It was a pleasure for me to attend the State -level Teachers’ Day celebrations held at Manan Kendra today.
At the outset, I paid homage to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan whose birth anniversary is celebrated as Teachers’ Day all over the Country.
Following are some of the highlights of my address:-
1) History of education in the state of Sikkim is just about a century old and if we compare ourselves with the other parts world, we are lagging behind by almost 2000 years. Therefore our students should shoulder the responsibility and contribute in making our society knowledge-based , moving away from the old traditional style of thinking and adopt modern and scientific methods.
2) One of the biggest drawbacks that we are facing today in the field of education is that it is certificate and job-oriented.The main objective of acquiring education is to get degrees for jobs. It is seen that modern education does not equip the students to deal with the problems that life poses. Such knowledge would be of no use.Therefore, I strongly believe that education should bring about holistic development in a student,making him capable, competent, confident and above all a good human being. Only then will education serve the purpose of human development, which is fundamental to development of a state or a nation.
3) It crucial for our students to understand that you cannot be successful if you are not ready to face the challenges of life. Similarly, there is no substitute to hard work.The students should therefore put in hard labour and persevere to reach their goals, unfazed by hurdles and failures. There are numerous opportunities in Sikkim for the students to avail of and become successful individuals. Further, I urged them to be constructive, innovative and competitive in their way of thinking. Only then will they be capable of making maximum use of the benefits and opportunities provided to them by the Government.
4) Talking about Sikkim State University, I informed that that we have started this university so the students who cannot get admission in Central universities can can pursue their higher studies. We have already started courses in Sanskrit and Nepali language, and soon other subjects will be added. In order to make our State University world class, every one of us need to work hard and contribute. Most people do not realise the importance of educational institutions.This is where our human resource and the future architect of our society and the state are prepared. So the contribution of each and everyone is of utmost importance.
5) It is seen that in most parts of the world there is scarcity of cultivable land and various techniques are being adopted to make sufficient land available for growing crops and food grains. But here in Sikkim, we find people leaving their land barren. Sikkim is now known to the world for its organic farming and environmental -friendly policies and eco-tourism. But the irony is that our people, especially the youth are still reluctant to venture into these sectors. It is high time that our people realise the potential of these gainful forms of employment instead of preferring Government jobs only.They should move away from this ‘fixed mindset’ and develop a ‘growth mindset’.
6) Addressing the teachers, I spoke on their role in state and nation-building.They should not limit themselves to performing their routine duties and treating their jobs as a source of livelihood.They must go beyond that by using their knowledge and education for the good of others. As teachers, they can provide guidance not only to the students but also to those who need to be shown the right path to tread. Only then can they become real ‘guru’- a force that takes someone from darkness to light.
7) As intellectuals of the society, teachers can play a vital role in educating the people on right and wrong.They can give the correct picture on issues that crop up for discussion. For instance, presently our people are being misguided and misinformed by some politically motivated people regarding Old Laws, Revenue Order No.1 etc.Teachers who have ample knowledge on these issues should speak up and present the truth based on factual details to the people.They should not be silent spectators to any harm being done towards Sikkim and the Sikkimese people.Being knowledgeable citizens, they should rise above caste and religion and fight for truth.
I made the following announcements:-
i) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers who were regularised will be given all the benefits and facilities at par with regular State Government teachers.
ii) Adhoc teachers fulfilling the set criteria will be regularised.
iii) Students’ Welfare Board to be constituted for providing assistance to students in distress, especially to those coming from economically weak families. Rs 1 crore will be provided for this purpose.
iv) Constitution of Senior Citizens‘ Welfare Board .
v) Creation of posts of language teachers.
vi) The matter relating to the regularisation of Assistant Lecturers will be sympathetically dealt with by the State Government taking into consideration the invaluable service rendered by them for a long period of time.
vii) I assured to look into all demands posed by the teachers for consideration.
I congratulate all the awardees who were felicitated today and also the teachers who received National Awards in Delhi.