Gandhiji’s educational philosophy has been widely appreciated and accepted . Gandhi had a very practical view on education and believed that it should work on developing every aspect of a person and not just help him to read and write. He talked at length about the kind of education the Indian schools should render to their students.
Gandhiji propounded some prominent philosophical principles. For e.g. believe in God, truth, love, non-violence, brotherhood of men etc. The educational principles propounded by Gandhiji were based on his philosophical principles. The aim of education, the curriculum, the techniques of teaching, types of education etc., all were directed by his philosophy of life.
Gandhi and Aims of Education
1. All round development-
According to Gandhiji, ‘by education I mean an all round drawing out of the best in child- body, mind and spirit.’ All round development implies physical, mental, intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual development.
2. Character building-
Gandhiji believed that true education does not consisting literacy learning. But in character building through self-restrain.
According to Gandhiji, economic self-sufficiency is one of the most important fruits of good education. The craft education will bring about economic prosperity and enable the pupils to choose independent career to become self-sufficient.
4. Cultural development-
According to Gandhiji, it is the function of education to impart culture and native heritage. education must transmit the age old spiritual traditions of our land.
5. Social uplifts and welfare-
As per Gandhiji, education must be based on social good, welfare and must uplift the human aspects. natural education must build a society free from social exploitation and disparity.
Gandhi and Curriculum
Gandhiji believed that education should be related to real life situations. In other words, education should be related to the environment of the child. Emphasis should be given on all those subjects which concern our country, our people, our life, our physical and social environment. Gandhi also emphasized learning through mother tongue and not through English. Gandhi introduced crafts as an essential part of curriculum. he believed that craft would solve a number of educational and social problems.
Gandhi and Method of Teaching
Gandhiji emphasized teaching through correlation, craft and learning by doing. According to Gandhi, all knowledge should be correlated with craft. This will inspire self-activity and self-experience. Gandhi wanted that the whole process of education should be imparted through some handicrafts. He wanted education to be self-supporting.
In addition to learning by doing, according to Gandhiji, learning may also take place by living and self-experience. Therefore, he recommended manual work, productive activities and social service as important procedure of teaching.
Free and Compulsory Education
Gandhiji believed that education can change a person for good and also help in the development of the nation. Since many people in our country can not afford to educate their children, he suggested free education for the children aged 7 to 14 years. he also suggested that education should become compulsory.
According to Gandhiji, education for women is as necessary as men. He advocated to provide special facilities if necessary for women education. he opined, along with 3R’s women must receive education in domestic affairs, upbringing of children, nursing, cleanliness and hygiene.
Basic Educational Scheme
Gandhiji was of firm conviction that the existing system of education was not in accordance with needs and aspirations of the people. Learning was not related to real life situations. No vocational training was being given. It could produce clerks only. The educated classes were unfit for any creative work. Money spent on primary education was a waste of expenditure. Real learning could not be imparted through the medium of foreign term.
It was in such a background and to put his educational ideas into actual practice, Gandhiji evolved the Basic Educational Scheme or Wardha Scheme of Education in 1937.
The major features of the Basic Education Scheme have been given below-
1. Free and compulsory education for all children from the 7 to 14 years.
2. Craft as the center of education.
3. Self-supporting education.
4. Mother tongue as medium of instruction.
5. Cult of non-violence.
6. Ideal of citizenship.
7. Co-operative living.
8. Correlation as the main procedure of teaching.
Thus, Gandhiji contributed a great deal to the field of education. His educational philosophy was naturalistic and idealistic. he suggested ideas to mould the education system in such a way that it ensured the all round development of an individual.