Gandhi’s Philosophy of Education: Analytical Essay

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Abstract

Gandhiji’s philosophy of education was not the upshot of any study of modern or ancient educational movements in India or elsewhere. This educational theory is original, new and epoch making. It evolved out of his wide and long experiences of the political, social and economic life of his country. In Gandhian scheme of education, knowledge must be related to activity and practical experience. His scheme of education envisages, a close integration between the school and the community so as to make child more social and cooperative. This scheme was the first attempt to develop an indigenous scheme of education in British India by Mahatma Gandhi. As a nationalist leader he fully realized that the British system of education could not serve the socio-economic need of the country. So he had developed a complete philosophy of education for the whole country. This paper aims to find out how much teachers aware about Gandhiji’s work centred education and its applications.

Keywords: Work centred Education, Basic Education

Introduction

“Gandhiji has secured a unique place in the galaxy of the great teachers who have brought fresh light in the field of Education”- Swaroop Saxena(Education in Emerging Indian Society ).

Mahatma Gandhi is known as a practical-idealist. His own experiences and process of formation of his precepts form the basis of all his activities and ideas. His ideas and philosophy is drawn from various Indian and foreign sources. Gandhiji, indeed, has had an open mind, independent thinking and an interdependent life style or way of life. His life is his message and it is replete with philosophical landmarks in the area of education for modern age of ‘knowledge, information technology and globalisation.” Gandhian philosophy of education revolves around a few fundamental contours. These, apparently, are basic philosophical perspectives with an element of timelessness attached to them. Now a days the school education, which we are providing to our kids is just a whitewash, which have no use to them and every year the number is increasing. The worst part is that the fees which is given by poor parents is a mere wastage because their wards are not able to perform well as they are not able to provide them extra classes after school and in govt. schools the quality is deteriorating day by day. Due to this poor parents are becoming poorer. In this direction serious effort is required by the govt. and this could be only possible if we follow the idea of basic education of Gandhi(Deka,2017).

Gandhi’s concept of Basic Education has got the maximum attention. It aims at all round development of human personality. His primary emphasis is on the 3’H’s i.e. – Head, Heart and Hand, rather than on 3 R’s i.e. – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. For Gandhi, The true development of head, heart and soul are necessary for a satisfactory system of education.” “In his scheme, vocational training or work experience occupied a central position as he wanted education to be responsive to socio-economic need of the Indian society. Perhaps, this was one of the reasons for his aversion to book oriented/Central Education at the expense of education through crafts.” The Basic Education envisaged by Gandhi aimed at producing self reliant and good citizens. In order to regain India’s lost glory and prestige, Gandhi’s educational ideas based on value-orientation have to be reemphasized. The education curricula should be value laden as well as information oriented. Eradication of illiteracy and spread of education is the prime need of the hour so that the citizens of Twenty First Century can be alert and enlightened.” Gandhiji saw that the only way of saving the nation at that juncture was to revive village economic life and to relate education to it. Education ... was to be based on village occupations. The child was to be trained to be a producer. Gandhi told that he came upon his basic education method through his educational experiments in Tolstoy Farm, where he himself learned shoe making from his associate Kallenbach, who had been trained in a Trappist monastery. After telling us about the source of this ideas, he then clarified that what he advocated was not the teaching of some handicrafts side by side with so-called liberal education. He wanted that the whole of education should be imparted through some handicraft or industry. This is the key sentence to which we should to turn our attention. Gandhi believed that in the medieval ages, where education was craft-centred, there was little attempt to develop the intellect of the pupil. He therefore advocated the imparting of the whole art and science of a craft through practical training and there-through imparting the whole education(Deka, 2017)

Sweta(2017) states that different stages of Nai Talim as defined by Gandhiji. Gandhi gave a revolutionary proposal in the programme of Nai Talim, he turned the conventional education system upside down with his course of education. This New Education has been described as “Education for Life”. The first stage in the educational programme is therefore adult education that is the education of the community as a whole and of every individual member, for a happy, healthy, clean and self-reliant life. The second stage is that of pre-basic education or the education of children under seven.

