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Indian Political Science Association

GANDHIAN CONCEPTION OF EDUCATION-ITS RELEVANCE IN PRESENT TIMES


Author(s): Shant Bala
Source: The Indian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 66, No. 3 (July-Sept., 2005), pp. 531-548
Published by: Indian Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41856147
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The Indian Journalof PoliticalScience


Vol. LXVI, No. 3, July-Sept.,
2005
GANDHIAN CONCEPTION
OF EDUCATIONITS RELEVANCE
IN PRESENT TIMES
ShantBala
Mahatma
the
Gandhi,
father
ofthenation
gavethescheme
of
education
which
canbecalledthe
blue
India,
formodern
first
which
isjob centered,
print
system
ofnational
ofeducation,
valuebasedandmassoriented.
It is thefirstmodelof
vocationalisation
inIndia.InGandhian
scheme
ofeducation
must
berelated
toactivity
andpractical
ofeducation,
knowledge
Hisscheme
a close
experience.
ofeducation
envisages,
theschools
between
andcommunity
soas tomake
integration
child
more
socialminded
andco-operative.
Needofthehour
istoreorient
education
soas tochannelise
themanpower
in
theright
direction.
Inthereports
committees
ofthevarious
andcommissions
theneedandtheimportance
ofeducation
hasbeenemphasized
tomake
itvocational
i.e.job oriented
andproductive
With
theserious
forselfemployment.
problem
educated
menandwomen,
ofmounting
unemployed
young
unrest
thestudents,
re-orientation
growing
among
ofthe
educational
onthespirit
system
ofGandhian
conception
of
tobetheneedofthe21stcentury.
education
seems
MahatmaGandhi,thefatherof thenationgave theschemeof
EducationformodernIndiawhichcanbe calledthefirst
blueprintofthe
nationalsystem
ofeducationwhichisjob centered,
valuebasedandmass
oriented.It providesformanualworkalongwithintellectual
exercisea
centralplace in thecurriculum
at all stages. It is the firstmodelof
Vocationalisation
ofEducationinIndia.
wasa pivotal
Gandhijirealizedquiteearlyinhislifethateducation
activityon whichnotonlytheprogressof the individualbut moral,
economicpoliticalprogressoftheentiresocietydepends.An impartial
willrevealthatheis thestarting
studyofGandhiji'seducational
teachings
andpracticeinthecountry.
pointofmoderneducational
theory
Generallythe commonpeople identify
Gandhiji'seducational
with
known
what
is
as
the
Wardhascheme. The
philosophy
popularly
Wardhaschemeof educationis no doubtan integral
partof Gandhiji's
educationalphilosophy
butthisis a scheme,orprogramme
ofeducation
whichis notsynonymous
withGandhiji'sentire
of
philosophy Education.

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The IndianJournalofPoliticalScience

532

abouta changeintheheartsandmindsofpupils.
Whichaimsatbringing
In hisownwords "Educationmustbe ofa newtypeforthesakeofthe
creationof a new world".1He elaboratesit - "our systemof (Basic)
of themind,bodyand soul. The
educationleads to thedevelopment
caresonlyformind."2
ordinary
system
Gandhiji's conceptionof education is in harmonywithhis
philosophicalbeliefs. His philosophyof educationis based on his
andethicalideasof Gandhiji.He believed'God is Truth'
metaphysical
without
non-violence
and'Truthis God'. ButTruth
is nottruth
butuntruth
forhim.Hisentire
andactivity
standsontwofoundation
philosophy
pillars
i.e. 'Truth'and 'Non-violence'.Truthandnon-violence
arenotmerely
abstract
valuescherished
ofGandhian
byGandhijibutitis thequintessence
of theworld.
thought.Gandhijiranksamongthegreatest
philosophers
His viewonthenature
is monistic
ofreality
as is foundinhisearlywritings
"I believe",he said "in theabsoluteonenessof God therefore
also of
He affirmed
"I believeinessentialunityofmanandforthat
humanity"3.
matter
ofall thatlives".4ForGandhijithereis no otherGod thanTruth.
Whatis truth?Thoughthisis a difficult
question,yetGandhijisolvedit
forhimself
that
it
what
the
within
is
voice
us tellsus. IfTruthis
bysaying
God,howitcanbe realized.ForGandhijitheonlymeansfortherealization
of Truthis Ahimsa. Realisationof Truthi.e. God theultimate
goal of
humanlife. ForGandhijithateducationis trueeducationwhichhelpsin
thegoalsoflife.ForGandhijia student
meansonewhois hungry
obtaining
forlearning.Learningis knowledgeof whatis worthknowingabout.
"The onlythingworthknowingaboutis theatman.Trueknowledgeis
thusknowledge
oftheself."5ButGandhiji'sphilosophy
ofeducationis
notmerely
a philosophy
ofeducation
whichaimsatthespiritual
salvation
ofmanrather
itis awareofthematerial
dimensions
oflife.Gandhijisaid
- "By educationI meanan all rounddrawing
outofthebestinchildand
manbody,mindand spirit
I wouldtherefore
beginthe
child'seducationby teachingit a usefulhandicraft
and enablingit to
from
the
movement
it
its
For Gandhijitrue
produce
begins training."6
educationis thatwhichdrawsoutthespiritual
intellectual
andphysical
faculties
ofthechild.

