What were Mahatma Gandhi's views on Education?

Education is backbone of society and is largely responsible for is upliftment. Gandhi was a critic of traditional education and viewed that "By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit."

His Wardha scheme was pointer in this direction. Accordingly, these should be the basic tenets of Gandhian education.

Free primary education:

Gandhiji advocated for free and compulsory education for all-boys and girls between 7 and 14 years. Education should be imparted in primary level in the student's mother tongue. A free primary universal education is to be imparted to all the children in the village. This will make the backbone of a country strong.

Place of vocational education:

A love for manual work will be injected in the mind of children. This is not a compulsion but the child will learn it by doing. Being free from mere bookish knowledge, a student should resort to manual work. He, thus, put emphasis on vocational and functional education.

“Earning while learning” was the motto of this education. This wills increase the creativity in a student. As Gandhi wanted to make Indian village’s self-sufficient units, he emphasised that vocational education should increase the efficiency within the students who will make the village as self-sufficient units.

Emphasis on morality:

By education, Gandhi meant the improvement of morality within a student. Without being bookish, a student should adopt certain moral ethical codes like truth, nonviolence, charity and so on which will illumine his character. Thus a character building through education was a prime concern for Gandhi.

Non-participation in politics:

Gandhiji wanted to keep the students away from politics. If students will participate in politics, they will be pawn at the hands of the politicians who will utilize them for fulfilling their desire. This will hamper the development of a student and his education will suffer a setback. So, he advised the students to keep themselves completely away from politics.

Women education:

Gandhi was a protagonist of women education. He advocated that three should be no distinction in equality of status between men and women in society. He vehemently opposed Purdah system and widowhood. He wanted to free women from social serfdom. So, the number of girl students considerably rose in various educational institutions inside the country. Thus, Gandhi emphasised the need of women education to improve the lot of society.

Gandhi's idea on education is a novel one. His idea of vocational education was unique which even now-a-days is being promoted by the government in India.

Gandhi's Sarvodaya:

Sarvodya is otherwise known as Gandhian Socialism. It is the around development of an individual. This idea came to the mind of Gandhi when he was translating John Raskin's book 'Unto the Last'. It includes the following features.

Upliftment of all:

Gandhian Sarvodya is a principle which is universal. It is a new approach of, socialism. It was against the principle that growth of majority in the society will improve the condition of the society. On the other hand Gandhi envisaged that all the individuals have equal importance in the society and so upliftment of every man in the society is a vital necessity.

Ideal social order:

Sarvodaya brings to the forefront an idea social order. It includes .several socio-­economic programmes. Eradication of poverty, removal of untouchability, promotion of widow remarriage, introduction of Khadi, welfare of the cows etc. By improving these aspects, Gandhi pointed out that the social order can be regulated and socialism can be attained.

Good for one and all:

Sarvodaya aims at good for one. By that, good for all will be attained. It is not the good or welfare of the greatest number improving the lot of majority; rather it aims at the welfare of all. This aims at all round development of the individual, society and nation,

Application in economic field:

Gandhi applied the principle of Sarvodaya in the economic field. He wanted to improve the morality and spirituality of the rich people. That is why he had advocated trusteeship which aimed at giving away the surplus by the rich for the upliftment of the lot of society.

Application in political field:

Mahatma Gandhi applied the principle of Sarvodaya in the political field. His idea of Swaraj (sec three types of Swaraj discussed earlier), concept of basic education, self-governing village units etc. included the idea of sarvodaya.

Thus, Gandhian idea of socialism or Sarvodaya was unique in its style. Free from violence, a State should march with this idea. It formulated the principle of economic equality "from each according to his bread-labour and to each according to his need." The ardent followers of Mahatma Gandhi like Vinova Bhave and Jayprakash Narayan championed the cause of Sarvodaya in India.