The programme of pre-basic education includes physical nurture, medical care, personal and community cleanliness and health, self-helps, social training, creative activities (both in work and play), speech training, the development of the mathematical sense, nature study, art and music. The third stage is the eight years’ programme of basic education for boys and girls between the seventh and the fifteenth year. The objectives programme and detailed syllabuses recommended for this stage of education discussed in the later part of the essay. The fourth stage is that of post-basic education.The post-basic school should lead on naturally either to the responsibilities of adult family life in one or other of the normal productive occupations.

Shah(2017) conducted a study entitled as “Gandhiji’s Views on Basic education and its Present Relevance”. In this study he says that Basic Education for modern India, which can be called the first blue print of national system of education, which is job centred, value –based and mass oriented. It is the first model of vocationalisation of education in India. In Gandhian scheme of education, knowledge must be related to activity and practical experience. His scheme of education envisages, a close integration between the school and the community so as to make child more social and cooperative. This scheme was the first attempt to develop an indigenous scheme of education in British India by Mahatma Gandhi. As a nationalist leader he fully realized that the British system of education could not serve the socio-economic need of the country. He concluded that in Gandhian scheme of education, knowledge must be related to activity and practical experience. His scheme of education envisages, a close integration between the schools and community so as to make child more social minded and co-operative.

Dubey(2018) conducted a study entitled as “Nai-Talim Blueprint of the Desirable Tomorrow” in this study he stated that the far- sighted leadership of Mahatama Gandhi, who whole- heartedly and devotedly tried to solve the question of evolving a system of education which will be in harmony with the genius of the Indian people, and solve the problem of mass education in a practicable way and within as short a time as possible. Gandhiji’s educational scheme tried to do away the sense of inferiority which was injected into the mind of “native Indians‟. “The demand for an educational system different from the one introduced by the colonial power was, from the very beginning, an integral part of India’s struggle.” Knowledge will thus become related to life, and its various aspects will be correlated with one another. For Gandhi’s the school was an institutionalized forum of the community in which, the literacy of the whole personality should take place. It is this belongingness which needs to be injected the blood of new India so that they return to their roots and affirm them more strongly in the growing and daily changing Global scenario. Moreover we have to teach our kids to walk on any road than to make roads for them.

Channavar and Jajoo (2019) states that Nai-talim is a new education that improves the level of education. Main concept of Nai-Talim to emphasis basic education (handicraft, craft work). Gandhiji’s basic education is the physical, intellectual, social and moral development of the children through the medium of handicraft. Through the number of different activities children learn with full of joy and knowledge that acquire the mental ability and capacity. Nai-talim helps the students to become self reliant and think the importance and realisation about child labour i.e. only a child work not labour, that means child should understand the dignity of labour, equal work for all there is no any gender discrimination. All work is equal for boys and girls just change the strategy from society and add the new concept, “Cooking for boys and playing for girls”. Nai talim is only a change to make a child self dependent. Nai Talim promote the rural areas student and their development and self realize toward own earning work and also realize the way of success where the stand independently. emphasis the role of people towards to make a habit of people to survive the life with sufficient earning money. Nai Talim are interpret the word like new features, new creativity, new ways, new patterns, new style, new habits and new innovation and active learning. Nai Talim represents the Gandhi’s Basic education. But now 21st century it is important to change the strategies in education. The focus and concept of Education is and only activity Based Education. It is Very important to change the ways of education, syllabus, teaching method by Nai Talim and Naya- Abhyas scheme. Nai -Talim is a combination of Knowledge and work both are work together and this concept translated with Gandhiji’s basic education. Gandhijis was alive their concept through basic education and they wants to upgrade and apply the policy and strategies in all level of education where child is motivating for learning.

Objectives

To identify the practices related to work education by Secondary School teachers.