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Gandhian ConceptionofEducation

533

The aim of educationin societyis determined


by thenatureof
aimsapartfrom
itssocial
societyandmanwecherish.
Gandhiji's education
and economicbeaming,transformation
of theindividualas well as the
wholesociety.Thusforhimeducationis a meansfortheup liftment
not
onlyof theindividualbutof theentiresociety.As Gandhijiwantedto
establisha socialorderbasedon socio-economic
justiceinwhich"There
willbe neither
millionaire
paupersnorbeggars,norhighnorlow,neither
norhalf-starved
employers
employees".7ThusforGandhijihis scheme
of Educationwillbe conduciveto obtainsucha society.
Themainfeature
oftheeducational
thatGandhijiconsidered
system
thebestwas thateducationshouldenhancealrounddevelopment
of the
oftheindividual
tocater
personality
alongwithsomevocationaltraining
theeconomicneedsof themembersof thesociety.For Gandhiji"The
education
oughttobe forthema kindofinsurance
against
unemployment."8
of
Gandhijibelievedthateverymanhas an equal rightto thenecessities
life,buthe hasalso thecorresponding
dutytodo somemanualworkwith
his body. To cultivatesuchnewvaluesamongthemembers
of society
andcatertheireconomicneedsandmakethemself-supporting,
inhisnew

schemeof educationhe laid emphasison handicraft.Howeverin his


ourchildren
willbe taught
the
opinion"Giventherightkindofteachers,
of
labour
and
learn
to
it
an
as
and
a
meansof
dignity
regard
integral
part
theirintellectual
andto realizethatitis patriotic
to payfortheir
growth,
theirlabour.Theoneofmysuggestion
is thathandicrafts
training
through
are to be taught,
notmerelyforproductive
work,butfordevelopingthe
intellect
ofthepupils."9 Thusinhisscheme- aimoftheeducationis to
of all thefouraspectsof human
bringabouta harmonious
development
viz body,heart,mindandspirit.
personality
The broaderaimof educationaccordingto Gandhijiis inculcate
the values of Truth,non-violence,bread labour,non stealing,nonorchastity,
antiuntouchability,
swadeshi,
possession,
brahmachrya
worship
andprayer,fasting
andserviceto humanity.

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The Indian JournalofPoliticalScience

534

ofletters
EducationdoesnotmeantoGandhijionly"a knowledge
itmeansa knowledgeofDuty.Ourown
butitmeanscharacter
building,
wordliterallymeans 'training'."10Gandhijiwantedthattheaim of
ofleadingcorporate
shouldbe thatchildren
education
maygetthetraining
lifebased on social aspectsof democracy.Theyshouldlearnto adjust
anddevelopa propercivicsense.
socialenvironment
withtheir
themselves
ofeducationis nottheresultof anystudy
Gandhiji's philosophy
in Indiaorelsewhere.His
movements
ofmodernorancienteducational
is 'original','new',andepochmaking.Itevolvedout
educational
theory
ofthepolitical,socialandeconomiclife
ofhiswideandlongexperiences
of his country.Gandhijirealizedat an earlyage thateducationwas a
remedyforall theills and evils withwhichIndia had been afflicted.
Gandhijibelievedthattheexistingsystemof educationin Indiawhich
didnotsuitto thecultureandgeniusofthepeople
was offoreign
import
to suittheneedsof societyand
itneededoverhauling
of Indiatherefore
the relevanceof Gandhian
people of India. In orderto understand
we shouldhavea clearpictureoftheeducational
ofeducation
conception
duringtheBritishperiodand has been in
systemwhichwas introduced
time.Theyear1835 was a turning
existencetilltothepresent
pointinthe
hisfamous
minute
forlordMacaulaypresented
ofIndianeducation
history
to lord
infavouroftheadoptionofEnglishas themediumofinstruction
Bentinck.Dealingwiththeaimofteaching
EnglishinIndia,hesaid, "we
a classwhomaybe interpreters
between
do ourbesttoform
mustatpresent
us and themillionswhomwe governa class ofpersonsIndianin blood
11
inmoralsandinintellect".
andcoloursbutEnglishintastes,inopinions,
toIndianeducation
which
Macaulaysminutes
gavea newdimension
The
introduction
of
for
had
Englishand
reachingconsequences.
- bothgoodandevil,butthelatterfarout
Europeancultureledtoresults
in 1931
therefore
theformer,
numbered
Gandhijiwascompelledtoremark
Affairs
of International
thatIndiawas moreilliterate
at RoyalInstitute
or a hundred
thenthanithad been fifty
yearsbefore.Let us see some

