Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more generally recognized as the ‘Mahatma’ (meaning ‘the vast soul’) was born in the area of Porbandar, Gujarat, in the part of the North West India, on the day of 2nd October of 1869, into a Hindu family. His father was the Chief Minister of that area, and his mother’s spiritual attachment meant that his nurturing was rally infused with the Jain peace lover teachings of the common acceptance, non-injury to the living beings as well as vegetarianism. He was great freedom fighter of India who was commonly known as ‘Bapu’.
Mahatma Gandhi on Education
Education is the reflection of a society’s fundamental about the individuals that comprise that society. Mahatma Gandhi on education is that he viewed it as a way of liberating people and it constitutes a civilized nation. He encouraged Indians to take up education as it had many advantages. But Mahatma Gandhi on education view changed, he suddenly became opposed to the western education, which he had been a beneficiary of, viewing it as an en slaver to the people.
Mahatma Gandhi on education had made him develop an attitude towards industrialization viewing all types of modern machinery as a way of impoverishing the people of state. Most machinery like cloth making machines made work easier and this he saw as something that lead to the decline of hand woven goods. Mahatma Gandhi not for this primarily because of the slavery as well as working conditions subjected to women. Mahatma Gandhi on education was that he was completely opposed to a machine less society.
Mahatma Gandhi on education idea centered on the introduction of productive handicrafts in the school system. This in his view was to ensure that schools are self supporting as possible, that they remain self sufficient and semi autonomous. Handicrafts were introduced so that they can make craft the center piece of the teaching programs. This handcraft system in schools would ensure an independent nation and survival of village communities.
A Burning Desire for Change
Mahatma Gandhi on education vision was to be able to provide education for all children, from poor societies, by generating resources from within. He also saw that politically independent schools were as a result of financial independence. It is for this reason that Gandhi advocated for introduction of handicrafts so as to ensure that there is self sufficiency. Mahatma Gandhi on education was so as to reduce the dependence on states resources. Mahatma Gandhi on education was of the idea that manual work should not be seen as inferior to mental work. The work that a crafts man or laborers does should be the ideal model that portrays the good life. This idea if instilled in peoples mind, they would stop seeing manual work as less inferior to mental work. In his opinion schools that focused on productive work which was for the benefit of all were providing education for the whole person.
Mahatma Gandhi on educations plan was to reduce the enslaving of the teacher. The teacher is supposed to impart knowledge to the students as it is in the text books, with little concern whether it was original or not. Gandhi wanted to bring an end to this reliance on text books by teachers to impart knowledge. This idea of teaching from text books made sure that students learnt what the state wanted them to learn. This would bring an end to the state deciding what the teacher would teach and what the students were supposed to learn. This brought about a liberated approach to the school systems.
NaiTalim Cencept of Gandhian Philosphy
He says, ‘Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.’ He stated that all knowledge, spiritual and secular, is stored in the human mind, just as a huge banyan tree lies within a tiny seed. The function of the teacher is only to help that seed sprout and grow by offering suggestions. Gandhi ji emphasizes the role of the teacher in the learning process. The child’s relationship with the teacher is significant. Further, the distinction between teacher and the taught gets blurred during the teaching-learning process since both pick up knowledge through prax is.
The NaiTalim is, for all purposes, dead. Even Gandhian institutions in the country do not follow the Nai Talim in letter and spirit. Far from being self-sufficient, education has either become state supported, with questionable quality, or commercialized and elitist, out of the reach of common citizens. Gandhi ji’ s concept of NaiTalim or basic education is a grand idea and was in keeping with the time he was alive. Indeed, after independence there was great enthusiasm in India about taking up basic education in right earnest. Many primary schools were opened and other institutes established. However, such schools have become defunct today with a few exceptions. This points to the fact that the concept of NaiTalim has to be modified with the changing times to keep it viable.
The teacher helps the taught to prepare him/herself for a larger life. The methodology of NaiTalim lays special accent on the relationship between the teacher and the taught. There should be a perfect understanding and mutual empathy between the teacher and the taught. This is possible only when they live together and participate in the learning process. Besides, obtaining faith, sympathy and mutual respect between the learner and the teacher is important in all NaiTalim institutions.