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
  • Tangkhul Zingtun Longphang #1: Gallery
  • Wungramphy, Khamgonpou: eMing
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #3 : Gallery
  • Career option in Human Rights
  • Water conflicts over the Brahmaputra
  • PAC against Killing of Pravish: 17 Jan
  • Neiphiu Rio resigns from NPF
  • NPF-BJP Relationship : NPF clarifies
  • Consolidating the sporting heritage
  • Rising air and noise pollution
  • Kukis have equal right... : Neiphiu Rio
  • Rajnath reviews security in NE
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Commercial Stalls #3: Gallery
  • The joy of living :: Poem
  • Bamboo a tree or grass ?
  • SELF Workshop on Leadership & Fulfilment
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Fight against corruption; we need Lokayukta
  • Hailing the role of drivers
  • Nangna Helli Nungshiba #2 :: eRang
  • Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Wakhal Seireng :: Book Review
  • Imphal Jamboree by Global Shapers
  • Importance of regular health check-ups
  • Meetei demand for ST is Constitutional.. #2
  • Weapon Display organized at Moreh
  • Ex-Servicemen Rally organized
  • AR helps Orphanage & Old Age Home
  • Search of comprehensive culture & identity
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Gas Today :: Android App
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • GNRC media fellowship announced
  • The Meiteis- Festival & celebration maniacs
  • How to make bridal mehndi long lasting
  • Governor's attention drawn to RIMS
  • Scientist develops prototype of electric car
  • Stereotypes about NE make people living..
  • Light Show at Loktak Lake #5 : Gallery
  • Candlelight vigil for Pravish : Gallery
  • Imbroglio of ethnic identity of Ranglong
  • Foundation For Excellence scholarship
  • Time Table - Class XII Exam 2018
  • Mail spoofing- Trickery by deception
  • Trial by fire
  • Call for solution before election
  • Villagers along Myanmar border get pass
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Art and Artist, A Creative Space
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #2 : Gallery
  • Ode to Thy Mellow Light :: Poem
  • Xmas with Meitei eche at Phaijol
  • Time Table - Class XI Exam 2018
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • IMC , now another hurdle to traffic mgmt
  • Setting aside two days for the people
  • Maring: Kummui Chaa-um : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #5 : Gallery
  • Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament
  • Time Table - HSLC Exam 2018
  • Bananas: Beauty's best friend
  • DPC for Follower at Manipur Police
  • Job Openings at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • The lost treasure
  • Nagas' Interests : Stand of NPF MSU
  • Nagaland polls on schedule: HM
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Manihar : Natyabhusan(Leela)
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Responsibility of protecting the environment
  • Phishing vs Vishing: The Verbal Challenge
  • BNHS Bi-monthly Program for Jan-Feb
  • Managing weight for preventing diabetes
  • Making democracy peoples' participatory
  • Progressing from media to SC
  • Manipur to set up modern food lab
  • Gaan Ngai @ Kakhulong Khun: Gallery
  • A trip to Moreh #2 : Gallery
  • How long catchy slogans keep hopes alive
  • Recycling of hospital waste-water
  • I am sometime or somewhere : Poem
  • Angami Zapu Phizo's Surreal 2017 AD
  • Film "Legacy Of King Narak" awarded
  • Of PM and our CM
  • Patronising the killing machines ?
  • Deferment of polls unlikely: Ravi
  • PM may visit Manipur in March
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #2: Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #2: Gallery
  • Transform Colleges into Innovation Centres
  • New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 :: Review
  • Cry Of A Dying River...12 :: Poem
  • Workshop on National Pension for NE
  • Law enforcers action - Well & good
  • Final pact yet to see light of day
  • Cold wave hits Manipur
  • Take out the cymbals, Manoharsai to stay
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • MaiOn - Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #4 : Gallery
  • Is Global Warming Natural or Anthropogenic
  • Prof Gangmumei Kamei: Legendary hero
  • Common Education System rally organized
  • DAMMS launched 2018 calendar
  • Chorus for 'Solution Not Election'
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom : Gallery
  • I was born healthy, I wanna die healthy
  • Practice peace & change the life
  • TSA Moreh Block installed
  • Cycle Rally: common education system
  • Ethics, medical profession & soaring fees
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Meira rally for Pravish : Gallery
  • Accelerate momentum to endTB for SDGs
  • The call that can't be turned down
  • Live@MDU: New act with same old vibes
  • 1st Centre of Excellence- Electronics Skill
  • LED Lights installed by Loktak Station
  • NE tragedy: Policy failures & influx
  • Angaoba - Scenes #3 :: eRang
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Result: Manipur Sangai Intl Digital salon
  • Use Swachhata App to Make Imphal No. 1
  • Career @ events and celebration
  • Night nourishing
  • Indo-Nepal Friendship: 25 yrs of Don Bosco
  • Understanding the indices of life
  • Poppy cultivation & drug cartels
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #1: Gallery
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • The creation of the universe, matter...
  • Mumbai: The city of dreams
  • Let this new year kill your new fears
  • Asian Waterbird Census: Count waterbirds
  • Looking for a better inclusive alternative
  • Coaching & commercialisation of education
  • New Year picnic @ Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Despite Stolen Dreams :: Book Rvw
  • Handloom Training @Hojai : Gallery
  • The Perfect timing
  • IGAR (south) meets Chief Minister
  • Communique from Neiphiu Rio on NDPP
  • Discussion on 'Rohingyas' at Delhi
  • In the process of making change- Manipur
  • Looking ahead from vantage point 2017
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #1: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Immediate Manipur
  • Easter Peace :: Poem
  • You are what you eat
  • Goals for Girls: Leadership Summit @Delhi
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Front Page Photo #6: Gallery
  • LUCIFER-X released debut EP
  • ..on the ocean of despondence :: Poem
  • Happy new year to State lovers
  • New year, new me: Re-designing self
  • Quiz Competition & Career Awareness
  • Calendar for the Year 2018 :: e-pao Tools
  • Gaan Ngai : Zeliangrong festival :: Flash
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @Mao #4: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai Festival of Zelianglong
  • Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018
  • Cry of a dying river- 11 :: Poem
  • Free Heart OPD & Echocardiogram
  • Peoples' mandate: what next?
  • Understanding Manipur and its history
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar Border) #2: Gallery
  • Thang Ta @Parlimentary : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Bamboo for poverty alleviations
  • A costly peace deal
  • The song of the speech-impaired : Poem
  • Opportunity for NE Youth @Delhi/NCR
  • Chief Of Army Staff visits Manipur
  • Waiting for another begining
  • NE: Little change albeit promises galore
  • Flower Festival @ Mao #3 : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Why the Ngamu Fish ?
  • Unsung heroes
  • Wishing a goa in Manipur!
  • Handloom Weaver at Nagaon, Assam
  • Reminder on role of media & political party
  • Hospital death: Deliver justice if delivery ..
  • Restricted Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Lourembam Bedabati : Sangeetbhusan
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3 : Gallery
  • Handloom Training @Assam : Gallery
  • Ras Leela @Parliment committee: Gallery
  • List of RIST popular talks during 2014-2017
  • 'Good Governance Day' & Manipur
  • Christmas eve @ CCpur #2 : Gallery
  • Public Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Pui Thangamliu #2 :: eRang
  • Christmas Carol @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #2 : Gallery
  • Christmas Carol at Namdulong : Gallery
  • General Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • 3rd Flower Festival @ Mao #2 : Gallery
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #1 : Gallery
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • cYK_rb TwaI :: Seireng
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS