Every Indian must have heard about Maulana Abul Kalam Azad-the first education minister of independent India. He laid the foundation of India’s education system. To mark his contribution, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India declared the 11th of November as National Education Day.
Importance of National Education Day
National Education Day is celebrated to improve the quality of education in India. The goal is to make Indian institutes at par with the well-recognized universities in the world. In addition, this day is celebrated to commemorate the achievements of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was an ardent supporter of girls’ education, universal primary education, vocational training, technical education, and free compulsory education for all children under 14 years.
National Education Day Theme 2022
Every year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development celebrates this day under a specific theme. This year, the idea is “Changing Courses, Transforming Education.” This theme is selected with the aim to change the Indian education system and make it more adaptable to the changing times.
Who was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad?
Maulana Azad, the first education minister of independent India, was a torchbearer of equality who fought for girls’ education. He was a charismatic leader who did not compromise on two significant issues, the unity of India and providing quality education to its citizens. When he took the oath as the first education minister, he found himself responsible for the universalization of the Indian education system. To improve the education quality in free India, he established the ‘National System of Indian Education.’ According to him, a robust culture and society cannot be formed in the absence of a proper education system. Maulana Azad underlined the aims of education, and according to him, the following pillars support a robust education system.
- Quest of truth
- The concept of justice
- Unity and cooperation
- Spirit of daring
- The practice of courtesy and chivalry
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had a multi-dimensional personality. He was an avid reader, poet, recognized journalist, freedom fighter, and literary craftsman. He completed his formal education at the age of 16 and then started traveling around the world. He toured many continents and countries and visited Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, France, and Turkey. He was inclined toward the freedom movement after getting into a close encounter with Mahatma Gandhi. Following his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad participated in Khilafat and Non-Cooperation movements.
Contribution to the Education field
“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the teacher”-Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
It was the effort of Maulana Azad that led to the creation of the National Policy on Education in 1968. He raised the issue of the National System of Education which was the steppingstone to the National Policy on Education. This policy gave importance to equality and quality of education and encouraged students to get a quality education irrespective of their caste, creed, and gender. Maulana Azad focused on the following issues to ensure everyone gets the best education in India.
- Facilities to provide primary education all over the country
- Focus on three languages for classroom instruction. The state languages and Hindi are to be used to instruct students while English is to be used as a second language
- Elimination of illiteracy up to secondary education and giving equal learning opportunities to adult men and women
When delivering a lecture at UNESCO, Maulana Azad focused on the global perspective of knowledge and quoted, “Every individual has a right to an education that will enable him to develop his faculties and live a fully human life. Such education is the birthright of every citizen. A state cannot claim to have discharged its duties till it has provided for every single individual means to the acquisition of knowledge and self-betterment.”
Some of the remarkable contributions of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the education sector are:
- He led the establishment of prestigious institutions like IIT Kharagpur and Jamia Millia Islamia.
- During his tenure as the education minister, he established the Kharagpur Institute for Higher Education, the Institute Board of Education, AICTE, UGC, and the Secondary School Board.
- He was also responsible for the establishment of Sahitya Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, ICCR, CSIR, and Sangeet Natak Academy.
Maulana Azad was determined to change the fate of India with the help of a robust and inclusive education system. He realized that a nation can become great through holistic and secular education and communal harmony. Therefore, he designed the education policy of India which led to the universalization of education.
National Education Day Celebration Ideas
This day is celebrated with great enthusiasm as it marks the birth anniversary and the contribution of Maulana Azad in the field of education. Schools and colleges organize different activities to fill fun to this historic day. Taking hints from the ideas mentioned below, educational institutions can make this day a remarkable one.
- Conducting seminars
Educational organizations can conduct seminars on various topics related to education. Taking a hint from the theme of National Education Day, they can conduct seminars and invite eminent speakers from different fields. Institutes can leverage the conventions to promote the idea of equality in education. Moreover, they can leverage the event to discuss various challenges faced by the education sector.
- Organizing rallies at school levels
Schools can organize rallies to promote education for all. They can also conduct a visit to orphanages to make education accessible to all.
- Portrait and poster making
Teachers can help students draw pictures or portraits of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. In addition, they can choose specific themes and help students make a poster on that theme. One of the themes can be the importance of schools and colleges for the eradication of educational backwardness. Students can also make banners to celebrate this day.
Educational institutes can conduct quizzes relating to the life events of Maulana Azad. Moreover, they can use topics like the New Education Policy and the role of scholars in promoting education in India.
- Essay writing
Institutes can conduct essay writing competitions to celebrate National Education Day. This competition will help students put their thoughts on paper. For the essay contest, teachers can choose from a myriad of current topics related to the education sector.
Conducting fun activities on National Education Day will help students show their creativity. Moreover, it will help them develop other skills and channel their energies in the right direction.
Quotes by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
“Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or the top of your career.”
To become successful, we need to put in extra effort. It will help you grow in the right direction and will let you taste the fruit of success.
“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.”
Distractions should not come in the way of your success. To achieve your goals, you must keep yourself untouched by the distractions around you.
“Education imparted by heart can bring revolution in the society.”
With the guidance of a good teacher, society can change a lot. This guidance can bring cultural and social change.
“We must not for a moment forget, it is a birthright of every individual to receive at least the basic education without which he cannot fully discharge his duties as a citizen.”
Education is the foundation of every strong and independent society. If any of the citizens are denied proper education, society will fail to prevail for a long period.
National Education Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. During his lifetime, he worked towards making education accessible to all. The quotes mentioned above also capture the importance of education for any society. On this day, let us pledge to help every individual get quality education. By taking small steps, we can make a big difference.
Suggested Read: Maxims of Teaching
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