NEW DELHI: On the eve of Teachers'' Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India should regain the status of ''vishwaguru'' (leader in education) by according high respect to teachers whom he asked to encourage students to think critically about issues concerning nation.
In an email message to teachers, he told them that their determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation as they are laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society.
"Teaching is not just another profession. It is a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten," Modi said in his message of greetings.
He said that by according high status to the teaching community, India had once attained the status of ''vishwaguru''.
"We must once again accord such respect to the teachers and thereby regain that status where India becomes the beacon of knowledge for the entire world," he added.
He said that in the present day, often learning is equated with either collection of information or mastery of skills for occupations and jobs.
"Yes, that is important but I call upon you to widen the horizon of thinking of your students. Encourage them to think critically about broader issues concerning our nation, society and the environment. Our goal must be to create good citizens who are capable of preserving the past and creating the future," the Prime Minister said.
"The wheels of change have put India on the march towards ''surajya'' (good governance}," he said, adding "Your determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation!
"I want to see the day when every student is proud of his or her teachers and every teacher is proud of his or her students."
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