Girijashanker Badheka, renowned as Gijubhai, was born in Gujarat on November 15, 1835. In 1907, he went to East Africa to earn a living and then studied law in Bombay. In Africa, he worked under Stevens who instilled the values of respect, self-help, and reliance in him. He introduced the Montessori system of education in India. In 1915, he assisted in the establishment of Dakshinamurti (Bala Bhavan) and then started a hostel at Bhavnagar. He gave up legal practice in 1916 and joined the Dakashinamurti as Assistant Superintendent.
Contributions to Education
To translate his visions into action, Gijubhai Badekha introduced a few key strategies. He systematically altered the entire scheme of colonial education and advocated an educational model suited to the Indian environment and culture. The strategies which he advocated are shown below:
Setting up Adhyapak Mandir
He wanted to give importance to teacher training and enable them to adapt to creative ways of teaching. As a result, he started the Adhyapak Mandir in Dakshinamurti in 1925.
Bringing out Shikshan Patrika
He started this Gujarati monthly in 1925 which focused on the educational system of India and wrote critical essays about the same. Through this monthly, he promoted a new system of child education.
Formulation of Nutan Blasikshan Sangh
It was formed to introduce cost-effective educational aids for children because he believed they could learn more through activities.
Creating literature for children
He authored more than 200 books and focused on children’s literature such as adventure travel tales, nursery rhymes, and short stories. He also focused on adult education and started the Adult Education Campaign in 1930.
He propounded the inclusion of marginalized groups in the institutions which he established. He asked Dalits to join his institution and facilitated education for all.
He emphasized three main points which are as follows:
- Learning for the sake of knowing,
- Learning for the sake of happiness and the satisfaction of knowing.
- Learning for the sake of development and not for the sake of rewards or ranking.
He believed that the school or the teacher isn’t the only one responsible for educating the children. Rather, it should be a combined process including parents, teachers, guardians, and educationists.