National Education Day, is being celebrated on November 11 to commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The day celebrates his exemplary contributions to the field of education and institution building. He was the first education minister of independent India and served from 1947 to 1958. National Education Day is observed around all educational institutions to raise awareness about the importance of literacy.
National Education Day: Theme
The Ministry of Human Resource Development sets a different theme for National Education Day every year. This year’s theme is “Changing Course, Transforming Education.”
National Education Day: History
To honor Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced November 11 as ‘National Education Day’ on September 11, 2008. The announcement released by Ministry said, “The Ministry has decided to commemorate the birthday of this great son of India by recalling his contribution to the cause of education in India. November 11 from 2008 onwards, will be celebrated as the National Education Day, without declaring it a holiday, every year.”
Who was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad?
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.
National Education Day: Celebration
National Education Day is celebrated in schools annually by spreading awareness about the importance of education. This is done by conducting interesting seminars, activities, working on projects, writing essays and more.
Motivational quotes by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.”