the academic institutes.
"Education imparted by heart can bring revolution in the society." -Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
It is to Azad that India owes its modern education system to. In his tenure prominent educational institutes like the first IIT, IISc and the University Grants Commission, Lalit Kala Academy and School of Planning and Agriculture were established.
Education is the guiding light of posterity, food for the curious and the right of all. This day we try to see how far we have come as a nation and how far we still have to go in order to make every citizen educated and empowered. There are various activities, competitions, seminars conducted in government or non-governmental schools, academic institutes across the country.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises to keep before I sleep."Robert Frost in 'Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening'
As a nation, we have journeyed through education being a privilege for particular caste then people of a certain financial status to the implementation of the Right to Education Act (2009). Azad wanted to institutionalize compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 and believed in universal access to primary education to all irrespective of gender, social status, wealth, faith etc. This was realized through this act.
In 2020, we have had the introduction of the National Education Policy which is meant to change the course of conventional schooling by 2030. All these steps were envisioned in Azad's personal believes regarding education.
The new trend of online education platforms are one such benchmark in achieving easy access to education. Even the government is promoting this idea through portals like DIKSHA, SWAYAM, NPTEL etc. Here, students can access and study various certificate courses from anywhere in the country.
Apart from this, distance learning had already been in trend to provide good quality higher education to interested national and international students. Our higher education institutes have incorporated various disciplines under one roof and lucrative scholarships, fellowships and awards are offered to aid the student.
Various government policies like the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Mid-day Meal Schemes have also encouraged more participation of rural students and the girl student also. The government has also begun to set up easy startup schemes due to which the students can innovate and are becoming job-creators rather than job-seekers.
Education model in India is being molded with its primary concern on skill based education so that a degree is not just a piece of paper mentioning educational qualifications but a CV in itself. The way India is focusing on education being an integral part of life and breaking its confines of a classroom, it is safe to assume that in the coming Education Day celebration, we will be able to achieve the dream, Azad had about India's future in education.