The function of education is to
create ideal citizens. Ideal means an individual is overwhelming
with virtues and is always well behaved. Idol citizens are the
pre-requisite for coherent and comprehensive development. The
education to produce the best citizens means the education of the
hearts of people. This expects education to changes the hearts of
Explaining the meaning of genuine
education Mahatma Gandhiji says, “Genuine education does not consist
of cramming a lot of information and numbers in mind. Nor it lies in
passing the examination by reading a number of books, but it lies in
developing character. It is a real education which inculcates
internal virtues (values) in human beings. If you can develop such
virtues, it will be the best education”.
“Education is a process of
comprehensive development of the best things (point, parts) lying in
the mind and soul of children or men and bringing them out”1
Gandhiji has shown the royal path to us and to the world to observe
and implement the lofty virtues and daily life practice by setting
an example of himself by putting in to practice those ideals in his
daily life activities. Value education means the education that
teaches to put the virtues and values in to practices.
According to the concept of value
education giving by great Indian thinkers like Gandhiji, Gurudev
Tagore, Dr. Radhakrushnan, Maharshi, Arvind, Swami Vivekanand and
the values presented by the National Education commission and NEP
1986, it is made clear that value education means -
- Morality, equanimity, sympathy and spiritual development education.
- Education of development of virtues like simplicity, freedom, laboriousness, aesthetic sense etc.
- Education of universal values like truth and non- violence.
- Education for noble embellishment, expression of basic growth by good conduct and change of heart.
- Education for development humanity broad mindedness, serviceability fearlessness (boldness),
honesty, devotion, respect, co-operation, sense of responsibility etc.
- Education for integrity and democratic sense development. There lies the opportunity for all
the above values to develop in basic Education.
Gandhiji was a great revolutionary person. He had deeply thought over all the aspects (factors)
relating to life. He has show a new path for solution of problems of entire world by placing the universal human values at social and
Gandhiji happened to read Ruskin’s “Unto the Last” given by Polak during the train journey in
South-Africa. Its impact on Gandhiji was miraculous. Gandhiji found three doctrines of universal welfare (Sarvodaya) from this book. They are as under.
- “Welfare of all (universal welfare) is our welfare.
- The work of a barber and lawyer should be equality appraised because the right of livelihood is equal for all.
- Simple and laborious life of a farmer is the real life”.2
Gandhiji set up Phoenix Ashram (hermitage) in south-Africa to apply these doctrines in daily
practice. He took up experiments of education, thus it can be said that the seeds of educational thoughts were in Gandhiji in
South-Africa. He conducted Educational experiment at phoenix Ashram and Tolstoy wadi (Garden) in South-Africa.These include:
- Education for character building, education thought mother-tongue.
- Place of manual work in education and co-education.
- Hostel residence and community life.
- Moral education though character and good conduct.
- Educational of soul should be imparted thought teacher’s (model) life rather than through books.
- Health education for physical fitness and health and insistence for simple life.
- Importance for self-help and self-reliance, education for thoroughness (strength), education for citizenship.
- Education for self-help and self-reliance, education for personality development.
- Education for avoiding caste and colour distinction, education for vocation useful for life.
- Education for equality of all the religions, education based (founded) on truth, non-violence and justice”.
Gandhiji held educational experiment at Shantiniketan, Kocharab Ashram, Sabarmati Ashram and Gujarat
Vidhyapeeth after returning form South-Africa, and gave a new vision
(philosophy) of education to educational world by placing “Vardha
educational Scheme” before the nation in 1937.
The report of “Vardha Education
Schme-1937 include ( covered) only the primary stage of education.
But in 1945, Gandhiji put the concept of “comprehensive basic
Education (Samagra Nai Talim) Training before the nation”.
The five national values presented
under the title of national Panchsheel included in NPE 1986 viz (1)
Cleanliness (2) Truthfulness (3) Hardwork (3) equality and (5)
co-operation are naturally developed in basic education.
In basic education system it is
recommended to impart education thought mother tongue and if is
already so. Gnadhiji, too believed that the foundation of education
should be laid through mother tongue. It helps inculcating values
like love towards mother tongue and Swadeshi (native).
Education through industry is the
basic principal of basic education, Basic education, because it help
developing values like respect for manual labour, sense of
co-operation, feeling of being mutually helpful through manual work,
development of friendship feeling, economical self-reliance, team
spirit and sincerity.
Today we have forgotten self-help
(self-labour) I education. As a result children seem to be lacking
behind in routine dealing skills in daily life. Present education
has become examination centered. Due to this curiously enough a
student, fluently uttering any principal of since, answer of
questions of history or fluently reciting any of the Gujarati poems
becomes nervous when the fuse of home light burns or a nail of shoe
is dropped out. Everybody must learn to do his/her own work by
Present children seem to understand
that clearing house, sweeping room, cleansing room with wet cloth,
cleaning vessels; washing clothes are the foundations of work women.
Such mis-concept of child’s mind prevents their comprehensive
development. Such misconnect will be removed only when self-labour
will be given an important place in education.
