TODAY -

The value of education: A Gandhian perspective

Dr Akham Hemabati Devi *

Mohandas K. Gandhi (probably late 1930s)
Mohandas K. Gandhi (probably late 1930s) :: Pix - Wikipedia / (Source http://flickr.com/photos/55638925@N00/255569844/)



Education is a systematic process through which a child or an adult acquires knowledge, experience, skill and sound attitude. It makes an individual civilized, refined, cultured and educated. For a civilized and socialized society, education is the only means. Its goal is to make an individual perfect. Every society gives importance to education because it is a panacea for all evils. It is the key to solve the various problems of life.

Gandhi was neither an academician nor an educationist in the rigid sense of term. But his view on education has marked a serious and lasting outlook towards education that could be of high value to Indian education system at all times. His concept of education is an all round drawing out of the best in child and man-body mind and spirit.

Literacy is not the end of education not even the beginning. It is one of the means whereby man and women can be educated. Literacy in itself is no education. It is the standpoint of Mahatma Gandhi. He thought that education is closely associated with the socio-economic development of the society. He took up scheme for basic education in which vocational training or work experience is the utmost important. It is due to the fact that it stimulates the human mind for creative thinking or dignity of manual labour.

He thought that such creative thinking should be taken up from primary to higher level education. His view on basic education is greatly influenced by his philosophy of satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence), firm belief in God, dignity of labour. The Kothari Commission also followed Gandhi's ideal of vocational training in education. This commission said that work experience should be introduced as an integral part of all India education-general or vocational.

We define work experience as participation in productive work in school, in the home, in a workshop, on a farm, in a factory or in any other productive situation. This commission re-emphasizes the Gandhian principle of learning by doing in the modern education. The main aim of education is the development of human personality. He expanded fourfold personality in the individual that is body, mind, heart and spirit. True education stimulates the spiritual, intellectual and physical strength of the individual.

His view on education of heart can brings the idea of sympathy, fellowship and deep feelings of love. The aim of education is not only to produce good individual but also one must understand one's own responsibilities in which one lives. It is closely related to Hindu concept of varnashram dharma (obligation relative to one's caste and stage of life).

In varnashram dharma, some obligation which are binding on a person in virtue of his varna, the caste or class to which he belongs, and in virtue of his ashrama, the specific period of his life-history he is going through. So, the duties of a priest are different from those of a warrior and the obligations of a householder are different from those of a student. One who understood his or her responsibilities would lead to the spirit of social consciousness and social mindedness. Then, all the activities of such persons will have a social content as well as co-operation to others. (To be contd)

He considered 'man' is the most important to bring a peaceful and harmonious society. He said that he individual is the one supreme consideration. Man is neither mere intellect, nor the gross animal body, nor the heart or soul alone but a proper and harmonious combination of all the three which is required for making of the whole man.

He talks about education in terms of discipline. It is regarded as one of the most important parts and parcels of education. Without discipline, the sound education system is impossible. It is a quality that one's self can lead to the regulation of one's intellectual, moral, spiritual and social behaviour. It is stated that the goal of education consists of character-building.

Such character-building requires the moral, intellectual and social behaviour under all circumstances i.e., strength of personality, the virtue of compassion, kindness, fair-mindedness and the spirit of dedication. Gandhi strongly holds that education is not end in itself but it is the most powerful weapon which creates all persons of genuine characters.

There is degeneration of education when the qualities of truthfulness, firmness, tolerance are absence from it. True education is life process which helps in cultivating the spirit of co-operation, tolerance, public spirit and a sense of responsibility. All these qualities are considered as disciplines for the development of human personality.

Such disciplines can create the harmonious balance between the individuals and social aim of education. His principle of 'learning by doing' tries to stimulate the individual's mind to think creatively, independently and critically. His great emphasis on work-culture to the students from the primary stage to higher stage is to enable the students to start producing from the time he started his training. So, his primary information of basic education is Head, Heart and Hand rather than Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

Gandhi also maintains that education is essential for the attainment of the goal of peace. It can be attained only through morality and ethics. According to Gandhi, education is the realization of the best in man - body, soul and spirit. He maintained that education must be based on ethics and morality. Ethics and morality are integral to Gandhi's life. All his thoughts, actions and speeches are based on these two concepts.

