Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram. This youngest of the 5 siblings went on to become a renowned aerospace scientist and politician who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. When he passed away during a lecture in IIM Shillong on 27 July 2015, the whole world mourned his loss.
In 2010, the United Nations declared his birth anniversary as World Students’ Day to honour his efforts toward promoting education.
This brilliant man was an aerospace scientist from Madras Institute of Technology and worked in the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) & Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was known as the Missile Man of India for his expertise and work in the ballistics & nuclear development of the nation. After his retirement as the President of India, he got back to teaching.
Dr. Kalam held the profession of teaching in high regard. He always maintained that he was first and foremost a teacher, even when he was the President of the nation. He had very distinct and uplifting views of the Indian education system. His organisation, APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation, still works towards the betterment of students and educators all over the world with projects like Center For Igniting Minds (works towards providing education, skill management, knowledge development, cultivating research brain powers for the underdeveloped portions of the society), Science Innovation Center (provides space to promote & educate the ideas of innovation, ingenuity & creativity in students & teachers of schools), and Kalam Mobile Library (donates Dr. Kalam's books to school and colleges that plan to open a Kalam Library).
“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow."
Dr. Kalam often stressed on the following four qualities that every teacher must have:
1. A teacher should love teaching.
2. A teacher should encourage question from students.
3. A teacher should put the student ahead.
4. A teacher should create an atmosphere for students to explore their capabilities.
He was a man who loved and embraced dreams. Not only did he believe in ideas/vision, but also diligently worked towards each one of them. He sincerely preached what he practised. He relished encouraging young students to dream for their country’s advancement and take necessary steps towards it.
Here are some of his quotes that may remind you and your students to keep seeking knowledge to promote prosperity in life with creativity and innovation.
However, here’s the best from the lot specially meant for the teachers – The best brains of the nation may be found on the last benches of the classroom. If you know, you know.
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