Girls edn, toilets top priority: PM

Girls edn, toilets top priority: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday had an interesting and light-hearted interaction with school children across the country on the occasion of the Teachers Day.

Addresses 500 mn students, teachers & their families on Teachers Day

  • Modi interacts live with children from across the country
  • He vows to ensure toilets at all girl schools in the country
  • Regrets high dropout rate; Centre taking it up with States
  • Says nation-building has to become a national movement

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday had an interesting and light-hearted interaction with school children across the country on the occasion of the Teachers Day. The session was held at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi Cantonment and was telecast live from 3 pm to 4.45 pm. He also replied to questions from students from various States via video conferencing in the first-ever initiative.

The Prime Minister reached out to an estimated 500 million students, aged below 18, and others including teachers and parents and spelt out his vision for education and gave his message to the students and children. He won the hearts of children, saying: “You should play and sweat a lot, at least four times a day. Promise me that you will do it; I am a taskmaster. I not only work but take work from others; Now that I am a prime minister, I have to watch my words. The message went across, as the children listened to his words with rapt attention. Modi told schoolchildren that girl education was his top priority and the initiative to ensure toilets in all schools was part of this endeavour. He said he was talking to States to ensure that schools were set up near the homes of girl children to ensure reduction in their dropouts.

The PM was all praise for girls excelling in all fields. He said educating them means educating two families - parental as well as in-laws – but regretted the high drop-out rate. He noted that he had noticed that girls were dropping out of schools in Class 3 or 4 as many schools did not have separate toilets for them. “There should be separate toilets for boys and girls in all schools. We should concentrate on girl students not quitting schools," he felt.

Modi talked about his childhood narrating anecdotes and pranks with an emphasis that children should not lose their childhood and should inculcate the habit of reading as well as cleanliness. The Prime Minister also gave a peep into his own personality by saying he was a "task master" who works hard himself and makes others also work hard.

Giving a pep talk to the students as well as teachers, Modi said that nation-building should become a national movement and every individual should be associated with it. Modi said if every individual associates himself with the task of nation-building, "we can go very far". Talking about his "Digital India" campaign, Modi asked teachers to make best use of technology in teaching without any discrimination and keeping them away from technology would be considered as a "social crime". He also emphasised on building respect for the profession of teaching, character building, ensuring cleanliness and skill development.

How can children help you in country's progress?
A lot of you dump the school bags right after reaching home. A lot of you think that serving the country means dying for the nation. No, it's about simple things. If it is about saving electricity, go and inquire about electricity bill. Have you ever taken interest in family business? You can suggest how you can bring the bill from 100 to 90. By saving electricity you can save the environment, we need to focus on small things to serve the nation.

Emphasis on Hindi
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday interacted with students across the nation for over an hour, he made it a point to respond to each question in Hindi, though many of these questions were posed in English from students from non-Hindi speaking regions from Imphal in Manipur, Tinsukia in Assam, Leh in Ladakh, Thiruvanamalai in Tamil Nadu and even a few schools in Delhi.

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