From the ethical perspective, education may be considered as a means of attainment of salvation. It helps to the path of the complete peace. Peace is the absence of violence and hostile thought. As a daily practitioner of non-violence, Gandhi right from his earlier stage considered that non-violence is an indivisible, important and essential part of education.

We cannot be separated education from ethics, morality and spiritualism. For this purpose Gandhi has given some rules for all students so as to ensure that morality and righteousness always be considered as an essential part of their education. Regarding this, such rules can make to right thinking, self-control, service to the society, respect to others and constant awareness for their duties and responsibilities.

Today, the world is suffering from immense crisis from many sides. Crimes, conflict, hatred and distrust between one community and another, hunger, unemployment, poverty and literacy, paucity of resources and pollution of environment, deforestation and desertification, swelling number of migrants and refugees, ethnic and sub-national violence, terrorism, drug trafficking, AIDS etc., all these altogether make a grave danger to peace.

The present day crisis is greater than the crisis that occurred during the time of Gandhi. The world is now full of violence. With the advancement of science and technology human being has invented many new technologies which are very helpful in our life. In some other ways, very few selfish minded people used it as a weapon for gaining his desire wish and pleasures.

Any action done under the motives of selfishness is a kind of violence. Purity of means is an essential condition of realizing good ends. If a good end is to be attained, it is also essential that the means adopted for the realization of the end is also good. He says, "if one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself."6 End and means are the two important concepts in Gandhian philosophy which play very important implication for his doctrine of truth and non-violence.

His principle of aparigraha is one of the most important to bring simple and peaceful living, co-operation with one another. However, in our present day society we are facing so many conflicts. One of them is based on our knowledge which has been separated from work-ethics. Knowledge is separated in thought, in life as well as in market values by faulty psychology, faulty sociology and faulty economics respectively.

Education plays an important role which helps to equip individuals with the skills and attitudes that are necessary in order to adapt in changing situations and to add the creative spirit in the task of social change. 'Work and knowledge should go together' is the Gandhian principle of education. The educational systems try to develop the individual soul and mind, courage and self-reliance, cultivate the highest intellectual, scientific, moral and ethical accomplishments.

Gandhi's concept of education is of quite significance in the contemporary situation. His philosophical concept of education is entirely based on the development of human personality, to maintain the discipline, to create the manual work with learning and to develop the culture of the peace. He was a great educationist and an individualist par excellence.

He knew that education is the most important means in the society which can be used as an instrument of socio-economic progress, material advancement, political evolution and moral development of an individual. Gandhi's whole philosophy and work was based on ethics and morality. His concept of education is also founded on ethics and morality.

It may be said that his concept of education has full of religious ideas. His idea of religion is different from common concept. His concept of religion is 'service of humanity'. For the spirit of religions he propounded 'Nai Talim' or 'basic education'. His philosophical thought on education is highly pedestal that creates the socio-economic development of the society.

We can draw a conclusion that his concept of education is not only the eradication of illiteracy but learning by doing. He preaches the doctrine of simple living and high thinking. His education system are greatly emphasizing the culture of peace, sincere work, dedication of the cause of the nation, social minded, friendliness, right feelings, economic advancement, physical improvement and socio-cultural progress. It is based on work-centre education which can provide the necessary economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance.


