Emphasising on maintaining quality and standards in fast expanding education sector, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday sought establishment of norms and performance based system for learning outcomes. He said with the proliferation of education, we must guard against the tendency to allow quality to take a backseat. "We must establish norms and performance-based marks for learning process and outcome strictly and enforce them across the schools," he said while addressing the National Education Day function here. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of India's first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Remembering him as an "institutional builder", Mukherjee said he was the inspiration behind setting up of prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) which became a symbol of India's human resource development over the years. The President said universal education coverage should be complemented by universal higher standards in education. "Our education programmes must be driven by expansion, equity and side-by-side excellence," he said. The country should also leverage on the advancement made by the technological institutions and narrow the gap between the "digital haves and haves not," he said. He also reminded of the commitment made during the 8th Five Year Plan on increasing spending on education to 6 per cent of the GDP as against 3.3 per cent spent now. The President also stressed on skilling the youths of the country, fearing that if the country fails to do so, they will become a "liability".