Kochi: Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to safeguard and promote equity in higher education where women, minorities, and differently abled persons get a barrier-free entry. Delivering inaugural address at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Sacred Heart College, Thevara here on Friday, Mr Naidu called for more focus on quality of education.
"Unless we improve the learning outcomes, the system will be functioning at a sub-optimal level," he said. "Education is not only for employment but for enlightenment, enhancement of knowledge and empowerment. Education should aim at the holistic development of all faculties of 'head', 'hand' and 'heart'. It should provide the knowledge, skills and attitude required for the 21st century."
The Vice-President said education would flourish only when all those with a stake in its success work closely together. He urged civil society groups, community organisations, parents, teacher associations, professional bodies, women and youth groups to work together to strengthen education.
"True education would equip the youth with the power to contribute to the material progress of the country as well as to maintain its cultural and spiritual heritage. Every child, rich or poor, should be equally equipped to fully explore these possibilities and reach the zenith of their capabilities," he added.
Mr. Naidu congratulated the institution, its staff and students and also applauded the congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) which runs the college for the many contributions to education it has made.
The Vice-President also inaugurated the 'Vijnana Veedhi' project by distributing 500 Kindles to 100 educational institutions in Ernakulam under the aegis of 'Vidyadhanam' , the NGO established by K.V. Thomas, MP. Mr. Naidu expressed hope that the Kindles would help kindle curiosity and foster innovation in young minds.
He urged educational institutions to utilise the unending possibilities of technology to provide better, more accessible and inclusive education.
Governor P. Sathasivam, Kochi mayor Soumini Jain, Prof. Thomas and Hibi Eden, MLA, were also present.