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GandhianConceptionofEducation

535

moreaspectsandevilconsequencesofthiseducationalsystem
1.

The systemdivorcedthe child fromhis physicaland social


forthe courses taughtin schools were entirely
surroundings,
to Indianlife.
unrelated

2.

It createda newclass in Indiaone knowingEnglishandtheother


innocent
ofit,Itlaidemphasison literary
as itsprimary
education,
aimwastoprepareyoungmenforsubordinate
govt,posts.Itfailed
todevelopa senseofcitizenship
inthestudents.Therehasbeena
foritwasbelievedthat,
whentheclasses
neglectofmasseducation,
wereeducated,theywouldcarrydowntheculture
tothemassesby
theprocessof 'filtration'.

It was againstsucha background


thattheeducationaltheoryof
ofeducation
needed
Gandhijievolvedandherealizedthatthewholesystem
an overhaul. The defectsof the existingsystemhave been set out
inthe ReportoftheZakirHussainCommittee
:
graphically
incondemning
Indianopinionispractically
unanimous
theexisting
systemofeducationin thecountry.In thepastithas failedto meetthe
mosturgent
andpressing
needsofnationallifeandtoorganizeanddirect
itsforcesandtendencies
intoproperchannels.12
The newschemeof educationwhichGandhijilaunchedin 1937
and advocatedwidelyin Indiawas namedBasic NationalEducationor
theWardhaScheme. In HarijanGandhijistated- "I wouldtherefore
ita usefulhandicraft
andenabling
beginthechild'seducationbyteaching
ittoproducefromthemoment
itbeginsitstraining.
I holdthatthehighest
ofthemindandsoulis possible
development
undersucha system
ofeducation.Onlyeveryhandicraft
hastobe taught
notmerelymechanically
as is donetodaybutscientifically
i.e.,thechild
shouldknowthewhyandwherefore
of everyprocess. I am notwriting
thiswithout
someconfidence,
becauseithas thebackingofexperience.

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The IndianJournalofPoliticalScience

536

wherever
Thismethodis beingadoptedmoreorlesscompletely
spinning
toworkers.I havemyself
is beingtaught
taughtsandalmakingandeven
on theselineswithgoodresults.Thismethoddoes notexclude
spinning
This is a revolutionary
a knowledgeof historyand geography
toacquirein
proposal,butitsavesimmenselabourandenablesa student
one yearwhathe maytakemuchlongerto learn. Thismeansall round
theWardhaConference
on the2ndOctober,
economy."13Inaugurating
1937,Gandhijisaid:
educationis
"I am convincedthatthepresentsystemof primary
harmful."14
butpositively
notonlywasteful
Gandhijimadea longinaugural
onthesalientfeatures
ofhiseducational
hedweltatlength
speechwherein
philosophy.
The conferencethereforeappointeda committeeof leading
withDr. ZakirHussainas itsChairman
withtheobjectsof
educationists
examinedtheproblemof
a detailedsyllabus.Thiscommittee
preparing
itsreport
toGandhijionthe2nd
educationinall itsaspectsandsubmitted
December,1937. The Reportembodieswhatis knownas theWardha
SchemeofBasic NationalEducation.
AlthoughWardhaSchemeof Educationhas been called 4Nai
Taleem' as well as basic educationbutit is popularlyknownas 'Basic
Itmeansthatthisschemeof
Education",Basic standsforfundamentals.
of India. It
educationwas basedon thenationalcultureandcivilization
withthebasicneedsandinterests
ofpupils.
wouldhavecloserelationship
features
oftheschemeare
Some important

1.