* Dr Akham Hemabati Devi wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on October 02 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows : Gallery
  • Nupi Lan : Women Agitation, 1939-40 #1
  • Promoting Human Rights: A Perspective
  • Khongji :: Poem
  • Surveying tigers: A big challenge in Manipur
  • Terrorism & Technology - II
  • Silencing significance of Human Right Day
  • Trun up to Parliamentary polls: Issues
  • Deteriorating Tumukhong Village road
  • Sangai Fest: Chareng Len : Gallery
  • International Mountain Day, 2018
  • Loudness not ok please
  • A wounded Pine Tree :: Poem
  • Natural remedies for hair growth
  • BEHS office inaugurated at Motbung
  • Tattooed With Taboos :: Review
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Stone Forest @Yunnan, China : Gallery
  • Eerie, Eerier, Eeriest :: Review
  • Sangai Fest: Muay Thai : Gallery
  • ..that made me fall in love with Naga
  • Research Support Officer wanted
  • Condemns arrest of Journalist Wangkhem
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Programs at Public Health Foundation
  • Fixing the broken window
  • Head count of dogs !!
  • Pari Imom (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Matheous Thingbaijam Cycling NE: Gallery
  • Chumthang Nganbi, Ulen :: eMing
  • Chengni Khujai: Insurgency Chronicle #1
  • Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2019
  • Tests for allergies
  • Cycling across NE: Matheous Thingbaijam
  • Site Officer/ Manager @R-Square Design
  • Armed Forces Flag Day celebrated
  • A lasting legacy
  • 'Stray dogs' as predators
  • Sangai Day 3: Pung Chollom #2: Gallery
  • Thai Princess @Imphal Airport: Gallery
  • Fashion Show @Sangai Fest #1: Gallery
  • Mysterious Animal Attack of Manipur
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowships
  • Career option in Purchase Management
  • Terrorism & Technology - I
  • Intimidation to media person
  • Ban on hunting migratory birds
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #3
  • Sangai Day 3: Pena: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 1: Inauguration #3 : Gallery
  • I am a beautiful HIV Virus :: Poem
  • Teacher & Student: Stop eroding education
  • Diaspora unites at Thadou Nampi, USA
  • Deciding Mary's title :: WJ
  • A good man perspective
  • Now people need to extend co-operation
  • Day 3: Kabi Burnan : Gallery
  • Art meets Fashion : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: @ BOAT #3: Gallery
  • NAF announces Annual Scholarship
  • Preventing methods to save livestock
  • How Do You Do ? :: Poem
  • Competitiveness of Manipur
  • Shattered dream - "The Smart city"
  • Arrest, release & re-arrest of young man
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #3 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thang Ta #3: Gallery
  • Stalls at Hapta Kangjeibung #1: Gallery
  • How do you see 'disability' today ?
  • I don't exist without polo: Rafael Secco
  • The Road :: Poem
  • Students needed for cultural revolution?
  • Hard stand, hard decision
  • Cong rolling up sleeves ahead of LS polls
  • Day 8 : Arambai Langba : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Evening Program #3: Gallery
  • The Midnight Hunter : Analysis
  • Art exhibition "Art meets Fashion"
  • The Haipi Lho-lhun Kut
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #3
  • Sangai Day 9: Thadou Dance: Gallery
  • Sangai Chef: Cooking Final : Gallery
  • Han Kang's The White Book
  • Sangai Day 4: Yubi Lakpi : Gallery
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 Cooking Final
  • Disaster Management Course at NEHU
  • Training on Online Fact Checking
  • Clarify : Impact of Act East Policy
  • On the series of Killing of Livestock..
  • Today is World AIDS Day
  • From entrails to body now
  • NESO : abolish Citizenship Bill
  • NEC building cultural centre at Delhi
  • 12th Manipur Polo Intl #1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 9: Kabui Dance : Gallery
  • Day 5: Stalls @Keibul Lamjao: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Holi Pala #1: Gallery
  • Importance of TESOL in Government School
  • Farewell to Lt Gen LN Singh, VSM**
  • Waphong Inthan - A failed village
  • On the arrest of Kishorchand
  • Blank Editorial
  • Predator or predators on the prowl
  • Thai Princess visit Kangla #1: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Sangai Day 8: Mukna Kangjei #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Evening Program #2: Gallery
  • Polo grows on you: Col Tarsem
  • Rediscovery of Gangmumei Kamei: Review
  • For whom does she cry ? :: Poem