Self- labour is given an important
place in basic education. Here children do as many activities as
possible on their own accord. As a result, values like exertion,
efforts, courage, initiation, respect for manual labour,
self-confidence and self-confidence and self-dependence etc. develop
automatically in children.
Basic education imparts children
training of self-reliance. One of the four major resolutions formed
by Vardha Parishad reads thus: “During the entire time period, the
centre of education must be some type of physical and (useful)
productive work, and the abilities of children should be developed
and education should be imported as far as possible in co-ordination
with the central major industry selected by them and keeping in view
the environment of children” in this productivity is directly
connected with self-reliance.
Gandhiji has said in context of self
reliance. “I would prefer to start a child’s education after
teaching him some useful manual industry and enabling him for some
innovative creation. Every school can be self-reliant”.7 Education
should offer a child such a strength that he can be free form
tension about his future (i.e. What to do?) at the end of
education. Shastri Jayendra Dave while explaining the meaning of
self-dependence says, Self-dependence means relief from economical,
social, mental or any type of surjection - individual’s being
self-reliant. An individual should acquire three-fold independence
(self-reliance) after completing education”8 that is why Gandhiji
had advocated education through industry, so that the individual can
stand on his legs (be –self-reliant), that is he/she can be
Collective (inseparable) education,
too, has been given place as important as industry and community
life. Saint Vinobajee has said. “The learning process between
teacher and student is not possible without harmony among (home)
family, society, environment, and embellishment. If even one of them
is absent, it raises a risk of failure of education exereise”19 That
is way Gandhiji has show us the path of comprehensive education
generated by experience through perceptible functions or industry
going to the open environmental rather than the education process in
a close room of four walls.
Thus education thought comprehensive
education system leads to the promotion of values. Like
environmental preservation, human viewpoint, awareness of social
accountability and social service.
In basic education Gandhiji has given
the same importance to community life as to industry as a medium of
education. Education thought community life develops in children the
qualities like team spirit should to shoulder work that is
co-operation and a sense of mutual help. A Children acquires
competence of social adjustment thought community life. In
traditional education system, only class-room teaching talks place
collectively. There too, the education is being imparted through
talking or lecture method rather than activities. As a result the
development of sociability in children does not reach the expected
While in the other hand, in Gandhiji
basic education system, the education of community life is imparted
through perceptible activity of daily life dealings and various
activities of industry. Daily activities of school and laborious,
creative and productive activities of hand industry have been made a
medium of community education. Thus a child naturally develops
sociability. Ashrami (Residential) Education has been given a
crucial place in basic education Present residential education has
its roots in our ancient Indian culture. Gandhiji said, “I erect an
Ashram wherever I go, as if I don’t know anything else”. This is
true. This ‘Ashram’ Itself becomes the form of education. In our
country there prevailed an Indian traditional of this Ashrami
education in ‘Penance forest’ (ascetics dwelling) and ‘Gurukul’.
Gandhiji comes and conducted
experiment as to what Ashrami education can be suitable to modern
circumstance (time and place), wherever he went. According to him,
“Ashram was his laboratory of education”. In Ashrami education
system, the education for comprehensive development of children
isimparted through co-curricular activities like community life,
mass prayer, common dinner, physical exercise, team works, games and
sports, assignment (homework), cultural programmes, celebration of
special days, and creative programmes.
Ashrami (residential) education is
necessary in Basic Education. Children arise in the early morning,
complete their routine work and recite collective all religions
prayer is recited in the evening, too, at the hostel. Collective
(mass) prayer programme is inevitably implemented in school also.
This helps cultivating values like spiritual values, non-indulgence
in taste, non-stealing (not using more than one’s needs),
non-violence, outlook of equality to words all religious, honestly,
holiness, peace in children.
During hostel residential children
take up various activities in various teams or collectively. These
include room cleaning, ground cleaning, dining hall cleaning, toilet
and urinal cleaning, fetching water, cooking activities, corn
cleaning, watering plants, beside there own (personal) activities
like washing cloth, taking bath etc. In short, training of all the
functions related to life is imparted in basic education system. Due
to this, values like cleanliness, self-reliance, labour, team
spirit, co-operation, endurance power, loyalty, good conduct,
honestly, duty observance (discipline), obedience, time-keeping,
Exercises, games and sport related to physical education are also
organized with a view to developing health related values in
In basic education, various
celebrations such as national festivals, birth anniversary, death
anniversary, parents (guardians) day, self-education day,
environment day, world population day and such other days are
celebrated. Cultural programmes are organized on such occasions.
Moreover, creative programmes given by Gandhiji such as village
cleaning, prevention of untouchability, communal unity, prohibition
(of alcoholic drinks) Khadi activities, adult education, women
uplift, health education, nursing of lepers, addiction relief, etc.
are celebrated in basic schools as well as in community and hostels.
All these help developing moral values, spiritual values, social
values, national values, cultural values and individual values
naturally among children. Thus basic education is such a medium
through which values useful for the life are naturally developed among children.
Source: ‘Ailaan’ Vol. I, Phase III, March 2010
*Dr. Sitaram P Deshmukh, Assistant Professor, Shikshan Mahavidyalaya, Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad.