'Education should not be a business product'
Opposing the commercialization of education, former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam today said it should not be made into a business, but imparted by good teachers.

"Education cannot be a business product or system. Education at the primary level has to be delivered in an integrated way by great teachers through good syllabus and promoting affinity between parents, students and teachers," Kalam said.

"It is not a great building or a great facility or great advertisements which gives quality, but lovable education and great teachers do," Kalam told at an interactive session with students and teachers of National High School at its centenary celebration.

Kalam gave the example of how his own school days were happy in the thatched Rameswaram Panchayat Primary School despite poor infrastructure and scanty amenities.

He said his teachers, who had a mission to spread education, were loved by students and there was no dropout.

Having graced the post of the President of India besides working as an administrator and scientist, the 'Missile Man' said he loved teaching the most.

"I have been a teacher, a scientist and an administrator. Now I have come to teaching again. If you ask me what I love the most, I would say it is teaching," said the 81-year-old who travels regularly all over India to meet students.

He began his speech on 'I am born with wings' by asking students what they would be carrying with them after passing out from school.

When the students replied that it was knowledge, Kalam redefined it. "Knowledge is creativity plus righteousness in the heart plus courage."

Presenting his vision of India in the next few years, he said, "We want a nation where crimes against women and children are absent and none in society feels alienated".

He also stressed on the need to have a nation where education with value system was not denied to any meritorious candidate because of societal or economic discrimination.

"A nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line. A nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water," Kalam said, adding, he wanted that governance should be responsive, transparent and corruption-free.