Address by Governor at the presentation of Affiliation Certificates to Schools organised by Maharashtra International Education Board
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of Affiliation Certificates to Schools organised by Maharashtra International Education Board at Sahydri State Guest House, Mumbai at 1030 hrs on Friday 9 August 2019
Shri Vinod Tawde, Hon’ble Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Shri Ashish Shelar, Hon’ble Minister for School Education and Sports, Dr Vijay Bhatkar, eminent scientist, Dr Sunil Magar, Director, Maharashtra International Education Board, people’s representatives, ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to associate myself with the programme of presentation of Provisional Affiliation Certificates to Schools registered with the Maharashtra International Education Board.
I congratulate the Department of School Education for taking this excellent initiative aimed at providing international learning experience to students across the State through selected Schools. I also congratulate the Schools that have become part of this innovative project of the School Education Department of Government of Maharashtra.
Maharashtra is a vast State in terms of geographical area and population. I often tell the visiting presidents, prime ministers and foreign diplomats that the population of Maharashtra State alone is equal to the combined population of Germany, Australia and New Zealand !!
As vast as the size of our state is socio-economic diversity of our people. We have got the best of international schools in cities and metros. And we also have schools with bare minimum infrastructure in other corners of the State.
At a time our economy is growing and India is aspiring to become a superpower, it is imperative that we have an education system of the 21st Century that will empower and equip our students through the best of education and latest skills required in the new economy.
The Maharashtra International Education Board is a timely initiative that aims to create a level playing field for our school children. Importantly, it has the potential to make geographic disadvantage, irrelevant and a thing of the past. I therefore welcome the concept wholeheartedly. I congratulate the Schools receiving affiliation certificates today and I do hope that more schools will be affiliated to the Maharashtra International Board in the years to come.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The first and foremost precondition of providing international perspective to education is quality of education.
A survey conducted by TCS some years ago had found that the Mathematical and problem solving abilities of an average 21 – year old Engineering Graduate from India was lower than the average 15 – year old in OECD countries. (OECD – Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development). It was found that our students are lacking in problem solving skills.
The reason is that our children study only from the point of examination. It would be more appropriate to say that our entire education system has become an examination-conducting system. There is no reward or incentive for curiosity, developing understanding and acquiring problem solving skills.
We urgently need a system that will lay thrust on lifelong learning, problem – solving skills, creativity and meta cognitive skills. The Board will do well to keep these aspects in perspective.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In his famous or rather notorious “Macaulay Minute” of 1835, Thomas Macaulay had supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language. He advocated the use of English as the medium of instruction in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers.
In the long run, this decision led to the systematic wiping-out of traditional and ancient Indian education and vocational systems and sciences. Today many languages are facing threat because of the growing influence of English language.
I am therefore extremely happy that the Maharashtra International Education Board has decided to offer education of international standards in mother tongue.
Research has shown that education in mother tongue improves the understanding and cognitive skills of children. UNESCO has consistently encouraged mother tongue instruction in primary education. Another study has shown that children in multilingual education, tend to develop better thinking skills compared to their monolingual counterparts.
Maharashtra is home to several top class educational and research institutions such as IIT Bombay, Institute of Chemical Technology, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, BARC, Savitribai Phule Pune University and 19 other universities, apart from numerous private institutions. We already have everything to make Maharashtra the hub of education, innovation and start-up revolution. For this to happen, we will have to create an ecosystem that will encourage innovation, research, enterprise and start ups. The beginning will have to be made from our schools.
The culture of Israel is highly tolerant of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, even in its educational institutions.
You will be surprised to know that Israeli youth are falling behind in academic achievements, but their country has the highest density of startups in the world. Israel is ranked No. 2 in innovation.
This is possible because their education system makes students search for the answers. Challenging students to the point of failure, prepares them well, for startup careers. This is what we need in our schools.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is said that Lord Ganesha was a master of 14 Vidyas and 64 Kalas. It shows that every human being has the power and potential to acquire knowledge and skills in numerous disciplines simultaneously. It has been established that music, dance, arts, theatre and sports help the physical, emotional and psychological development of individuals. It should be the endeavour of Maharashtra International Education Board to help every student to discover and sharpen his or her innate skills.
Ladies and gentlemen,
No nation can make worthwhile progress if it ignores its teachers. Utmost importance must be given to empowering teachers through knowledge updation of teachers through refresher programmes. Investing in good teachers is investing in future. And therefore, it should be our endeavour to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers.
Maharashtra has a population of 115 million. Our State alone has the potential to provide the best teachers not only to the entire country, but also to many other countries. We must make a systematic effort to develop top class teachers’ training institutes and upgrade the existing ones to produce good teachers.
Nations of the world are introducing innovative ideas to provide the best learning experience to students. Some countries have banished the concept of Homework and some others have done away with examinations.
We must be open to adopting newer changes to make education pleasurable and stress free.
Recently one state in India introduced a ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in its government schools. It focuses on holistic education by including meditation, value education, and mental exercises in the conventional education curriculum. It has also introduced a ‘Cleanliness Curriculum’ for government school students.
Through our education, we must create an egalitarian society in which students will believe in equality of creed, race, religion, nationality and sex. We must strive to instil a sense of pride about our glorious culture, civilization and linguistic heritage among students.
The state of Maharashtra has always been a pioneer in our country to adopt new trends in education. I wish and hope that in the years to come, the Maharashtra International Board of Education will prove to be the benchmarking initiative for the whole education system of our country.
I convey my best wishes to the School Education Department and to all those concerned with the MIEB, and wish all the affiliated schools success in their future endeavours.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!