PANAJI: Stressing on the need to bring about further improvement in the prevailing education system, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said the government has already introduced value education in primary school curriculum, and will soon start more optional subjects such as financial inclusion for high school students.
Interacting with children at a special programme held at Bal Bhavan in the city on the occasion of Children’s Day, the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, the Chief Minister said that there are many things in life which needs to be taken up not for marks, but for life itself.
“The exams of students up to class VIII were cancelled thinking that it would relieve students of their tension. However, we forgot that this very tension was compelling them to study,” Parrikar added, recalling that he himself, as a student of the Indian Institute of Technology had opted for difficult elective subjects, like financial planning, business management and so on, which provided him with knowledge that he utilised as the defence minister and a Chief Minister.
In a heart-to-heart chat with the children, the Chief Minister said that if students are able to receive good knowledge at the primary level then it would largely benefit them in the future.
“In life, you give importance to discipline and never lie to anyone,” he stated, adding that the truth, however, should be spoken in the right manner as all these qualities guarantee success in life.
Replying to a question about his tenure as the defence minister, Parrikar said that being the defence minister was a thankless job.
Admitting that execution of the surgical strike across the line of control was one of the highlights of his tenure in the Union government, he maintained that the main problem he faced as the defence minister was the inability to respond to incorrect facts being reported by the media, for fear of letting out classified information and state secrets to the enemy.
Speaking about the surgical strike on the India-Myanmar border in the North-East and the India-Pakistan border on the western front, the Chief Minister said that after the relatively effortless surgical strike along the Myanmar border, executing another one across the LoC was much serious, as it carried the risk of a possible retaliation from Pakistan.
“And then, if the war had happened, then there was a need for total preparedness on our part, due to which the pressure was different during the second surgical strike,” he recalled.
Replying to a question as to whether he missed fish in Delhi while functioning as the defence minister, Parrikar said that there was plenty of fish available in Delhi.
“Some people used to send me fish from Goa, therefore it was not that there wasn’t much fish to eat,” he observed, admitting, there was however no local flavour and Goan touch to the fish recipes in Delhi.
Answering another question, the Chief Minister said that he spends much lesser time with his family as compared to other politicians. “However, now I have decided to spend at least two to three hours on Sunday with my family members,” he added, observing that people have lot of expectations from him, however, on one hand they tell him to take rest from his hectic schedules, while on the other, request him for appointments even at midnight.
On a parting note, Parrikar advised the children to be real Goans by displaying kindness, simplicity, and bonds among their families and communities.
“And then study well and become educated and wise, and not just turn yourself into literates,” he concluded.
Gargi Silimkhan, Eric Sequeira and Shaumik Narvekar interviewed the Chief Minister on behalf of the children.
Bal Bhavan chairperson Sheetal Naik was also present.