This education is meant to transform village children into model villagers. It is principally designed for them. The inspiration for it has come from the villages… Basic education links the children, whether of the cities or the villages, to all that is best and lasting in India. It develops both the body and the mind, and keeps the child rooted to the soil with a glorious vision of the future in the realization of which he or she begins to take his or her share form the very commencement of his or her career in school.
Constructive Programme, pp. 15-16
The object of Basic Education is the physical, intellectual and moral development of the children through the medium of a handicraft. But I hold that nay scheme which is sound from the educative point of view and is efficiently managed is bound to be sound economically. For instance, we can teach our children to make clay toys that are to be destroyed afterwards. That too will develop their intellect. But it will neglect a very important moral principle, viz. that human labour and material should never be used in a wasteful or unproductive way. The emphasis laid on the principle of spending every minute of one’s life usefully is the best education for citizenship and incidentally makes Basic Education self-sufficient.
Let us now glance at the fundamentals of Basic Education:
The Introduction of manual training will serve a double purpose in a poor country like ours. It will pay for the educations of our children and teach them an occupation on which they can fall back in after-life, if they choose, for earning a living. Such a system must make our children self-reliant. Nothing will demoralize the nation so much as that we should learn to despise labour.
Young India, 1-9-‘21