Free CompulsoryEducationEducationshouldbe freeand compulsory


forall boysand girls

betweentheages ofsevenand fourteen.


Butthisdoes notmeanthatGandhijiwas notcautioustotheneed

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GandhianConceptionofEducation

537

andadulteducation.InfactGandhiji's
ofpre-primary,
post-primary,
higher
educationalphilosophycomprisesall thesestagesof education,but
ofthechildren
between
emphasishasbeenlaidontheeducation
particular
sevenand fourteen
years.In Gandhiji'sownwords:
overa periodof 7 yearsor longer
education,
extending
"Primary
andcoveringall thesubjectsuptomatriculation
standard,
exceptEnglish,
minds
out
the
ofboysand
vehicle
for
drawing
plusa vocationusedas the
ofknowledge,
shouldtaketheplaceofwhatpasses
girlsinall departments
middleandhighschooleducation."15
todayunderthenameofprimary,
education,because it is
Gandhijiincludessecondaryin primary
ofthepeople
theonlyeducationso-calledthatis availabletosmallnumber
the
in ourvillages. He was convincedthat,ifwe wishedto ameliorate
withprimary
education.
we mustcombinethesecondary
ruralconditions,
for
Gandhijiwantsto leavehighereducationtoprivateenterprise
technical
in
the
various
whether
national
industries,
requirements
meeting
shouldbe accordingto Gandhiji,
artsor finearts.The StateUniversities
thefeeschargedfor
through
purelyexaminingbodies,selfsupporting
examination.16
thatGandhijiconsiderededucationas one,
Thus it is manifest
in
indivisible
and integrated,
process,butin viewsof thecircumstances
on the
whichthe countryhad been placed, he focusedhis attention
educationof thechildrenbetweentheage of sevenand fourteen
years.
theimportance
oftheotherstagesofeducation,
He didnotunderestimate
educationatprimary
buthe was infavourofuniversal
stages.In hisown
education
ofhigher
hesaid,"wecanpostponethequestion
words"I think"
education
ofprimary
cannotbe postponed
forsometime;buttheproblem
evenfora minute."17
2.

Craftas theCentreofEducation-

somecraftas productive
Educationshouldbe imparted
through
workwhichshouldprovidethenucleousofall theinstruction
providedin

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The IndianJournalofPoliticalScience

538

theschool.
In hisownwords- "Thecoreofmysuggestion
is thathandicrafts
areto be taught,
notmerelyforproductive
work,butfordevelopingthe
intellect
ofthepupils."

3.

Self-supporting
aspectofeducationThe aim of educationin societyis determined
by thenatureof

societyand man we cherish.Therefore


Gandhijiwantedto makethe
individual
and societybothself-supporting
byhisschemeof education.
i.e. afterfinishing
a
Gandhijiholdthatthechildat theage of fourteen,
sevenyears'course,shouldbe discharged
as anearning
unit.As Gandhiji
himself
thatlookingto the
putit,"youhaveto startwiththeconviction

needsofthevillagesof Indiaourruraleducationoughtto be madeselfif it is to be compulsory".18


His plan aimedat imparting
supporting

educationandsimultaneously
at therootofunemployment.
cutting
Cult of Non-violence

Gandhiji'sschemeofeducationis imbuedwithhiscardinalcreed
ofnon-violence.In hisspeechat theWardhaconference
he said:
"The idea of self-supporting
educationcannotbe divorcedfrom
theideologicalbackground
of non-violence
and unlesswe bearin mind
thatthenewschemeis intended
tobringintobeinga newage fromwhich
classandcommunal
hatredis eliminated
andexploitation
is echewed,we
cannotmakea successofit. We shouldtherefore,
approachthetaskwith

firm
faithinnon-violence
andinthefaiththatthenewschemeis evolved
as thepanaceaforaltevils."19
bya mindthathasconceivednon-violence
EducationforDemocraticValues -

the
Gandhijiwantedthattheeducationshouldaim at training
children
of leadingcorporate
lifebased on socialaspectsofdemocracy.
inthebestmanner
withtheirsocial
Theyshouldlearntoadjustthemselves
environment.
A properdevelopment
ofcivicsenseandadjustment
with

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GandhianConceptionofEducation

