To commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter and independent India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked all schools to celebrate November 11 as National Education Day by recalling his contribution to the cause of education. “On National Education Day (NED), schools affiliated to the board should organise seminars, symposiums, essay writing and elocution competitions, workshops and rallies on the importance of literacy and the nation’s commitment to all aspects of education. Schools (should) also organise sustainable long-term programmes to promote skill building among students,” stated a notification issued by the CBSE.There has been a distinct paradigm shift in the education sector of new India, said the notification, adding that the theme of NED celebration will be ‘skill-awareness and empowerment’. Schools have been asked to nominate a teacher and a student, who have been consistently and extensively involved in projects related to building of sustainable skills within the system and in enhancing skills in the community around them. They will work on themes like sanitation, inclusive education, entrepreneurship, promoting health and well-being, empowering the girl child, adopting a school, gender sensitisation, environmental issues, and 21st century skills in their respective schools. The celebration aims to ensure that students are exposed to a number of projects that strengthen their sustainability in the existing environment, enhance thinking, social and emotional skills and become self-motivated learners, said a CBSE official. As part of the celebration, the schools can also organise sustainable long-term programmes to promote skill-building among students. “Community outreach, entrepreneurial projects, vocational skills, life skills and industry-based projects are also being integrated into the school curriculum. There is a distinct paradigm shift emerging in the education sector of new India,” stated Sugandh Sharma, additional director (research and innovation), CBSE, in a recent notification.