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EDUCATION > Basic Education (Buniyadi Shiksha)
Basic Education (Buniyadi Shiksha)
The Voice of Truth
My plan to impart primary education through the medium of the village handicrafts like spinning and carding etc, is thus conceived as the spread head of a silent social revolution fraught with the most far-reaching consequences. It will provide a healthy and moral basis of relationship between the city and the village and thus go a long way toward eradicating some of the worst evils of the present social insecurity and poised relationship between the classes. It will check the progressive decay of our villages and lay the foundation of a jester social order in which there is no unnatural division between the haves and haves not and everybody is assured of a living wage and the right to freedom. And all this would be accomplished without the horrors of a bloody class war or a colossal capital expenditure such as would be involved in the mechanism of the vast continent like India. Nor would it entail a helpless dependence on foreign imported machinery or technical skill. Lastly by obviating the necessity for highly specialized talent it would place the density of the masses, as it were in their own hands. But who will bell the cat? Will the city folk listen to me at all? Or, will mine remain a mere cry in the wildness? Replies to these and similar questions will depend more on lovers of education living in cities than on me.
As the necessity and value of regarding the teaching of village handicrafts as the pivot and Centre of education I have no manner of doubt. The method adopted in the institutions in India. I do not call education, i.e. drawing out the best in man, but a debauchery of the mind, It informs the mind any how where as the method of training the mind through village handicrafts from the very beginning as the central part would promote the real, disciplined development of the mind resulting in conversation of the intellectual energy and indirectly also the spiritual.
In my scheme of things the hands will handle tools before it draws or traces the writing. The eyes will read the pictures of letters and words as they will know other things in life, and the ears will catch the names and meanings of things and sentences. The whole training will be natural, responsive and therefore the quickest and the cheapest in the land. The children of my school will therefore read much more quickly than they will write. And when they write they will not produce daubs as I do even now but they will trace correct figures of the objects they may see. If the schools of my conception ever come into being I make bold to say that they will vie with the most advanced schools in quickness so far as reading is concerned and even writing even if it is common ground that the writing must be correct and not incorrect as now is in the vast majority of cases.
The basic 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. Congressman who want to build up the structure of Swaraj from its very foundation dare not neglect the children. Foreign rule has unconsciously though none the less surely, begin with the children in the field of education. Primary education is a farce designed without regards to the wants of India of the villages and for the matter even of the cities. 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 glorious vision of the future in the realization of which he or she begins to take his or her share from the very commencement of his or her career in school.
Source: "The selected works of Gandhi", Vol. 6