For former President A P J Abdul Kalam, the greatest regret in life was not being able to provide facilities like 24-hour electricity to his parents during their lifetime. Kalam, who says he inherited honesty and self-discipline from his parents, however, is happy that his 99-year-old brother A P J M Maraikayar is getting 24-hour electricity at his residence in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, thanks to technology.
“My father (Jainulabudeen) lived 103 years and my mother (Ashiamma) 93 years. My brother now is 99. For my brother I have ensured that he gets 24 hours of electricity even when there is a power cut. I have installed a solar panel,” 83-year-old Kalam, who was India’s 11th President from 2002-2007, told PTI in an interview.
“But I could not provide such a facility to my parents as technology was not there at that time. This is my biggest regret,” he says. Being youngest in the family, Kalam had a special place in his home. When he was school there used to be no electricity. His house was lit by a kerosene lamp that too between 7 and 9 PM. His mother, however, specially gave him a small kerosene lamp so that he can study up to 11 PM.
He has come up with a new book “Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future”, co-authored by his close aide Srijan Pal Singh in which provides several nuggets of his life besides advice for young people on careers in areas like robotics, aeronautics, neurosciences, pathology, paleontology and material sciences. Kalam and Singh have been working together for nine years, travelling, meeting children and interacting with them.
Kalam also called for a review of syllabi in universities and senior secondary schools to make the education system more skill-oriented. “I believe that the syllabus in our universities and schools should be changed and 25 per cent of it be dedicated for skill development.
“When the students pass out of senior secondary schools, they should have two certificates – of passing 10+2 examination and of a specific skill acquired by him during schooling,” Kalam said while interacting with a gathering of principals and teachers at Delhi Secretariat.
During the session which was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Kalam mooted the idea of introducing ‘mobile skill development laboratory’. “We have approximately 9,000 schools in Delhi but all of them don’t have the same resources. Therefore, I suggest that mobile skill development laboratories should be introduced for the benefit of the students.
“The mobile vans will be ICT enabled and will have the mechanical and chemical engineering set up. There will be a pre-defined schedule for the van and it will cover two schools in a day,” he said. Kalam said, if each of the MLAs decides to introduce one such van in his or her constituency, around 12-14 schools will benefit from each van.
“But for making all these efforts successful the educationists need to review the study material. The management of knowledge should be kept in mind while deciding on the amount of information being fed to students,” he said. Kalam said the educators should exercise moral leadership. He also administered a 12-point oath to the teachers and principals for dedicating themselves to providing education for “righteous evolution of youth”.
Accordign to PTI, the teachers and principals who participated in the interaction were from the schools who have volunteered to be develop as “model schools”. Allocating a budget of Rs 9,836 crore for education sector in the financial year 2015-16, the Delhi Government had announced a plan of developing 50 schools as model schools during the period.
Kalam also suggested that the schools should tie up with Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) or polytechnics in their vicinity to utilise their resources for developing skills of students.
Image Credit : Wikipedia
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