Technology cannot replace a Guru: Venkaiah Naidu
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Technology cannot replace a Guru: Venkaiah Naidu

July 13, 2019
  • Vice-President inaugurates five-day Golden Jubilee celebrations of CIIL
  • Lays Foundation Stone for Rs.12 crore Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Auditorium at RIE

Mysuru: Karnataka politics with its hour-by-hour twists and turns took a weekend break this morning with the MLAs relaxing in their plush resorts and the focus shifting on the Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to Mysuru. 

The Second Citizen of India (President being the First) was in city to lay the foundation stone for 1,000-seat Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Auditorium at Regional Institute of Education (RIE), NCERT, in Manasagangothri.   

Interestingly, Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, who was supposed to be the guest of honour at the RIE event, stayed away from the event probably because of volatile political situation in Karnataka where anything might happen and the presence of the Governor, the head of the State, is required in the State Capital. 

Venkaiah Naidu, along with his wife M. Usha, arrived at Mysore Airport in Mandakalli here in a special flight last evening amidst tight security and stayed at the Government Guest House. 

Laying the foundation stone for Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Auditorium at RIE which will be built with an estimated cost of Rs. 12 crore, the Vice President rued that Indian education system was passing through a critical phase as we strive towards quality and equity for all in the era of globalisation. Naidu’s topic of speech was “Reflections on School and Teacher Education in India.” 

Beginning his address in Kannada, much to the delight of the audience and students, Naidu switched to English and occasionally spoke in Telugu, his mother-tongue. He asked teachers to focus on education inside classrooms.

“Are we preparing our children to be merely successful each year in the annual examinations? Is it not equally important to prepare them to face various challenges in life by providing them with the requisite life-skills?  While making students to excel in academics, the focus has to be on overall personality development. At the same time, each student’s individual brilliance must be allowed to shine,” he opined.

Children, teachers and education were the three words uttered by Naidu throughout his speech. “We need to introspect, rejuvenate and move ahead by introducing changes in education in accordance with the changing times. Quoting from Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, who said ‘knowledge gives us power, love gives us fullness’, Naidu said, “We should have concern not only for Homo Sapiens but all living beings and nature. This universal message is explicitly contained in India’s age-old world view of ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavantu and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.’

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Role of teachers

Focussing on a teacher’s role that is crucial in building a literate, enlightened and humane society, the Vice-President said that the teacher is the guru, mentor, guide, friend and philosopher of students. “In fact, the Guru-Shishya Parampara of the ancient Gurukula system encapsulated this philosophy. While technology has greatly enhanced teaching-learning processes in today’s world, it can never replace the Guru, who is an embodiment of knowledge and wisdom,” he said. 

“A teacher’s role will never get diminished by technology. While technology can aid in faster acquisition of knowledge, it is only through human touch that a change in the attitude of students for the larger good of the society can be brought about. In Gurukula, the Guru would impart education for the all-round development of children and graduate them only after ensuring that the learners have mastered the skills that were expected of them. That is how Dronacharya trained Arjuna to be an archer rather than wrestler,” he said. 

An ornate wooden elephant memento is being presented to Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu by CIIL Director Dr. D.G. Rao and MP Pratap Simha in city this morning as (from left) Founder Director of CIIL Mysuru Dr. D.P. Pattanaik, Mayor Pushpalatha Jagannath and Joint Director of Ministry of Human Resource Development Sanjay Krishna look on.

Parents too crucial 

On the role of parents, the Vice-President noted that parents are important stakeholders in education and they should be made aware of the importance and scope of education. “Thrusting parental ambitions on children and pressurising them to excel all the time are not healthy developments in the society. Students should be allowed to be creative and innovative. Also, judicious use of electronic gadgets is necessary for productive time management,” Naidu felt. 

Earlier, in his welcome speech, NCERT Director Prof. H.K. Senapathy disclosed that one more Regional Institute of Education is coming up at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh next year and it will reduce the burden of RIE in Mysuru. “Mysuru RIE has so far selflessly served students from Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” he said. 

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RIE, Mysuru, Principal Prof. Y. Sreekanth proposed a vote of thanks.  

After attending the event at RIE, Naidu inaugurated the five-day Golden Jubilee celebrations of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL). Later, the Vice-President flew to Chennai from Mysore Airport.

Naidu’s rare gesture

At the event at CIIL, the Vice-President was told that the Founder Director of CIIL Mysuru Dr. D.P. Pattanaik was among the audience. Hearing this, Venkaiah Naidu asked Dr. Pattanaik to come on stage and felicitated him. “People like you must be on stage. Sir, please come on stage,” Naidu said, extending his arms.  Taking a brief from CIIL officials, Naidu spoke about the contributions of Dr. Pattanaik for the CIIL to grow to this level today as the leading light of Indian languages. Not only this, Naidu was seen freely conversing with Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha. Both were seen comfortable with each other and their body language showed a close association. 

National Education Policy will pave way for resurgent educational system

Saying that teaching and learning should not be mechanical and there is a need for teachers to provide examples of real life situations to enable better understanding by students, Naidu said that the new National Policy on Education will pave the way for a resurgent educational system that contributes for the prosperity and well-being of all our people. 

“The new age teacher not only has to be up-to-date on teaching and learning methods, but also has to actively participate in the preparation of syllabi, textbooks and teaching-learning materials. Teachers should be able to connect with children and respond to their needs in imaginative ways. They need to  be creators of knowledge, value what children learn from their home, social and cultural environment and create opportunities for children to discover, learn and blossom to their full potential,” Naidu opined. 

SOM on CIIL Newspaper Wall

MP Pratap Simha and  Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu see the Newspaper Wall set up at CIIL. The MP is seen pointing at Star of Mysore on the Wall.

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