Education is a magic wand, PM tells children

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh marked the launch of the year-long `Shiksha Ka Haq Abhiyan` campaign to create awareness about the Right To Education (RTE).

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2011, 15:59 PM IST

Nuh: "Education gave me a new life....
It is a magic wand that can help us meet any challenge."

This was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s message to
students as Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal rang the school
bell in this nondescript town in rustic Mewat region, marking
the launch of the year-long `Shiksha Ka Haq Abhiyan` campaign
to create awareness about the Right To Education (RTE).

The Prime Minister`s message was read out to children in
this and other nearly 13 lakh schools across the country on
the occasion of the `National Education Day` in which he
recollected his days as a student in his village school at Gah
Begal in Chakwal district of Punjab province -- now in
Pakistan -- which had no electricity and pukka roads.

"Education gave me a new life. I went to school in a
village that had no electricity. I studied under an earthen
oil lamp. I would walk miles to reach my school. I worked as
hard as I could and the nation has always rewarded me for my
efforts," Singh said.

The Prime Minister appealed to the students to study hard
for achieving success in life in his message that was read
Singh touched upon the life of prominent people like the
country`s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who
by their hard work became distinguished personalities in
public life.

The RTE Act came into force last year and so far 20
states have notified the rules.

"After one year, we will review how this programme has had
an impact on spreading RTE," Sibal said.

Ruing that big states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal have not notified the law
as yet, Sibal had earlier said it will be a "historic failure"
if the Act is not implemented across the country.

Delhi too has not notified the Act so far.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was the chief guest at the
function here.

The country-wide campaign aims at creating awareness among
people about Right to Education and their entitlement to free
and compulsory education.

The HRD ministry hopes that a sustained campaign will
change and create an interest at the community level to ensure
that RTE delivers its objective.

Ministry officials said though it has been more than a
year that the RTE has come into being, there is little
awareness of the law and its provisions.

The law gives governments a three-year window to ensure
that infrastructure and other such provisions to meet the
requirements of the law.

The Prime Minister`s message in Hindi was read by Minsiter
of State D Purandeshwari.

PTI