Gangtok, Oct 29 (ANI): Vice President Hamid Ansari inaugurated the Regional Conference on "Right to Education with Special Reference to Sikkim and its impact on Legal Awareness Campaign" here today.
The conference was organized as part of the on-going Golden Jubilee celebrations of the High Court of Sikkim.
Delivering inaugural address, he said that it has taken us six decades after independence to provide the right to every child in the 6-14 years age group to free and compulsory primary education in neighborhood schools.
"The Right to Education Act passed by the Parliament last month is a historic step and empowers our citizens to demand education so that every citizen can develop her potential to the fullest," he said.
He opined that with its impressive record in the field of education, the question for the state is to assess whether formal enrolment has been translated into meaningful educational outcomes.
"We need to question if our children have acquired skills commensurate with their schooling and whether they have access to vocational and technical skills, social and life skills that are necessary once they leave the portals of the school," he added.
The Vice President emphasized that we need to question whether there exists inequity, and segregated access to quality education. We need to assess if this is being realized for the poor and the vulnerable at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid.
"Te products of our education system are the future citizens of the country. A rudimentary legal awareness of their rights and duties as citizens and of the basic political, Constitutional and legal scheme of things in the country are imparted in the schools," he said.
However, empowering citizens in a more meaningful manner can only be done through specific and specialized legal awareness programmes of the kind conducted by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority.
He hoped that the existing synergy between civil society and the government would continue to further legal awareness in the state.
He also stressed that the narrative of educational reform must begin from the premise that every citizen has the right to a dignified life and that it is the duty of the state to make it possible.
"Education is indeed the most potent instrument for social and economic mobility and for eventually bringing about social and political change. The state government has correctly recognized the importance of education,' he said.
He wished all success to the government and to the legal fraternity in their endeavour to promote education and legal awareness in the state. (ANI)
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