Dr APJ Abdul Kalam – A Complete Teacher and an Inspiring President
APJ Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam Inspiring story

“Dream, Dream, Dream. Dreams transform into thoughts, and thoughts result in action.”

-Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Once upon a time, a class was full of students carrying on their daily activities. While all the students were present in the class and had their eyes fixed on the teacher, teaching in the front of the class, there was this small boy peeping into the class from the outside window.

With a dedication to learning what is being taught in the class, the boy had the purest desire to learn, acquire knowledge and be someone. That small boy later became the President of one of the world’s leading countries, and that boy’s name was Dr Avul Pakir Jinaalbdeen Abdul Kalam.

Though living in this modern age, the relevance of the story mentioned above can be doubted, it was surely told to children in the first decade of the 21st century. The story depicts the character and the man Dr Abdul Kalam was and how he inspired children to learn.

A Lifelong Teacher

Have you ever seen a President of a country preferring to call himself a teacher? Well, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was such a man. Despite all the titles before his name and the laurels added after his name, this humble, wise man still preferred to call himself a teacher.

When he was elected as the President of India, he studied the constitution and, being in a system that gave most of the constitutional power to the Prime Minister, Dr APJ Adbul Kalam realised that the constitution gave him the right to direct the discussions in the parliament.

After leading the country on important innovative matters of science advancement and quality education, Dr Abdul Kalam spent his days as the President visiting several schools across the nation, addressing students and inspiring young minds. Being an influential and inspirational man, he always believed that education is the primary factor for personal growth.

An Epitome of Learning

“If four things are followed – having a great aim, acquiring knowledge, hard work, and perseverance – then anything can be achieved.”

It can be argued that Dr APJ Abdul Kamal was way ahead of his time. He had a career that millions wished to have. Despite being one of the finest scientists India has ever produced and earning the title of ‘Peoples President’, the humble personality had a learning attitude, a wiser attitude.

His preference for calling himself a teacher has been reflected in his teachings as well. The above quote encourages students to dream big and work towards it until the dream is achieved.

Some of the highlights from his teaching have always been about having a learning attitude towards everything that we do. His book ‘India 2020’ has been an inspiration for millions of children across the country, where he describes the possibility of what India could be by the year 2020.

Apart from everything, he has always asked his students to be respectful to their teachers throughout his life. And being a teacher himself, he wants the teachers to instil these four qualities:

  • Teachers should love teaching. A teacher must have passion for giving his/her knowledge.
  • Teachers should encourage questions from students. Teachers should let them think beyond their thinking.
  • A teacher should put the student ahead.
  • The teacher creates pressure on the student to explore their own capabilities.

A Teacher’s Message to Students

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was a firm believer in experimentation; his scientist’s side, in collaboration with his teacher’s personality, allowed him to experiment and have fun throughout the learning process.

“Without your involvement, you can’t succeed. With your involvement, you can’t fail.”

Saying this, he has been encouraging students to try, fail and then succeed in a better way, completing the learning arc as a student. His vision with regard to education has always been about creating a self-sufficient society. Throughout his interaction with children, he inspired them to be job generators and not seekers.

And looking at the growth arc of the country in 2022 and the number of start-ups that are now founded in India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has been successful in it. In his message to students, he writes, “My message, especially to young people, is to have the courage to think differently, invent, travel the unexpected path, discover the impossible and conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.”

A Vision of Skilled-Based India

After building a strong foundation of academics, he had foreseen the vision of creating a skill-based youth who not only pass the examinations with distinction marks but also develop the required skills the student is interested in.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has initiated several initiatives to set up the foundation of skill-based education in India. At an event in Delhi, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said, “When the students pass out of senior secondary schools, they should have two certificates- of passing the 10+2 examination and a specific skill acquired by him during schooling.”

According to him, along with formal education, a student should receive training to develop the necessary skills to build the base for students to move forward holistically.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s Life – An Open Treasure

Looking at his life’s journey from peeping through the windows of classrooms to addressing the students of a nation, his discoveries, his teachings and his contribution to the country and its students is a treasure that India is still enjoying with grace. So, let’s learn from his life lessons and contribute to the vision that he has seen for this wonderful nation.

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