Dr. Kalam is a practical educational thinker and visionary who stands for integrating ancient and modern educational ideals for the development of a balanced Indian society. Being a top scientist of international reputation, his direct contribution to the advancement of science and technology is unique and commendable. His scholarly research publications, articles, books etc. have opened new avenues for research and studies in the area of aeronautics, ballistics, and metallurgy.
Capacities to be built among students: The primary focus of the students should be to excel in their studies. This is their first contribution to the development of the nation. The education system should instill in the minds of students capacities of inquiry, creativity, technology, entrepreneurial and moral leadership. If we develop in all our students these five capacities, we will produce "Autonomous Learner" a self-directed, self controlled, lifelong learner, who will have the capacity to both respect authority and at the same time is capable of questioning authority, in an appropriate manner. Planning for good education for children in villages: Every school should have basic amenities such as a good building equipped with ventilation and lighting. The rooms should be airy and have spacious classrooms. The school should also have a library, laboratories including the latest Information Technology tools and infrastructure, safe drinking water, clean toilets and a playground. This is possible by earmarking the additional 2 to 3 per cent of GDP. Mission of education: Education is the most important element for growth and prosperity of a nation. India is in the process of transforming itself into a developed nation by 2020. Yet we have 350 million people who need literacy and many more who have to acquire employable skills to suit the emerging modern India and the globe. Inequality of access to educational resources: It is essential that we enlighten and create widespread awareness of education among all sections of society particularly in rural areas and among the urban poor. We should use technology for this important social purpose. It is possible for NGOs, other social and philanthropic institutions and the media to focus on this area of creating awareness. We should also mobilise necessary resources for providing education to the underprivileged people. Mobilising resources for the mission of education: Over the last 50 years, successive Governments have been committed to achieving the national goal of universal education and has steadily increased the budgetary allocation for education. However, 35 percent of our adult population is yet to achieve literacy. The expenditure on education as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product has a direct impact on our literacy. Today our expenditure on education in India is little more than 4 per cent of our GDP. If we have to achieve nearly 100 per cent literacy, it is necessary to increase expenditure on education to about 6 to 7 per cent of GDP. This 2 to 3 per cent increase has to be sustained only for a few years. Thereafter, a lower percentage of GDP allocation to education will be adequate to sustain the high degree of literacy in this country for all time to come. Reducing Dropouts: It is reported that 39 per cent of children drop out from school after studying 5th Class and 55 per cent drop out after studying up to 8th Class. This situation needs remedial action, especially since assent has been accorded to the 86th Constitution Amendment Act ? The Right to Education Bill for children between the age group of 5 and 14 years. But, an Act alone cannot achieve the goal, unless education is delivered in a manner, which will take into account the socio-ecnomic reality and perception of the people to whom it is addressed. Apart from attracting children to schools, the education system should be able to provide nourishment and inject creativity among them. The aim of the education system should also be to build character, human values, enhance learning capacity through technology and build confidence among children to face the future. Technology Enhanced Education: Constraints of time and space together with the rapid obsolescence of knowledge in some areas of science and technology, have created a huge demand for different courses from different institutions in the distance mode. There is a need for a working digital library system that alone can, in the long run, provide the kind of access required for a Knowledge Society. Technology Enhanced Learning is a solution. It attempts to exploit the rapid developments in Information and Communication Technology. As the communications bandwidth continues to increase and the cost of computer power continues to drop, Technology Enhanced Learning will become an economically viable solution. Virtual classrooms of the future will have students from many locations taught by a team of geographically distributed instructors through the tele-education delivery system.