539

worthcitizensofthecountry.
wouldmakechildren
thesurroundings
Gandhiji'sideas on educationseemto be verymuchrelevantin
1964-66.Kothari
ofsociety.Education
commission
thepresent
conditions
Commissionreported
is moreimportant
or more
no reform
In our opinion,therefore,
educationto endeavourto relateto itto thelife,
thanto transform
urgent
needs and aspirationof the people and therebymake it a powerful
transformation
ofsocial,economicandcultural
instrument
necessaryfor
ofournationalgoals. Thiscan be doneifeducation:
therealization
is relatedtoproductivity;

- strives
values.20
tobuildcharacter
social,moralandspiritual
bycultivation
ofeducation
howmuchGandhiji'sconception
Hereitis self-evident
is relevant
reported
today.KothariCommission
ofeducationdesignedtomeettheneedsofan
The presentsystem
setbya feudalandtraditional
within
thelimitations
administration
imperial

society,will need radicalchangesif it is to meetthe purposesof a


andsocialisticsociety
democratic
, In fact,what
modernizing
ineducation
whichintumwillsetinmotionthe
is neededis a revaluation
revolution.21
muchdesiredsocial,economicandcultural

hisnewscheme
Thisis whatGandhijidesiredwhilehepromulgated
orderbased on justice.
of educationto developa new socio-economic
Gandhijiwas a firmbelieverin theprincipleof freeand compulsory
education.He holdthatwe couldrealizethisonlybyteaching
primary
a usefulvocationand utilizingitas a meansforcultivating
thechildren
faculties.The resolution
on National
theirmental,
physicalandspiritual

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The IndianJournalofPoliticalScience

540

PolicyonEducationin 1968 adoptedGandhiji'sideaoffree& compulsory


educationforall thechildren
up totheage of 14.Gandhiji'semphasison

vocationaltraining
to students
hasbeengivendueimportance
byKothari
Commission
initsreportAnotherprogrammewhich can bringeducationinto closer
withproductivity
is to give a strongvocationalbias to
relationship
and
secondaryeducation,and to increasetheemphasison agricultural
educationattheUniversity
We visualizethe
technological
stage
future
trend
ofsocialeducation
tobe towards
a fruitful
ofgeneral
mingling

andvocationaleducation.Generaleducationcontaining
someelements

of pre-vocational
and technicaleducation,and vocationaleducation,in
itsturn,
havingan elementofgeneraleducation.22

The policy of vocationalisation of education was finally


whentheNationalpolicyoneducation1986wasadoptedby
promulgated

theParliament.
Afterthedeclaration
oftheNationalPolicyon education
of HumanResourceDevelopment,
Govt,of India,
1986, theMinistry
announcedtheprogrammeof Actionforits implementation,
it laid
of educationas well as adulteducation.
emphasison vocationalisation
Thecentraladvisory
boardofeducationcommittee
orJanardhana
Reddy
Committee
1992also reported
shouldbe madetoensurethattheconstitutional
Everyeffort
ofproviding
freeandcompulsory
education
obligation
uptotheage of 14
yearsbecomes a realitybeforewe enterthe twenty-first
century.23
vocationalisation
ofeducationJRCreported
Regarding
The work experience programmemay be systematically
implemented
byallocating12.5percentto20 percentoftheschooltimes
fortheseactivities,
theactivitiesshouldhayea practicalorientation
in

relation
tovarioussubjectsunderthisprogramme.
Thevocational"core"
wouldfindplace at thesecondaryand highersecondarystages;work
W wouldrelatetoelementary
education.24
experience/SUP

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GandhianConceptionofEducation

