Every child is unique, says Kalam

Former president, space scientist, educator and a visionary; the many roles of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam have inspired students around the world to strive hard in the pursuit of success.


Muaz Shabandri

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 26 Jan 2011, 12:41 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:47 AM

A success story, Dr Kalam’s was a charismatic rise from a common man to the president of the world’s largest democracy.

Currently in the UAE to visit schools and universities, the former Indian president addressed teachers and students at a special teacher and youth summit hosted at Delhi Private School, Sharjah.

Calling for reforms in classroom teaching, Dr Kalam provided a 40-minute talk on ‘Creative Learning’. “Every youth wants to be unique but the world around is doing its best, day and night, to make them like everybody else,” he said. “Teachers should make an effort to make them unique in their own way.”

Addressing over 600 teachers from 13 schools in the UAE, Dr Abdul Kalam was at his usual best combining wit and humour to enlighten school teachers with his 10-point agenda for dynamic schools.

“Schools need a dynamic environment and education should be designed in such a way that it empowers a value system in young minds,” pointed out Dr Kalam.

While most teachers categorise students based on their academic performance, the need for betterment in primary education calls for a complete overhaul of the teaching system, advised Dr Kalam.

“Children see their teachers as role models. There should be a learning environment where there is nothing like a good student, average student or a poor student. The whole school and teacher system should be involved in creating students who perform their best.

“Normally people evaluate the success of a school based on its pass percentage. There is need for a paradigm shift in thinking and evaluation process.”

Time to change

Talking about the role of parents in a developing their child’s learning, Dr Kalam highlighted the importance of creating a culture of reading at home.

“Rather than spending all the time in front of a television, parents should make an effort to promote reading skills in students. There should be a small library with a tleast 20 books in every home and some of these books should be of interest to the kids,” noted Dr Kalam.

‘‘Students should have the self-esteem and capability to become employment generators rather than being employment seekers,” he said.

A visionary leader, Dr Abdul Kalam spends most of his time teaching university students while continuing to pursue international space research programmes in collaboration with NASA and the National Space Society.

Sharing examples from his career at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the AGNI programme, Dr Kalam said, “I have learnt from my personal experience, whenever there is a dream in life, it transforms into a vision. A leader is one who absorbs the failure and takes the responsibility, while giving credit for success to his team.”

A special youth summit focusing on renewable energy also saw Dr Kalam advising students on the topic of carbon emissions while creating avenues to use renewable energy to meet energy needs.

“I can do it, we can do it and the nation can do it,” concluded Dr Kalam in his closing speech at the school.


More news from