Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1969 and is renowned for driving the British away from India. He played a crucial role in gaining independence for India. While he is much known in the political field, he also made many contributions to the educational field. His principles of Ahimsa and Truth are still inculcated among the new generation. He believed that education isn’t synonymous with mere literacy. He believed that education should start at 7 years of age and must develop the child mentally, physically, and spiritually. He defined education as,
“By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind, spirit.”
Educational Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi said that education should be the preparation for action. Mahatma Gandhi’s educational philosophy of India was based on the following principles:
- He believed that education should be designed to train students in non-violent struggle.
- He said that education should prepare a student to work with his hands and feet as well as his mind and soul.
- His vision was to develop a citizenry who would be responsible, hardworking, self-reliant, and free from hatred, selfishness, and greed.
- Mahatma Gandhi also believed that an educated person should be able to understand and apply the principles of nonviolence in daily life.
- He also believed that the purpose of education is not only to teach students how to pass exams but also to develop human qualities such as empathy, compassion, and forgiveness.
- Mahatma Gandhi’s educational philosophy also included the importance of learning the English language as it was the most important tool for the success of India in the future.
- Mahatma Gandhi’s educational philosophy also included the importance of self-reliance. He believed that if people depend on others to do everything for them, they will never have any sense of responsibility.
- Mahatma Gandhi believed that every child has the right to an education.
- He did not believe that education is a privilege for a few people.
- He also said that education is a way to bring out the best in everyone.
- His vision for India was a nation that is united, harmonious, and peaceful. His vision for the world was a world that is united, harmonious, and peaceful.
Contribution of Gandhian Thought on Education
- According to Gandhi, education is the most important factor for development. He believed that education is an essential tool for people to achieve self-reliance and freedom. His teachings and life’s philosophy have contributed to the growth of a new generation who are more aware of social issues and are dedicated to making India a better place for all.
- According to Gandhi, work was the highest form of self-expression and therefore, every individual should do his/her best in whatever field he/she is working in. He stressed that everyone must be productive and should give their best.
- Gandhi believed that health was a fundamental human right. He encouraged people to eat healthy food and lead a clean life. He also advocated preventive measures to avoid diseases. He stressed that a person’s health is directly proportional to his or her productivity.
- Gandhism is not a particular ideology but an amalgamation of different ideologies, philosophies, and practices. It is based on a set of principles and values which include nonviolence, truth, equality, and self-reliance.
What are the Aims and Objectives of Education According to Mahatma Gandhi?
According to Gandhiji, education has two main aims which are as follows.
The Immediate Aim
This aim includes various factors such as vocational development, cultural development, moral development, perfect development, liberation, and sociological development.
In this aim, Gandhiji believed that the learner should realize God by self-realization and develop the qualities of truth and Ahimsa.
Principles of Education
He believed that the following principles should guide education:
- The mother tongue should be the medium of instruction.
- From 7-to 14 years of age, the child should receive free and compulsory education.
- Education must not be equated with mere literacy.
- Education should prepare the child for everything according to the community he belongs to.
- Education should enable the individual to receive harmonious development of mind, body, and spirit.
- Education must develop human values in the child.
- Education should be able to produce responsible, useful, and dynamic citizens.
According to Gandhiji, the curriculum must consist of the following.
- The curriculum must be activity-centered.
- The medium of language must be the mother tongue.
- Craft and vocational training must also be imparted.
- Subjects like medicine, sociology, and Hindi must be incorporated.
- Physical activities must be promoted too.
The scheme of education formulated by Gandhiji was mainly for the junior stages and was also referred to as, “Basic Education”.