541

We findthatthegenesis ofourNationalpolicyofeducationand
ofaction1986 layingemphasison earlychildhoodcareand
programme
vocationalisation
Universal
ofeducation,
education,
Education,
Elementary
educationforwomen'sequality,
Adulteducation
arepresent
inGandhiji's
'TheConceptofBasic
newschemeofeducation.Inthedocument
entitled
Education1956.25 broadlyspeakingtheconceptofbasic educationis
thesame as thatwas definedin thereportof Basic NationalEducation
andelucidated
Committee
(The ZakirHussainCommittee)
bytheCentral
AdvisoryBoard of Education. This conceptof Basic Educationis as
muchrelevant
todayas whenitwas announcedbyGandhiji.:
Basic educationas conceivedandexplainedbyMahatmaGandhi,
a social orderfreefromviolence
is an educationwhichaimsat creating
workin
andinjustice.Therefore,
creative,
sociallyusefulandproductive
ofany
theschoolsinwhichall boysandgirlsmayparticipate,
irrespective
ofcasteandclassis placedatthecoreofbasiceducation.The
distinction
fundamentalobjective of basic educationis nothingless thanthe
in totality
whichincludes
of thechild'stotalpersonality
development
as well.
efficiency
productive
mustbe related
toactivity
Inbasiceducation
andpractial
knowledge
experience.To ensurethisbasic educationpostulatesthatcurriculum
The
andsocialenvironment.
shouldbe relatedto- craftworkandnatural
inthebasicschoolsshouldnotbe
work,crafts
emphasisontheproductive
takentomeanthatthestudyofbookswillbe ignored.Thebasic scheme
so as
betweentheschoolsandthecommunity
evisagesa close integration
Basic
tomakethechildmoresocialmindedandco-operative.Therefore
as meantexclusively
fortherural
educationshouldno longerbe regarded
inurbanareasalso.
areas. Itshouldbe introduced
- Gandhiji'sgoal
Thisis whatwe needinthisage ofglobalization
'
canbe realizedbysucha schemeofuniversal
of Vasudhevkutumbkam'
has been
education.In theschemeofBasic educationno differentiation
madebetweenboysand girls.It is equallypossiblefora girlto growto

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The IndianJournalofPoliticalScience

542

a basiccraft.
ifshereceiveshereducation
herfullstature,
Gandhiji
through
of India wouldhave no
was fullyalive to thefactthatindependence
bondsofignorance,
so longas herwomenwereenslavedwithin
meaning,
their
from
these
Without
andevilsocialcustoms.
emancipation
superstition
or
material
bondsthesocietycannotprogress moral,
Therefore,
spiritual.
he cameto theconclusionthateducationwas themostpotentinstrument
ofwomenviz a viz society.In hisownwords- "As
fortheregeneration
to the
as theymustin proportion
womenbeginto realizetheirstrength,
resenttheglaringinqualitiesto
education
theyreceive,theywillnaturally
whichtheyaresubjected."26
of education10 + 2 in India
of thenewpattern
The introduction
of highersecondaryeducationat an
envisagedthe vocationalisation
scale. NationalCouncilofEducationalResearchandTraining
extensive
(NCERT) in 1976 prepareda documentand spelled out details of
committee
on HigherSecondary
thescheme.Curriculum
implementing
1976 emphasised
vocationalisation
Educationand itsVocationalisation,
levelofeducationat highersecondary
students
intotheacademic
The aim of whichis to avoid forcing
to choose subjectsand
channelalone and to offerthemopportunities
to studyin a muchwiderfieldofeducationinkeepingwith
programmes
and abilities,witha view to increasingtheir
theiraptitudes,interests
whichwouldinturnprovidesocietywithpersonnel
employability
having
a wide spectrumof knowledgeand trainingforits own needs and
and elimination
It also aimsat thereduction
of frustration
upliftment.
fromnon-productive
and aimlesseducation
amongtheyouthresulting
offered
atpresent.27
on vocationalisation
ofeducationthereportquotedElaborating
VocationalEducationas definedby Unesco; in itsrecommendation
of
1974on TechnicalandVocationalEducationas a thoseaspectsof theeducational
termembracing
Comprehensive
inaddition
togeneral
thestudy
oftechnologies
education,
processinvolving

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GandliianConceptionofEducation

