IN AN apparent reference to the controversy over proposed reservation in elite educational institutions, Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said here on Monday that the notion that quality in education goes with privilege was clearly irreconcilable with the nation’s vision of participatory democracy that upholds the principles of democracy and equality of opportunities.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the golden jubilee celebrations of St Joseph’s Convent Senior Secondary School. “It is not enough that we provide access to school education; we should also ensure that every child gets education of comparable quality. In this context, the role played by institutions like the St Joseph’s Convent is of immense significance”, he said.
He further said that in a world rapidly driven by market forces and consumerism, it was imperative that schools made an attempt to humanise education so that children imbibed values, attitudes and skills required for living in harmony with oneself and with others, including nature.
“It embodies the joy of living and personality development with the qualities of love, hope and courage. It encompasses respect for human rights, tolerance, cooperation, social responsibility and respect for cultural diversity in addition to a firm commitment to democracy and non-violent conflict resolution”, he said.
Observing that education was becoming increasingly central to the progress of human civilisation, Singh called for transformation of educational institutions into learning organisations capable of adopting ‘meaningful’ changes to bring about continuous improvement in all their educational endeavours.
“The shift of emphasis from education for life to education throughout life highlights the need to turn every individual into life-long learners”, he said. In this process, he felt, the challenge was of harmonising equality, quality and quantity.
He lauded the role of St Joseph’s Convent in providing value-based quality education and exuded confidence that it would continue to serve the community with distinction and achieve greater glory in years to come. The oOther dignitaries who attended the function as special guests included Vice Admiral N Verma, Archbishop of Bhopal Dr Pascal Topno and Superior General, Sisters of St Joseph, Rome, Lorraine Marie Delaney.