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Gandhian Scheme for Education

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  • Published
    28th Dec, 2019
  • Gandhiji also dreamt of an Indian which would provide free and universal education to all its children – however, knowing this would not be feasible, he suggested the novel method of self-financing.
  • Under this scheme, pupils were made to pay in labour (for instance by spinning cloth) for their own education. To quote him from ‘young India’, “manual training will serve a double purpose in a poor country.
  • Pay for the education of our children and teach them an occupation on which they can fall back in after life.
  • Another noteworthy of aspects of his theory of education was that of respect of manual labour and inculcating a sense of dignity in being adept at such work.
  • Gandhiji went so far as to say that text books “are for the most part useless when they are not harmful”.
  • He pointed out that it would be erroneous to fix children from different geographies and different social classes into an academic straitjacket.
  • Rather, it is the duty of the teacher to read from text books and mud the materials so as to suit the specific requirements of the pupils. It is, after all, teachers and not text that are capable of imparting “education of the heart” which was a prerequisite for developing character.
  • Gandhiji subscribe to notion that “real education has to draw out the best“ from within the pupils and this is something mere bookish knowledge could never achieve.

 Naya Bharat Nayi Talim

  • The crux of Nai Talim lay in overcoming distinction between learning and teaching as well as between knowledge and work.
  • Nai Talim was not merely a scheme for education; instead, it is a part of holistic value system with Swaraj as the end and Satyagrah as the means to achieving it.
  • For Gandhiji quality education was prerequisite for ultimate goal of nation –building.
  • He dreamed of a society where power is not distributed hierarchically but in the form of “oceanic circles” with each individual empowering and protecting the other.
  • He believed that the prevalent model was obsessed about career advancement while Nai Talim aimed to achieve a holistic growth of the individual’s mind body and spirit.
  • He saw education as a life-long communitarian, holistic, activity based and grass-roots oriented activity.
  • The meant the creation of self-sufficient village-based schools which gave privacy to skill development for handicraft production and traditional industries where teachers and students, were in fact, fellow workers. The fact that we had turned a blind eye to quality education at the grassroots in fact had hindered our ability to fully utilize our demographic divided. 
  • Another evil of the Indian education system is its emphasis on rote-learning which denies a child opportunities to develop his/her critical thinking faculties and have a well-rounded personality.
  • The principle of learning by doing again a critical components of Gandhiji’s Nai Talim.
  • What Gandhji said in 1937 in an Education Conference still holds true- he mentioned that the present system of education does not meet the requirements of the country in any shape or form.
  • Absence of vocational training has made the education class almost unfit for productive work.
  • As we celebrate the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, probably the best tribute to him would be to relook at what him education model stood for. 
  • Gandhji’s thoughts were radical at his time, and it is high time for us too to radically reinvent our current education system so that it can fulfill the wishes and aspirations of our people in the years to come.

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