543

and reiatedsciences and acquisition of practical skills, attitudes,


andknowledge
tooccupations,
inthevarioussectors
understanding
relating
ofeconomicandsocial life. Suchan educationwouldbe an integral
part
ofgeneraleducationand a meansofpreparing
foran occupational
field,
an aspect of continuingeducationshould further
contributeto the
achievement
of society'sgoals of greaterdemocratization
and social
culturalandeconomicdevelopment.Whileatthesametimedeveloping
thepotential
oftheindividual
foractiveparticipation
intheestablishment
and implementation
ofthesegoals.28
Committee
was clearin itsrecommendations
thatvocationalised
education
cannotbe equatedwithmeretechnical
secondary
higher
training;
itis essentially
intheboarder
education
senseoftheterm.Itwouldprepare
andcultivate
theindividual
tounderstand
thesocialreality
andtorealize
hisownpotential
within
theframework
ofeconomicdevelopment
towhich
the individualcontributes.Education does not producejobs, but
vocationalised
educationmakesitwerelikelyforan individualto geta
a newproductive
or
job ortobe hisownmasterbyeitherstarting
activity
a servicewhichmaysatisfy
a feltneedofthecommunity.29
Hereitseemstobe veryclearthatGandhijiis morerelevant
today
thanin theEra of pre-independence
whenhe advocatedthateducation
shouldbe imparted
somecraftorproductive
workbutthecraftor
through
workchosenshouldbe richineducative
productive
possibilities.
Gandhiji
approachestheproblemof educationwithan openmind.Gandhijiwas
child'smindwithall kindsofinformation,
hisinsight
opposedtostuffing
intohumannatureled himto thebeliefthatitis through
thatthe
activity
childcanmakeintellectual
Thechild'stendency
tospontaneous
progress.
is thebasis ofeducation.In hisview,theactivity
which
activity
through
thechild's mental,physicaland spiritualfacultiesare to be cultivated
shouldnotbe mereside activity,
buta centralpurposiveactivity
likea
or manualwork.Gandhijistartswiththechild'smanualand
handicraft
constructive
whichappealstohisinterests
andtastes.
activity

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The IndianJournalofPoliticalScience

544

Moreovermanualworkbringsthechildincontactwithmatter.In
thechildrealizestheutilityof thevariousrawworkingwithmatter,
materialsand tools, whichhe handles,cleans and sharpens. Such
knowledge
openhismindto scienceandeconomics.Thisis Gandhiji's
manualwork.Therefore
ofliterary
training
through
Gandhiji
conception
has to be taughtnotmerelymechanically
emphasized"everyhandicraft
i.e. thechildshouldknowthewhyand
as is donetoday,butscientifically,
of everyprocess."For Gandhijino educationwouldbe
thewherefore
socialthatdoes notmakeusefulcitizensofboysandgirls.
ofeducationis indigenous
Thuswe see thatGandhiji'sconception
andfuture
needsofthecountry.
The
andbaseduponthesocialconditions
mainfunction
of educationis to fittheindividualto playhisrolein the
manner.
societyina worthy
AdultEducationand reGandhijirealizedveryearlythatitwas byan awakening
oftheadultmindthatsocietycouldbe organized
ona newand
orientation
onAdulteducationheldatMysorein
basis. TheUnescoseminar
healthy
of adulteducation.Aftera
November,1949, discussedthedefinition
inAsian countries
obtaining
studyofvarioussocialconditions
thorough
werearrivedat
thefollowing
conclusions
Adulteducationstandsforbasic minimum
educationof
of thistypeof education
everyadultabove 18 yearsofage,butbenefit
mightbe modifiedand extendedto adolescentsbelowthatage. It was
wastopreparetheindividual
tolive
agreedthattheaimofadulteducation
andto raisehis
a sanehealthy
lifein a decenthome,to workprofitably,
ofextension
ofeducation
economiclevelthrough
literacy
bytheprovision
was definedas abilitytoreadand
andbyrecreational
facilities.Literacy
write.30
Adulteducationin Indiaassumesimmenseproportion.
Gandhiji
was awareofit. UndertheguidanceofGandhijiyoungmenandwomen

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GandhianConceptionofEducation

545

wentto villagesand providedtheilliterate


villagerstheknowledgeof
andgavethemthefirstlessonof literacy.
readingandwriting
In fewcountries
is theneedforadulteducationmoreurgent
than
in India. Gajndhijiwas aware of it. The Ashramsat Sabarmatiand
thathe imparted
to hundreds
and thousands
Sevagramand thetraining
inthefieldofadulteducation.
theseareall achievements
Importance
given
ofthegrownpeoplewasrecongnised
byGandhijitotheenlightenment
by
theGovt,ofIndianbymakinga policystatement
on AdultEducationon
on adulteducation,
April5, 1977. As a resultof thepolicystatement
Nationaladulteducationprogramme
was launchedin thecountryon
October2, 1978. Itwasenvisagedtocovertheentirepopulation
in 15-35
age groupbytheendof 1983-84.
Accordingto B.P. Khandelwal31theeducationalscenarioin the
2 1stcentury
influenced
. Itis also
is highly
bytheimpactofglobalization
thatbasiceducation
infaceofglobalization
should
recognized
increasingly
includemuchmorethanprimary
education.Somecountries
haveextended
educationup to theage of 16 or 18.32
theage of freeand compulsory
Thustheneedofthehouris to reorient
educationso as to channelise
the
intheright
direction.In thereports
ofvariouscommittees
and
manpower
commissions
theneedandtheimportance
ofthereorientation
ofeducation
tomakeitvocationali.e.job oriented
hasbeenemphasized
andproductive
forself-employment.
- the
Here seemstherelevanceof Gandhiji's as an educationist
essenceofbasiceducationliesin"an all rounddrawing
outofthebestin
childandman,bodymindandspirit."ThecoreoftheconceptofGandhiji'
s
educationaltheoryis thathandicrafts
to thepupilsare to be taughtnot
InGandhian
forproductive
theirintellect.
work,butfordeveloping
merely
schemeofthings
educationlaysemphasison manuallabour,production
andself-sufficiency,
itwillhelp students
to choosevocationeasilyafter
onsociety
their
education thustheywillnotbecomeparasites
completing
theirlearning.Insteadofwaitingforjobs requiring
aftercompleting
only

