New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the government is planning to introduce aptitude certificates instead of the usual character certificate for students and called upon professionals to volunteer to teach in schools to infuse new thinking.
Fielding questions from students across the country at a programme to mark Teachers’ Day, Modi also gave insights into his own childhood — of how he would wash his clothes at a pond and iron them using a pot containing pieces of burning coal.
To a question from a child on the International Day of Yoga, held on June 21, Modi said he chose it because it is the day of the summer solstice when the sun shines longest over the northern hemisphere.
Modi said the government is trying to bring a “small change” by doing away with character certificates issued when students leave school and instead have aptitude certificates.
He said a software would be developed and a questionnaire developed on the child’s abilities which would be filled in by school friends, parents and the teachers.
This, he said, would help throw light on important facets of the child and be easier for the student to realise what he or she wants to do in life. “The department is working on this,” he said.
To another question, Modi said that there is a lot of talent in the country waiting to be tapped, and proposed that professionals could spend one hour a week to teach children.
“If doctors and lawyers spend time to teach children, if they spend 100 hours a year, it will infuse new life to the profession,” he said.
To another question from a student, Modi said if he had become a clerk his parents would have been equally happy, and that his parents were not in an economic condition to dream big.
The prime minister advised parents not to force their dreams on their children and instead recognise their potentials.
Asked if there was a recipe for success, Modi said that there was no recipe for success and that one should have the determination to succeed, and not be bowed down by disappointments along the way.
He also advised children to read “Pollyanna”, a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter, on inculcating positive thinking.
To another question on how Digital India would work in villages without power, Modi said he has tasked officials to provide power to the 18,000 villages without power in 1,000 days.
He said solar power could also be tapped and that Digital India was for bringing good governance.
“If we have to bring good governance then we have to go towards e-governance, an empowerment movement. Digital India is to empower the common people. My dream is that in 2022, by then 24X7 power should be there in every home, I am striving for that.”
Asked what games he liked to play as a child, Modi said he played kabaddi and kho-kho, and while going to the pond to wash clothes he learnt swimming and that became a hobby.
He said he also got interested in yoga. He would also sit on the edge of cricket fields and pick up the cricket balls and hand it over.
To a question, Modi said he wants to introduce waste management in a big way in villages and towns.
To a praise from another youngster on popularising the Modi Kurta brand, the prime minister said he has no fashion designer.
“When I was small I left home and wandered around; I had a small bag with little possessions, some books and some clothes. In Gujarat, it is not very cold, so I would wear kurta-pyjama and wash my own clothes. I thought why wear long sleeves, and I cut it and started wearing it like that.
“In my childhood, I had no means to iron clothes, so I would put burning coal in a lota and iron clothes. The idea is to live properly,” he said.
He also recounted how he would pick up used chalk pieces after school to whiten the canvas shoes gifted by a relative.