The intent of celebrating national and international days is for all, particularly for gen-next, to remember people and events shaping a nation. School and college curriculum, parents, and society may not talk about them so often as needed. Hence, National Days play a significant role in being grateful, watchful, and celebrating heroes and events. Every year, November 11 is observed as National Education Day to commemorate the birthday of Bharat Ratna Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of Independent India from 1947 to 1958
The day pays tribute to the significant contributions of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in formulating India’s education policy post-independence. Under his leadership, two commissions were formed: the University Education Commission in 1948, the Kher Committee for Elementary Education in 1948, and the Secondary Education Commission in 1952. His main goals were to eradicate illiteracy, expand elementary education, and bring as many girls as possible to the schools. He was also instrumental in spearheading the three-language education policy that emphasized learning in one’s mother tongue. Going along with the Nehru government’s policy to invest in science and technology, he was instrumental in setting up many Indian institutes of Technology (IIT) across India. The IITs have remained the beacon and the rock of science education research and technology since then. It was during his time that the University Grants Commission (UGC) was set up. He also set up many teachers training colleges to nurture qualified teachers for schools. During his time, Sangita Natak Academy, the Sahitya Academy, the Lalit Kala Academy were set under the Ministry of Education.
He said, “No program of national education can be appropriate if it does not give full consideration to the education and advancement of one-half of the society that is the women.” Another example of his eloquence is, “Art is the education of emotions and is thus an essential element in any scheme of truly national education. Education, whether at the secondary or the university stage, cannot be regarded as complete if it does not train our faculties to the perception of beauty.”