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THE LIFE OF DR. A.P.J ABDUL KALAM AND WHY QUALITY EDUCATION MATTERS


For the purpose of this case study, I have selected the personality Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam for

a brief analysis of historical events in his life and how it is relevant in today’s world for

achieving the SDG of quality education.


When we hear the name Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam ears perk up and the hoi polloi at large are

well versed with this seemingly powerful name. The 11th President of our country has

contributed invaluable knowledge and put in place of what we call as the richness of

education. He was born on the 15th October 1931 in Rameswaram, to a Tamil-Muslim family

at a time when financial crisis within the family was at the brink when their ferry business

was ramshackled by the construction and operations of the Pamban Bridge. Despite these

series of mishaps Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam managed to put education in the frontline and is

now one of the most celebrated scientists in India. It is this drive and internal motivation that

persons need at large to ensure that education is valued and of certain quality. It is also

known that he spent hours studying mathematics and perfecting his domain knowledge.


Taking the above two points into consideration and paralleling it we notice how financial

crisis and domain knowledge are highlighted. In today’s world we see 364 million persons in

poverty in India as estimated by the United Nations in 2019 and this highlights the level of

financial crisis persons face. To achieve quality education among this section, it is pertinent

to make resources available by exploring physical commons like a freely available resource

house with study materials available to those who cannot afford it funded by the state coupled with public contribution. Addressing the point of domain knowledge, as Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam took one area and mastered it, this can be incorporated to achieve quality education in today’s world either through introduction of vocational courses or specific subject related courses if education is interpreted in the wider sense. Better than being a jack of all traits, and master of none it is immensely beneficial for individual growth and at a larger scale achieving quality education.

After completing his high school education in Schwartz Higher Secondary School, being a

bright frosh with a scholarship in hand Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam attended Saint Joseph’s

college in Tiruchirappalli and subsequently in Madras Institute of Technology. After drawing

another parallel we observe that scholarships can play a large role in giving a chance to bright minds to achieve substantial quality education and should be given priority by private

institutes as well as it would result in a win-win situation as it would increase the goodwill of

the institutions and at the same time benefit someone able in dire need of such financial aid.

Delving deeper into the thoughts and ideas of Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam in context of education

we notice how he emphasise on tele- education and how the digital platform is of utmost

importance in the rural areas. There is a focus on qualitative education with an emphasis on

the establishment of a strong student- teacher relationship as Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam himself

knows its priceless value, this is seen in his biographical account where he says, ‘This was my

first stage, in which I learnt leadership from three great teachers- Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Prof

Satish Dhawan and Dr Brahm Prakash. This was the first time of learning the acquisition of

knowledge for me.’ As enlisted in Article 21A which guarantees the right to education it was

also an ideal of his to not limit the roles of institutions to mere knowledge distributors but

encourage the occupation and education intermix to ensure a more wholistic and skill-based

approach. After a more detailed analysis of the life of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam we realize that

monetary position and knowledge are not intrinsically intertwined but monteray aid acts as a

catalyst to gain knowledge. After studying a few speeches of our former and late president we understand how quality education is not a limited concept but how it awakens the internal feeling of self-respect and honour, how quality includes even gender equality in the

representative sense and how proper guidance is key.

It is imperative to note that this case study is not a complete description of how events

unfolded in the life of our 11 th President but to draw parallels from certain events from his life utilize them in today’s world limiting the case study to education. Hence, as a concluding

note we learn that Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam has given us insights that are unparalleled and by

analysing bits of his history we obtain information that can help us move ahead to achieve the SDG of education for all and with quality.


REFERENCES:

1. Kiritkumar Ramanbhai Chauhan, ‘A Study of Thinking on Education System of Dr. A. P.

J. Abdul Kalam’ (2017) vol. 5 issue 8 IJRSML <http://www.raijmr.com/ijrsml/wp-

content/uploads/2017/11/IJRSML_2017_vol05_issue_08_Eng_04.pdf> accessed 24

November 2021


2. ‘Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam’ (MBA Rendezvous, 28 December 2018)

<https://www.mbarendezvous.com/motivational-story/dr-a-p-j-abdul-kalam/> accessed

23 November 2021


3. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._P._J._Abdul_Kalam> accessed 23 November 2021


Authors bio:

Malvika Pachauri is a 1 st year law student in Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National

Law University pursuing BA LLB (Hons.) and has the knack and interest towards research

and writing. Currently an intern at the Stambh organisation, she is part of the research wing

and has a keen interest in article writing and analysis of topics relating to human rights and

social development goals.

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