PM Narendra Modi | File Photo: ANI
Adalaj (Guj): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the 5G telecom service would take the education system in the country to the next level as the latest technology will go beyond "smart facilities, smart classrooms, and smart teachings".
He also asserted that the New Education Policy (NEP) will pull the country out of the "slave mentality" surrounding the English language.
The prime minister was speaking after launching the Gujarat government's Mission Schools of Excellence initiative at Adalaj town in Gandhinagar district.
He pointed out that knowledge of English was considered as the mark of being intellectual even though the English language is just a medium of communication.
The Mission will help strengthen education infrastructure in Gujarat by setting up new classrooms, smart classrooms, computer labs and overall upgradation of the infrastructure of schools in the state.
"Recently-launched 5G service will go beyond smart facilities, smart classrooms, and smart teachings. It will take our education system to the next level," the prime minister said.
He said students can now experience virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and other cutting-edge technologies in their schools with the help of the 5G service.
The PM also advocated the use of local languages to make sure that those uncomfortable with English are not left behind.
"Earlier, knowledge of the English language was considered a criterion of being intellectual. In reality, the English language is just a medium of communication. This language barrier was a hindrance. Many young talents from villages could not become doctors and engineers because they were not well-versed in English," he said.
The prime minister said youngsters now have the option to pursue studies in other languages.
"We aim to ensure that children of poor parents become doctors and engineers even if they are not educated in English (medium). We want to ensure that no one is left behind due to the lack of the English language," Modi said, adding the "New Education Policy of the Centre will pull the country out from this slave mentality surrounding the English language".
The prime minister said Gujarat has experienced a drastic change in the education scenario during the last two decades.
"During the last two decades, the Gujarat government has built 1.25 lakh new classrooms and inducted nearly 2 lakh teachers. Television sets were already installed in 15,000 classrooms a decade ago. Today, attendance of nearly one crore students and 4 lakh school teachers is being marked through online mode," said Modi, who had served as the chief minister of Gujarat before becoming the prime minister in 2014.
Under the Mission Schools of Excellence, the state government will build 50,000 new classrooms and convert nearly 1 lakh existing classrooms of government-run schools into smart classrooms using 5G technology, the prime minister said.
"Using this technology, a teacher can impart real-time education to several schools in villages through online mode. Now, the best education and content will reach everyone. Students of villages will be benefited the most because of this initiative." he said.
He said under the Mission, students will be prepared for competitive exams from a young age and also made aware of other subjects such as arts and robotics.
The PM recalled that as chief minister he had launched several schemes, such as 'Shala Praveshotsav' and 'Gunotsav'- a festival focussing on the quality of education- to improve the education scenario in Gujarat.
Ahead of his address, the prime minister interacted with some youngsters who he said were admitted to the first standard of school in his presence at a village in Gujarat many years ago during the 'Shala Praveshotsav', a state government initiative to increase the student enrollment.