National Education Day is celebrated on November 11 to mark the birth anniversary of independent India's first education minister and freedom fighter Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed Azad known as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who served the country from 1947 to 1958. Azad voiced for universal
National Education Day is celebrated on November 11 to mark the birth anniversary of independent India's first education minister and freedom fighter Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed Azad known as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who served the country from 1947 to 1958.
Azad voiced for universal primary education, girl's education, free and compulsory education till 14, vocational training and technical education.
Why November 11 is celebrated as National Education Day: Know about Azad's role in India's education
- Azad was born on November 11, 1888. His real name was Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin who eventually became known as Maulana Azad
- His birth anniversary is celebrated as the National Education Day
- Being the chairman of the Central Advisory Board of Education, he gave momentum to adult literacy and advocated for diversification of secondary education and vocational training
- He administered the formation of The Central Institute of Education, Delhi which later became the Department of Education of DU
- Under his chairmanship, the Ministry of Education established the first Indian Institute of Technology in 1951 and the University Grants Commission in 1953
- He emphasised the set up of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Faculty of Technology of Delhi University
- Speaking at a conference on All India Education on January 16, 1948, he said, " We must not for a moment forget, it is a birthright of every individual to receive at least the basic education without which he cannot fully discharge his duties as a citizen."
- He was one of the founders of Jamila Milia Islamia University
- In 1992, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna.
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Classroom Activity #1 – Students prepare a presentation for their class by taking a topic of their choice that is related to the content of the class and offering insights on an issue of concern, with potential changes to address the situation.
Classroom Activity #2 – Examine powerful speeches from unexpected voices. Discussions, essays, or presentations can be arranged in class. Some examples of speeches to examine include, but are not limited to:
- Solitude of Self
- Whisper of AIDS by Mary Fisher
- Dallas ISD Opening Keynote Address
- Ted Blog – 9 talks by impressive kids
Middle School Writing Activity
Middle school teachers can explore scaffolded writing with their students. Click here for more information from our friends at the National Writing Project and Letters to the Next President.
Large Group/Whole School Events
Celebrate Expression Assembly – An assembly where students are afforded an opportunity to express themselves through spoken word poetry, an oratory, an extemp speech, or a debate. After each performance, audience members could be given the opportunity to ask questions about the message—why they framed their opinions the way they did; how they chose what to perform; what motivated them to speak.
Guest Speaker Assembly – The school arranges for a guest speaker to come in and talk about an issue of significance to the student body. That speaker could be anyone. In fact, if the speaker isn’t already a renowned speaker, they embody the theme of “unexpected voices.” At some point, the speech or speaker should touch on how students can use their voice to affect change.
Town Hall Meeting – Using the town hall concept, students have the opportunity to ask administrators their perspectives on issues important to them. Possible topics could include the impact of early release for professional development on single family homes or working class families; grading policies; bullying; amount of homework; AP classes; or diversity at the school. The principal can lead the Town Hall and have their leadership team on stage with them. A student leader would offer an opening address and outline the ground rules for the questions:
- No references to specific individuals
- No disrespectful comments
- Constructive questions or perspectives only
The opening speech should also be a chance for the student leader to offer a 5-10 minute State of the School speech. Once the speech is over, the event would be turned over to the principal. The principal would make some opening comments and then start the town hall.
Celebrate with Mentorship – Recognize National Speech and Debate Education day by planning a day of mentorship for your program. To get started, reach out to teachers in local elementary schools or middle schools that don’t have existing programs, and celebrate the day by introducing speech and debate to a new generation. Inspire them to speak up, engage, and think critically.
Host a Showcase and Meet the Team Event – Teachers, students, and alumni can work together to open the doors of their program to the community with a Speech and Debate Day. Invite teachers, students, parents, friends, administrators, and school board members to come see the team perform and talk with students and alumni about the value of speech and debate.
Spread the Word
Use this custom template to invite guests to your National Speech and Debate Education Day event! Be sure to use the hashtag #SpeechandDebateDay when sharing your event on social media.
You can also download our printable posters including one designed by student artist Michael Bole to spread awareness of the day around your school and community!