EDUCATION PLUS

The meaning of change

Time for reflection: Participants at the Young Leaders Global Conclave at the PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore on January 28, 2009.

Time for reflection: Participants at the Young Leaders Global Conclave at the PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore on January 28, 2009.   | Photo Credit: Photo: K. Ananthan

AMUTHA KANNAN

Youth have to take into account deprivation when thinking of change. India is a rising country and needs their energy, outrage and anger, says N. Ram.

“Most of us are clear as to what India is not. We are not clear about what India is. When you are thinking of change you have to take into account the 350 million people who are deprived of income, education, health, environment and gender. These are the realities that have to be addressed when we think of change,” according to the Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, N. Ram.

Interacting with students after inaugurating The Young Leaders Global Conclave with the theme ‘Be the Change’ at PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore, he urged them to look beyond their narrow interests and involve in activity relating to change.

Terming the present time as ideal for reflecting on change, Mr. Ram appreciated the students for choosing the theme on change at the apt time.

Education was an area of priority that needed to change. “Merely providing opportunity without quality is not good. The reverse is also not good. Educational institutions should ensure that they provide opportunities to many at the same time maintaining quality so that there are many first generation learners who are able to pursue higher education,” he said.

According to Mr. Ram, education was the key to India becoming a developed country. He told the students not to be optimistic about India becoming a developed country even by 2050. “I guarantee that we will never become a developed country considering our literacy status. We have many school dropouts. Do something revolutionary to change this. Only that can transform India into a knowledge society.”

Referring to the poor status of primary education in the country, he said there were some schools in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, that had a single teacher. “There are many other States which face the same problem.”

To a query on whether youth should join politics, he told them to start by voting. He wanted them to take serious note of electoral fraud. He exhorted them to take an informed interest in politics so that they entered into it for the sake of issues and not for the sake of any leader. As young leaders in politics, he desired that they take up environmental issues like global warming that were receiving “feeble global response.”



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