Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said education is the foundation for happiness of the people and is as important as the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country.
Speaking at the launch of Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's book titled 'Shiksha', Mukherjee lauded him for writing for the ordinary teachers, practitioners of education and scholars.
He said the book is important as it is based on Sisodia's experiences as the education minister of the Delhi government. The world today is not merely talking of GDP, industrial and agricultural product and services, the world wants more, Mukherjee said.
"A new concept has come that GDP is important side by side the GHP. Happiness is important and the basic foundation of that happiness is education," he said. He said Sisodia's book is based not on theory, but practical education, as it was written as per his experiences as the education minister of Delhi.
Mukherjee greeted people on Teachers day and said students should be encouraged to ask questions. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Sisodia's book chronicled the journey of his government in revolutionising education in Delhi. "The work in the field of education in Delhi in the last five years has been watched by the entire country and the world. Many say it is not less than a revolution," he said.
Kejriwal said his government received a lot of guidance from Mukherjee in improving education in Delhi because he himself had great interest in it. "Uniform education to all students is a dream of the whole country. Our idea was to improve and better government schools so that people get their children shifted to them from private ones," he added.
The turnaround in education in Delhi involved three phases, beginning with "clerical works" focused on improving the infrastructure, followed by motivation and training of principals and teachers and finally, focussing on better results in board exams, Kejriwal said.
The chief minister claimed that teachers and students of Delhi government schools now exude a confidence that was missing earlier. He said a government was not worth its salt if it failed to ensure better education to children, asserting that the work of the Delhi government has ignited hope in the country towards improvement in the sector.
Sisodia, who has been relentlessly making endeavours to better government schools in Delhi, said his book had two parts - 'fixing of foundation of education' and 'using education as foundation for India'.
"I noticed the shortcoming that the existing system provided quality education to five per cent children, while offering just workable education to the remaining 95 per cent. We are trying to ensure a minimum standard education for all children in our schools," he said.
Sharing his efforts at writing the book, he said that he spent hours at night putting into words his thoughts through the help of the Google Text-to-Speech tool.