The universalisation of secondary education is on the government's agenda as part of important forward movements in school education, President Pratibha Patil said in Kunjpura on Saturday.
Addressing the golden jubilee founder's day celebrations of Sainik School (military school) in Kunjpura near Karnal, about 120 km from Chandigarh, Patil said, "In India, primary education is now a fundamental right and is free and compulsory. We are hoping to universalise secondary education as well. These are important forward movements in the school education sector."
Emphasising the need for a stronger school education system in the country, Patil said, "The stronger the foundations of school education, the greater the possibilities of progress. Indeed, at a macro level it can be said that the quality of education imparted in schools, determines the nation's future.
"Therefore, it is necessary for schools to impart good education and make students understand the worthiness of discipline, integrity and doing their work with dedication. Moreover, they should also be taught the importance of time and its optimal utilisation."
She asked students to make punctuality a habit and use their time in school in the best possible manner.
Highlighting the importance of the role of teachers, Patil pointed out that youth needed much more guidance both from teachers and parents, given that there is a huge volume of information available to them in books, television and over the Internet.
"Teachers must keep themselves abreast with the latest knowledge tools so that they can guide their students to look at useful and meaningful information sources," she said.
The president complimented the Sainik School, which was among the first five institutions of its kind to be set up in the country in 1961, in Kunjpura for sending around 1,800 students to the National Defence Academy (NDA) to join the defence forces.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, both alumnus of the school, were present on the occasion.
Hooda said impressed by the significant contribution made by the youth of Haryana in defence forces, the central government has sanctioned another Sainik School in district Rewari.
"The new school has already become functional. Haryana is the third state in the country to have two Sainik Schools. It is also the first state where a defence university was being set up (near Gurgaon)," Hooda said.