Mahatma Gandhi’s Education Model is all that we need today

It is often said that Mahatma Gandhi had strong reservations against the Western education system. While this remains a debatable topic, his disapproval for rote learning educational methods is a well-known fact. In fact, his education model is highly influenced by his life’s philosophy and finds deep roots in the ancient Indian education system.

The education system proposed by Gandhi is called, ‘Basic Education’. Here, he lays emphasis on value-based, job-centered model. Explains Dr Shruti Tandon in her article, Gandhi’s Educational Thoughts, published at mkgandhi.org, “In his scheme of education, knowledge must be related to activity and practical experiences. Therefore his curriculum is activity centered. Its aim is to prepare the child for practical work, conduct experiments and do research so that he is able to develop himself physically, mentally and spiritually and become a useful member of society.”

Gandhiji also laid emphasis on physical training, nutrition, sanitation, hygiene so as to make students strong, confident and useful for their society.

Some of the principles that he believed should be a part of the education system are:

  1. Education of children between the age group of 7 to 14 should be free, compulsory and common.
  2. Children should be taught in their mother-tongue.
  3. Literacy is not equivalent to education.
  4. Children should be taught some local craft so that they become economically self-reliant in future.
  5. Value-based education is must to develop human values in a child.
  6. Education should make children responsible citizens who are in sync with their traditions (that is, skills imparted should be such that they become useful for their community or society).
  7. He laid emphasis on the overall development of a child – body, mind, heart and soul.
  8. In present-day societies, education should equip children with the skills and attitudes necessary to adapt to changing conditions.
  9. He laid a lot of stress on character development.

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