Linking school education to the country's economic growth, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday pitched for good pay packages for teachers to attract the "best minds".
Sibal, who has been undertaking a series of reforms of education, said the sector would witness investments to the tune of billions of dollars in the next two decades and become the fastest growing sector in the country.
"What you are doing in schools will directly impact the GDP of the country... The Growth Enrolment Ratio is presently 12.4 per cent and this should touch 30 per cent," he said at a function organised to give away CBSE awards.
Sibal advocated the need for a better deal in terms of salaries for teachers in states so that they do not quit the profession in search of greener pastures.
In the past, the government was concerned about the salary of bureaucrats and others in the service sector, he said, adding that "in the process, teachers were not given much importance."
Pointing out that every state has its own policy, he said, "At the national level we only guide the state to help it make policy decisions. CBSE has a much better pay scale (compared to that offered by state governments)."
Unless states agree to provide adequate financial security to teachers, they would not get the best brains, he said.
The awards were given to 12 teachers in recognition of their service to education.
Quoting a noted management guru, Sibal said at present 220 million students attend schools across the country. Presently 14 million go to university and this figure has to go up to 500 million, he said.