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Why is National Education Day celebrated on November 11?

Azad strongly advocated for women's education. In the Central Assembly in 1949, he said that national education could not be appropriate if it does not give consideration for the advancement of one-half of the society – women

India TV Education Desk Edited by: India TV Education Desk
New Delhi Updated on: November 12, 2021 6:52 IST
National Education Day
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Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the first education minister of independent India  from 1947 to 1958

National Education Day 2021: The National Education Day is being celebrated on November 11 to commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was the first education minister of independent India and served from 1947 to 1958.  The Ministry of Education which was then the Ministry of Human Resource Development on September 11, 2008 announced to commemorate the birthday of this great son of India by recalling his contribution to the cause of education in India. 

Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin known as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 1888. A freedom fighter, he started a weekly journal in Urdu in 1912 called Al-Hilal to criticise the British policies. He started another weekly Al-Bagah after Al-Hilal got banned.  

Azad strongly advocated for women's education. In the Central Assembly in 1949, he said that national education could not be appropriate if it does not give consideration for the advancement of one-half of the society – women.  He stressed for the modern education system, and advocated the use of English language for educational advantages. However, he believed that primary education should be imparted in the mother-tongue. 

Janardan Tiwari, CEO, DataTrained, said that the foundation of education in young free India was laid by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. "On his birthday today, as we celebrate National Education Day, let’s also celebrate the intention, the sacrifices that went into building the education system for our country. Education can win over the utter darkness of poverty and unemployment in our nation," he said.

During his tenure as the education minister, the first IIT, IISc, School of Planning and Architecture and the University Grants Commission were established. The most prominent cultural, literary academies were also set up including the Sangeet Natak Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Sahitya Academy as well as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Himanshu Periwal, co-founder, Unlu, said that as the first Education minister of independent India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad played a significant role in shaping the education system and contributed to the establishment of premier educational institutes. "His role in building the foundation of a strong education system in the country is inspiring and his invaluable contribution will be remembered forever," he said. 

"National Education Day is a day of great significance for the students, teachers, and our education authorities. Remember what Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had said... he had 'education imparted by heart can bring revolution in the society'. Education is a tool that helps in elevating the social and economic conditions and makes us better citizens. It gives us a sense of conscience," Jainendra Kumar, co-founder, College Disha, said.

Azad was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1992. He breathed his last in 1958.  

National Education Day: Top quotes by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 

  1. "We must not for a moment forget, it is a birthright of every individual to receive at least the basic education without which he cannot fully discharge his duties as a citizen."
  2. "One who is not moved by music is unsound of mind and intemperate; is far from spirituality and is denser than birds and beasts because everyone is affected by melodious sounds."
  3. "Science is neutral. Its discoveries can be used equally to heal and to kill. It depends upon the outlook and mentality of the user whether science will be used to create a new heaven on earth or to destroy the world in a common conflagration."
  4. "Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model."

READ MORE | National Education Day: Know the significance of the day 

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