President advocates special fund for higher education to poor children

February 25th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Feb.25 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Wednesday advocated creation of a special revolving fund to help underprivileged children get higher studies and called for an inclusive approach to address problems of inequality in education.

Addressing at the inaugural function of the sub-regional conference of South, South-West and Central Asia on Higher Education, President Patil said that nobody should be denied education due to lack of financial resources,

“We often speak about inequalities that exist in higher education. Inequalities can be corrected by following inclusive approaches in the overall policy framework which provides opportunities for talent to blossom,” the President said.

The President, on this occasion, also advocated commencing a national talent search process at the middle school level to identify deserving and meritorious students from underprivileged background who needs to be supported for higher education.

“A special revolving fund should be created from which loans at no interest are given to them for pursuing higher education and which they can return after they start earning,” she said.

Patil said the country would stand to lose if the meritorious students from the underprivileged sections are deprived of higher education. She, however, expressed concern that the students were getting drawn to drug addiction.

“Drugs debilitate life and when students take to drugs they are drawn away from academic and intellectual pursuits, often disturbing campus life. There should be a campaign to make students aware of the ill effects of drug consumption,” the President said.

Patil emphasized on values in education and said: “Different faiths, languages, ethnicities, races that exist in the world should come together as a garland of peace. This requires that we must have respects and tolerance for each other’’s views and backgrounds”.

Patil said higher education should make proper use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to spread its reach.

“We should use ICT to reach the last of the untaught, particularly in the rural areas. ICT can be used for adopting better teaching and learning practices and can enhance the sharing of available resources, in terms of books, journals, learning materials,” she observed.

Many countries, particularly the developing countries, face a shortfall in skilled manpower, Patil said. “To fill these gaps increased financial outlays on education are necessary. The international community, including UNESCO, should support the developing countries in their national efforts by making available financial resources,” Patil said. (ANI)

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