Education is the best asset a parent can give a child, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, speaking at the MLA Award 2012 function held at St. Teresa's Convent Girls' High School auditorium here on Sunday.

Mr. Chandy said society would benefit if there was healthy competition between educational institutions and that youth today had better opportunities to pursue higher studies.

He said hard work and dedication are the answers for a better future and that there are no shortcuts to victory. He gave away awards to schools and students in the district who secured excellent grades.

Vishnu Venugopal, who got the 34th rank in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2011, was honoured by Mayor Tony Chammany.

Mr. Venugopal and over 500 students, from various schools in the district, received the newly instituted MLA award that encourages students to perform well in the SSLC, Higher Secondary, CBSE and ICSE examinations. Mr. Venugopal said education is extremely valued here and people need to recognise it. Other States have limited infrastructure compared to Kerala.

One should look at how education and not grades can bring change in one's life, he said.

Actor Dulquar Salman was the celebrity guest. He said encouragement and acknowledgement are the important parts of any activity. Children today are better placed vis-à-vis those in the seventies and eighties.

Parents need to support their children in whatever field they choose and children should keep in mind their priorities towards the family, he said.

Annakutty, principal, St. Teresa's Convent Girls High School, welcomed the gathering. Hibi Eden, MLA, presided over the function. Ludy Luis, MLA; N. Venugopal, GCDA chairman; P. I. Sheikh Pareed, district collector; B. Bhadra, deputy Mayor; R. Thyagarajan, Standing Committee chairman (Education), Corporation Council; Lino Jacob, councillor; N. T. Margaret, district education officer; R. Sreekala, AEO; K. K. Suresh Babu, panchayat president, Cheranelloor, were among those who participated in the function.

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