Dr APJ Abdul Kalam met students from schools and colleges across Mumbai at an event held in the city. Prachi Rege observes the intellectual interaction between the celebrated scientist and his beloved young audience
To the question on "should education be judged on the basis of quality or quantity?" Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, said, "quality of teachers and the things taught in class are essential. So quality more than quantity gets a thumbs up." In his talk to the students, Dr Kalam emphasised on the need of inclusive and transperant governance, where no one is left out due to their socio-economic standing. "The youth will be the harbingers of such an inclusive change in our country," he added.
Greeted to a welcome befitting a rockstar, Dr Kalam interacted with his energetic young audience, at a function jointly organised by Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), Shri Shanmukananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha (SSFASS) in Mumbai. An inquisitive young audience comprising school and college students from across the city got an unique opportunity to interact with the Bharat Ratna scientist. The topic of discussion was Youth for Governance (YFG).
"It is important to stick to the syllabus. However, it should have a purpose for being taught in the class and delivered with efficiency," said Dr Kalam while answering the question—"Why should we have a syllabus since it just makes us rote learners?", asked by a school student. Further answering the question, Dr Kalam said, "an ideal academic life is when students get a good combination of purposeful syllabus, inspiring teachers and a well stocked library."
Another youngster in the crowd, asked Dr Kalam as to who was his inspiration during his student years? To this he replied, "My school teacher Subramanium Iyer who taught me Maths was my inspiration. It was not just the way he taught us the subject, but the way he interacted in the classroom."
Lastly, the renowned Indian scientist asked the students to take a blank piece of paper and pen down an answer to the question, "What I want to be remembered for?" According to him, one can plan one`s career based on the answer he/ she has to this question. "Write your answer and save this page. It will be the most important piece of paper in the history of this nation and humanity," he advised his memerised audience, before leaving the venue, amidst a thunderous applause.