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The Indian JournalofPoliticalScience

546

thedignity
oflabour
mentallabourtheycanemploythemselves
bylearning
with
which lacks todayamongtheyoungboysand girls. Correlation
withothersubjectsis an important
andenvironment
andco-ordination
craft
ofeducation.Itcaterstothevariedtalents
aspectofGandhianconception
kindsof work. Various
different
and tastesof thechildby offering
of theprogramme
sociologicaland economicdimension
psychological,
ofthepersonality
ofmenandwomen.
aimat thedevelopment
oftotality
educatedunemployed
Withtheseriousproblems
ofmounting
youngmen
of the
re-orientation
and women,growingunrestamongthestudents,
onthespirit
ofGandhian
seems
ofeducation
educational
conception
system
to be theneedofthe21stcentury.
References:
1.

Harijan,19.1.47,p. 494.

2.

Harijan,9.11.47,p. 401.

3.

YoungIndia,25.9.24.

4.

YoungIndia,4. 12.24.

5.

CollectedworksofMahatmaGandhi,Vol. XXVI, p. 362

6.

Harijan,31.7.37,p. 197.

7.

Harijan,18.1.48,p. 526.

8.

Harijan,11.2.37

9.

Harijan,11.9.37,p. 256.

10.

CollectedWorksofMahatmaGandhi,Vol. IX, p. 208,25.3.1919.

11.

SelectionsfromEducational
Records,PartI, p. 117, citedinPatel,
ofMahatmaGandhi,p. 80.
M.S.; The EducationalPhilosophy

12.

EducationalReconstruction,
(2nd Ed.) Sevagram(Wardha)
Hindustani

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GandhianConceptionofEducation

547

TalimiSangh,p. 119.
13.

Harijan,31.7.37,p. 197.

14.

EducationalReconstruction,
p. 60.

15.

Harijan,2.10.37.

16.

Ibid.

17.

EducationalReconstruction,
p. 96.

18.

Harijan,18.9.37.

19.

EducationalReconstruction,
p. 94.

20.

ExtractsfromtheReportof Educationcommission1964-66intheHistory
ofModemIndian
(1.20); Aggarwal,
J.C.;Landmarks
Education,
pp. 177-178.

21.

ExtractsfromtheReportof EducationCommission,1964-66(1.17); Ibid.,p. 177.

22.

ExtractsfromtheReportof EducationCommission1964-66(1.32). Ibid.,pp. 178-179.

23.

Extracts
from
theReport
ofCABE orJanardhana
Reddycommittee,
1992- (2.6) and(9.17); Ibid.,p. 398.

24.

Ibid.(12.12); Ibid.,p. 400.

25.

of Educationand ScientificResearch,Government
of
Ministry
India,1956.

26.

The SelectedWorksofMahatmaGandhi,Vol.
NarayanShriman,
The
Voice
of
Six,
Truth,
p. 484.

27.

ExtractsfromtheReportof Curriculum
Committee
on Higher
Secondary

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The Indian JournalofPoliticalScience

548

1976,( 1.2); landmarks


inthe
EducationandItsVocationalisation,
p. 292.
HistoryofModernIndianEducation,
28.

Ibid.,Extracts
(5.1).

29.

Ibid.,Extracts
(5.2).

30.

ofMahatmaGandhi,p. 243.
EducationalPhilosophy

31.

Director National Instituteof Educational Planning and


Administration.

32.

Education"inRao,
Khandelwal,
B.P.; "PolicyIssuesinSecondary
K.S.: (ed.) EducationalPoliciesin IndiaAnalysisand Reviewof
PromiseandPerformance,
p. 143.2002.

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