Method adopted for the study

Normative Survey Method has been used.

Sample

25 teachers of Govt. Model Boys Higher Secondary School and Govt. LPS Thiruvananthapuram used for this study.

Tool used for the study

Have a Structured Questionnaire used for this study.

Statistical method

Percentage Analysis has been done.

Analysis and result

1. How will you Know the ‘Basic education’ Concept of Gandhiji?

Concept of Basic Education

Opinion of teachers

  • Extremely known - 14- 56%
  • Low awareness - 11 - 44%

From the Analysis it is clear that as answer to the first question, The 56% of the teachers opinion that they are extremely known about the Concept of Gandhiji’s Basic Education, 44% of the teachers opinion that low awareness about the concept of Gandhiji.

2. Have you included crafts in lessons?

Crafts in Lessons

Opinion of teachers

  • Always - 1 - 4%
  • Sometimes - 19 - 76%
  • Never - 5 - 20%

As answer to the second question, Have you included crafts in lessons? 76% of the teachers opinion that they are sometimes included crafts in lessons. 4% of the students opinion that they are always included crafts in lessons and rest of the 5% teachers never included craft in lessons.

3. Do you tries to relate lessons to real life scenarios?

Lessons to real life Scenarios

Opinion of teachers

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  • Always - 9 - 36%
  • Sometimes - 13 - 52%
  • Trying it - 3 - 12%

As answer to the third question, Do you tries to relate lessons to real life scenarios? 52% of teachers opinion that sometimes they are tries to relate lessons to real life scenarios, 36% of the teachers always tries to relate lessons to real life scenarios, 12% of teachers are trying to relate lessons to real life scenarios.

4. Have you related the lessons(curriculum) to social life?

Lessons related to Social life

Opinion of teachers

  • Definitely - 22 - 88%
  • Some extent - 3 - 12%

As answer to the fourth question, Have you related the lessons(curriculum) to social life? 88% of the teachers definitely related the lessons to social life, 12% of the teachers to some extent related the lessons to social life.

5. Is student tries to relate the home work given to real life?

Lessons to real life Scenarios

Opinion of teachers

  • Always - 2 - 8%
  • Sometimes - 20 - 80%
  • Rarely - 3 - 12%

As answer to the fifth question, Is student tries to relate the home work given to real life? 80% of the teachers opinion that sometimes they tries to relate the home work given to real life, 12% of the them rarely tries to relate the home work given to real life and 8% of the teachers always tries to relate the home work given to real life..

6. Is there any lessons on job skills at schools?

Lessons on job skills at schools

Opinion of teachers

  • Yes - 21 - 84%
  • No - 4 - 16%

As answer to the Sixth question, Is there any lessons on job skills at schools? 84% of the teachers opinion that Yes and 16% of opinion that there is no lessons on job skills at school.

7. What are the plans established for making students aware of significance of career?

Plans Established

  • Opinion of teachers
  • Work experience 17
  • Club Activities 8
  • Vocational Training & Career Guidance Programme. 2
  • Agricultural Activities 11
  • High Tech Education & classroom activities/ASAP/Samagra Portal/Victors Program/IT enabled education. 2

As answer to the seventh question, what are the plans established for making students aware of significance of career? 17 teachers opinion that they are work experience should be included in the curriculum. 8 teachers opinion that they provide club activities, 2 of them opinion that they provide vocational training and career guidance programmes, 11of them opinion that they provide Agricultural activities and 2 of them opinion that they provide High Tech Education & Classroom activities/ ASAP, Samagra Portal, Victors program, IT enabled education.

8. Is it good to relate lessons to career?

Lessons to real life Scenarios

Opinion of teachers

  • Always - 12 - 48%
  • Sometimes - 11 - 44%
  • Trying - 2 - 8%

As answer to the eighth question, Is it good to relate lessons to career? 48% of the teachers opinion that they are always relate the lessons to career, 44% of the teachers opinion that they are sometimes relate the lessons to career and 8% of them trying to relate the lessons to career.

