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Education is key: PM to politicians

September 05, 2008 13:05 IST

Lamenting that considerable part of public debate was presently focused on short-term problems, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Friday asked the political leadership to understand the importance of education in the country's development.

"Unfortunately, a considerable part of our public discourse is focused on short-term problems and on issues pertaining to access to what is presently available. We are not devoting as much attention to questions of growth and development and to the challenge of a multi-fold expansion of opportunities," he said at the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Madras University.

"I urge all our political leaders to understand the central importance of education in the development of our country," he said, adding that expansion of opportunities should not compromise on the standards and outcome of education. Asserting that the focus should be on granting access to quality education to all deserving children, Singh said "India cannot realise its full development potential if the hitherto marginalised sections of society do not become active partners in the process of development. Education must contribute to the achievement of this goal."

Making a strong case for democratisation of education and pursuit of excellence, the prime minister said "an innovative India must combine both inclusion and excellence and it is wrong to see them as two separate and contradictory goals".

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