Bhubaneswar, April 1: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said education must lay the foundation for developing a society that is strongly grounded in ethics and moral values to ensure peace and contentment in life. Voicing concern over the all-round "degeneration of morals and ethics" in the society, Naidu said the undesirable trend had to be stopped completely and schools were best placed for bringing about such transformation. Education must inculcate social, moral, ethical and spiritual values apart from seeking to empower the future citizens with knowledge and wisdom, Naidu said while delivering the 10th Foundation Lecture at a school here.

"What is important is your attitude towards fellow citizens, other living creatures, protecting the environment and your commitment towards the larger good of the society," the vice president said. Naidu also stressed the need to inculcate a sense of voluntarism among young students. He advised the students to join organisations like NCC, NSS, Scouts & Guides to learn life skills and volunteerism. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Targets Pakistan While Addressing Indian Community in Costa Rica, Says ‘Our Neighbour Is Aiding Terrorists, Open Secret'.

Referring to the seven deadly social sins mentioned by Mahatma Gandhi, Naidu said education that does not build character was one of such sin. Noting that schools play the most crucial and foundational role in shaping the destiny of a nation, Naidu said schooling must lay emphasis on the overall development of the child without focusing solely on academic achievements. It was crucial for youngsters to become responsible, caring and empathetic citizens of the country, he said.

"Aligning education with the best education pedagogies, teaching methods and techniques in the world, without losing our ethical moorings was necessary to regain India's position as Vishwa Guru," the vice president said.

He advised schools to keep abreast with latest methods of pedagogy and acquaint students with the importance of ancient civilisation, culture, heritage and country's history.

Understanding of history should be complete and comprehensive without any scope for bias, he said. Naidu said schools should discard rote method of learning and promote innovative and creative thinking, while students must be encouraged to develop an inquisitive mind ever eager to learn new things and come out with bright ideas.

Naidu wanted schools to keep themselves abreast with the rapid developments in technology and align the skill sets of the students in accordance with 21st century job market. He also advised the schools to promote entrepreneurial spirit among the students.