"If a society is to progress, teachers must always be two steps ahead of time. They need to understand changes happening across the world and prepare the new generation accordingly by arousing curiosity in them," he told them.
Modi said two of his wishes after he became the Gujarat chief minister were to meet his childhood friends and honour his teachers.
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"I fulfilled both of them ... The role of a teacher is very important in any student's life," he said.
Speaking in a lighter vein, Modi said he is sure the teachers, who will be honoured by the President, would not be affected by "Delhi's airs".
"I am sure it would not happen," said Modi, who has in past referred to himself as an outsider in the capital.
The teachers also participated in the informal interaction, the statement said, and expressed their views on various aspects of teaching.
Modi will be interacting with students on Friday afternoon and schools across the country have been asked to "assemble" students to watch the event which will be streamed live.
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