The education philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi is inspired by the all-around and best development of the human body, mind and soul.
According to Mahatma Gandhi, education is that which develops the body, mind and soul of the child.
Gandhiji considers the ultimate aim of human life to be liberation, which means liberation from physical, mental, economic, political and spiritual.
Education philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi
In Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of education, Gandhiji had called education as 3R and 3H, by –
- 3R – he meant Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, that is (knowledge of numbers)
- 3H – he meant Hand, Head, Heart (Education should be such that it must develop the child’s physical, mental and intellectual properties).
Gandhiji did not consider literacy as education, according to him literacy is neither the end nor the beginning, it is a means by which men and women are educated.
Gandhiji considers man as the sum of the three-body, mind, and soul that they should be developed through education.
He converted 3R into 3H and the work of man or education is to develop not only 3R but hand, brain, and heart.
According to Gandhiji- “By education, I mean the all-round and best development of the body, mind and soul of the child and man.”
Gandhi ji was also willing to promote Vocational education in the country, according to him the purpose of vocational education is to increase the quality of self-development in students. Self-development can also be referred to as skill-development in which the students are encouraged to become self-reliant. You can read more about vocational education here.
Gandhiji was inspired by John Ruskin to teach the Vocational training.
Objectives of education according to Gandhi
Physical development – According to the education philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, education should be such that the child’s body should develop since a healthy mind is formed in a healthy body, that is why he emphasized physical development first.
Mental and intellectual development – According to Gandhi Ji, just as a child needs mother’s milk for physical development, in the same way, education is needed for mental development.
Personal and social development – Gandhi Ji emphasizes the development of individuals, society, and nations. Social development means that spiritual development is possible only by loving human beings in society and serving human beings.
Cultural Development – Gandhiji laid special emphasis on the need for knowledge of culture for spiritual development, according to him, culture has an important role in education philosophy.
Moral and character development – According to Gandhiji education philosophy, the qualities of truth, non-violence, celibacy, tastelessness, non-possession and dependence etc should be developed in the child.
Professional development – Gandhiji used to emphasize vocational education for the freedom of economic development and wants to make man self-reliant, that is why he emphasizes handicraft and industry.
Spiritual Development – Gandhiji considers liberation and self-realization as the ultimate aim of human life. Gandhiji lays equal emphasis on knowledge, action, devotion and yoga. It gives the embodiment of non-violence and satyagraha.
Curriculum – Basic education from 1 to 8, handicrafts, industry, mother tongue, practical mathematics, social subjects, general science, music painting, health science and conduct.
Method of imitation – According to Gandhiji, the child learns by imitation in the beginning. That is why a teacher should develop a child’s body and mind by imitation.
Methodology – Gandhiji used to emphasize these methods for the development of skills like handicraft and painting etc.
Oral method – Gandhiji accepts lectures, skills and debates.
Shravan-Manan-Nididhyasana – Gandhiji used to accept this method as the best method, according to Gandhiji, first, the child listens then meditates in it i.e. thinks about it then does Nididhyasana. This method is best for the development of the body, mind and brain.
Gandhiji accepts basic education in the following forms:
- Compulsory and free education should be provided to all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years.
- The medium of instruction should be the mother tongue.
- The materials made by the students should be used and spent in the school by purchasing them.
- The whole education should be based on handicrafts and industries.
Other facts of Gandhi’s Education philosophy
Gandhiji used to oppose the repressive method, true discipline is achieved by self-motivation, from his point of view the development of true discipline can be achieved by an effective method, that is, children cannot achieve discipline until they themselves want.
Gandhiji’s views on the teacher were that the teacher is the main element of the whole teaching process.
A person who accepts this profession only as a profession can never be an ideal teacher and an ideal teacher is the one who works in this profession as a service. He should act as the father, friend, support and position demonstrator of the children.
The student is the center of the process of education. The student should be disciplined. They follow discipline and celibacy. Gandhiji wants to make the child self-reliant from the very beginning.
Schools should be such where teachers teach with full devotion, with a sense of service. The education philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi wants to make the school a community center, where the people of the community have the facility to study and work.
Gandhiji is called the father of the nation, he played a very important role in the independence of India and gave us freedom.
Gandhiji also supported birth education, female education, co-education, vocational education, religious education and national education.