9. Do you think the ideas of Gandhiji on Education are outdated?

Gandhiji’s Ideas on Education are Outdated.

Opinion of teachers

Yes

  • Sometimes
  • No - 25 - 100%

As answer to the ninth question, Do you think the ideas of Gandhiji on Education are outdated? 100% of the teachers opinion that the ideas of Gandhiji on education are not outdated.

10. List out five peculiarities of a good educational system of your dream.

Peculiarities of good educational system.

Opinion of teachers

  • Career oriented education - 15
  • Child Centred Education - 13
  • Value education - 30
  • Free and Compulsory Education - - 9
  • Curricular and Co-curricular Activities - 6
  • Inclusive Education - - 2
  • Importance to Mother tongue and Other Languages. - 5
  • Experimental and Inquiry oriented Education. - 6
  • Friendly atmosphere - 2
  • Better evaluation technique - 3
  • Nature friendly education - 5
  • Issue Based Education - 3
  • Subject Oriented/Ideal and Simplified Educational system. - 3

As answer to the 10th question, List out five peculiarities of a good educational system of your dream. 15 teachers they wish to provide Career oriented Education. 13 teacher’s opinion that to establish child centred education. 30 teachers they wish to provide value education, 9 teachers wish to provide free and compulsory education, 6 teachers wish to provide curricular and co- curricular activities, 2 of them wish to provide inclusive education, 5 of them wish to include importance of mother tongue and other languages, 6 of them wish to include experimental and Inquiry Oriented Education, 2 of them wish to friendly atmosphere in the classroom, 3 of them wish to provide Better evaluation techniques, 5 of them wish to provide Nature friendly education, 3 of them wish to provide Issue based education, 3 of the teacher wish to provide subject oriented/ Ideal and Simplified Educational system.

Findings and conclusions

Most of the opinion that a few of the lessons are included craft education. Most of the teachers opinion that they often try to teach lessons related with real life situations. Gandhiji’s contribution to education is unique. He was the first Indian who advocated a scheme of education based upon the essential values of the Indian culture and civilization. The methods and techniques advocated by him and the environment he prescribed revolutionized Indian thinking and way of living. At heart he was devoted to idealism. He wanted to translate his ideals and values into practice. His philosophy of education is a harmonious blending of idealism, naturalism, and pragmatism. He advocated that literacy should never be the end of education or even the beginning. True education according to him is that which draws out and stimulates the intellectual and physical facilities of children. He gave greater importance to the child, than the techniques and method of education. It was him firm belief that a sound education should produce useful citizens of the entire humanity. This study concluded that nowadays the educational institutions did not give importance to craft centred education. So it is necessary to include the basic education system in the school curriculum and give training for teachers to implement such curriculum. Then we can improve the quality of education and provide chance for students to become career oriented and their self development.

References

  1. Shah, P., K.(2017). Gandhiji’s views on Basic Education and its Present Relevance. PUNE RESEARCH AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL IN ENGLISH.3(4),1-5.Retrieved from puneresearch.com>media>data>issues
  2. Dubey, D.(2018). Nai-Talim : Blueprint of the Desirable Tomorrow. International Journal for Research in Engineering Application and Management . 24-25. DOI:10.18231/2454-9150.2018.1156
  3. Saxena,S., & Chathurvedi, S.(1973). Education in Emerging Indian Society. India, R Lall Book Depot.
  4. Sweta, D. (2017). Mahatma Gandhi and His Idea of Basic Education: An Historical Appraisal. International Journal Awareness and Advances in Social Sciences and Humanities,5(1),14-22. Retrieved from http://www.ijassh.com
  5. Channava, S. & Jajoo, S.(2019). Ways to Make Nai Talim A Lifelong, Creative And Innovative Process. International Journal for Research in Engineering Application & Management(IJREAM),4(11) .DOI : 10.18231/2454-9150.2019.0059
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