  • DG Assam Rifles visits Manipur
  • Detention of TV journalist not fair
  • Arrest of 8 mountaineers from Manipur
  • Sangai Day 4: Lai Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Bangladesh Manipuri Students : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Pung Chollom #1: Gallery
  • We have a balanced team: George Shelton
  • Cry of a Dying River - 56 :: Poem
  • Sangai with Sumo & Samba ?
  • Morphing : An innocent loses her life
  • Bangladesh Manipuri students at Sylhet
  • Thai princess visits Kangla Fort
  • Olympics gold my dream : Mary Kom
  • Exploring the beaten path
  • Opening up Manipur: Visa office assurance
  • Thai Princess Sirindhorn @Sangai : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #5: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 6: Pherzawl Dance : Gallery
  • Manipuri Maichou 7 :: Book Review
  • Chandon :: Poem
  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Defers proposed indefinite highway bandh
  • 19th Hornbill Festival at Kisama
  • Sangai stops dancing
  • Mary Kom: Epitome of sporting excellence
  • Sangai Day 5: Evening Prog #1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Thailand Dance : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Imphal Art Camp : Gallery
  • Edward Armstrong - USA Polo Team
  • An abrupt journey to an oasis of blue bull
  • Winter Blues :: Poem
  • Technical Internship Training for Japan
  • NPF on Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister
  • A ditch to Technology
  • Border row: India Myanmar, sacrificial lamb
  • Sangai Day 4: Pena Esei :Gallery
  • Day 5: Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Evening Program #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2018: Turning into a Mela?
  • Sumo Wrestling: popular event in Sangai
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1: Cooking : Day 5
  • Truths in rumours & humours
  • PANE Conference organized at AUDC
  • Sangai Day 2: Dance from Kamjong: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thang Ta #1: Gallery
  • Can we have the Sangai festival daily?
  • Platonic love :: Poem
  • IGAR(s) congratulates Mary Kom
  • WPW Syndrome operated and cured
  • NSUD clarification on Nagas' Meet
  • National Highway bandh from Nov 27
  • Prospective candidates of Cong, BJP
  • Sangai Day 2: Sumo Wrestling #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Myanmar : Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Geet Govinda: Gallery
  • 2017- a watershed year for Manipur Polo
  • Faculties (PG) at Gauhati University
  • Biodiversity for economic development #2
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #4: Gallery
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Day 1
  • GC Tongbra's 'Chengni Khujai'
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Thy name :: Poem
  • Bartending as a career option #2
  • Legal Awareness Programme
  • Tribute to Bhupen Hazarika at London
  • Blessing for Manipur
  • Cherry Blossom & Sangai: beyond Imphal
  • Sangai Fest: Inauguration #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Inauguration #1 : Gallery
  • Natural Resources Management in Manipur
  • Leishemba Takhellambam : Polo Player
  • Robert Naorem at Eco Friendly Australia
  • Cry of a Dying River - 55 :: Poem
  • Jobs at ICERT, MeitY
  • NHPC Raising Day at Loktak Power Station
  • Where have all the city buses gone ?
  • Back to politics: Man from Langthabal AC
  • Mera Wayungba #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @Pune : Gallery
  • State Level Basketball : Gallery
  • Combating drug abuse in Manipur
  • Ningol Chakkouba celebrated at Pune
  • Glamour at 55th Naga's Meet 2018, Delhi
  • Myanmarese greeted at Khudengthabi
  • Rejoinder to PRO IGAR(s) statement
  • Quami Ekta Divas
  • Subsuming a smaller tribe
  • Kwatha Festival #2 : Gallery
  • ChingTam Ningol Chakouba @Goa: Gallery
  • Thoudam Kaoba :: Profile of Polo Player
  • The festival of the Inpui Nagas
  • Hazari/Tombi Polo Tournament : Gallery
  • Ashok Veilou (Purul) award in Kolkata fest
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #2 : Gallery
  • Scaramouche, Fandango, Galileo, Figaro..
  • Laija (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #2 : Gallery
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #2: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #2 : Gallery
  • Rajkumar Jhaljit : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Ningol Chakouba :: Poem
  • Kut festival @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #1: Gallery
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS