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Mahatma Gandhi was very much aware of the needs of the country illiteracy and poverty was plaguing India and steps needed to be taken to ensure that the situation was not the same in independent India. According to him, a proper of system of basic education is the way out to the vices that was gripping India and that would eventually come in the way of its development. The series of article written in the Harijan on education formed a basis of education that he had complete faith in. He realised that to have a proper system of education, the nation had to have a strong monetary and fiscal condition. In other words, education was dependent on money. To find a constructive way out of this, he suggested that education to be self-sufficient. Thus, education would be a two-fold policy. It would not only provide literacy but also a self sufficiency that would be helpful to the education system and also to the literate individual. In 1937, at the national conference at Wardha, under Gandhis leadership and in consideration of his ideas, the following ideas were passed: Free and compulsory education must be provided for seven years on a nation-wide scale. The medium of instruction should be in the mothertongue

Some sort of technical training should be provided so that the students would be able to become self-sufficient in their future. The same craft practised ion the school would also help in the sustaining of the school. Through a gradual but steady policy, this system would also be able to cover the remuneration of the teachers. This scheme of education also came to be known as the Nai Talim or the basic education. Nai pointed out that it is the new way of education and talim stands for apprenticeship. The students would be an apprentice and would master a craft that would help the student to establish his own livelihood. Basic would also stand for fundamentals. Thus this scheme of education was based on the national culture and civilization of India. Mahatma Gandhi believed that education should be able to bring out the best of the child and the man in the Body, the Mind and the Spirit. Literacy is not the end of education but rather it is the way to which a sustainable way of education is taken up the road just begun and it continues as a person gets to know more about oneself. Education should help the citizens of India to be selfsufficient. It should enable a boy or a girl to develop a certain amount of self-reliance which would help in the earning of a livelihood. This was the reason why Gandhiji placed so much stress on the industrial training of the child so that he becomes acquainted with the real life. He wanted the education to become the means of producing ideal citizens. Seeing the

epidemic of poverty that was plaguing India, he suggested that education should be based on industrial training and the development of manual skill and handicrafts. Gandhiji believed that education centres round the child. He impressed upon people that the cultural aspect of education is more important than the literary aspect, because it is through the cultural aspect that the child learns to develop his character and ideals. He was a supporter of the ancient Indian ideals of education. Gandhiji addressed the importance of thought, word and deed, non-violence and truth. It is clear from the foregoing account that Gandhijis viewed education from a comprehensive or broadminded standpoint. Any education that develops only one aspect of the child can be dubbed as narrow and one-sided. Thus, Gandhiji states that education must make the individual to live and earn his daily bread, to be the means of his sustenance. In a way Gandhiji synthesized the individual and social aims of education. Like Vivekananda, Gandhiji maintained that character formation and manual skill were equally important. Gandhijis plan of education laid stress on all types of education physical, mental, moral, aesthetic and religious. The scheme of the basic education clarifies the means of education. According to Gandhiji, the most important means of education in basic scheme was craft. About this means of education, Gandhiji said The principle idea is to impart the whole education of the body and the mind and the soul through the handicraft that I taught to the children. You have to draw out all that is in the child through teaching all the

processes of handicraft and all your lessons in history geography, arithmetic will be related to the craft. Thus, some handicraft was necessary to be the centre of childs education. Besides other craft recommended were: weaving, carpentry agriculture gardening and other handicrafts and other rural crafts. It was pointed out that the following criteria should be followed in deciding about the basic craft: Craft fulfilling individual and social means. Craft based upon local requirement. Craft in tune with local conditions Craft favourable to the interest, aptitude and the ability of the child Less expensive and simple craft

Craft leading to all round development of personality.

But Gandhis revolutionary educational policy has been criticized as being medieval and impractical. One of the first criticisms that faced this Nai talim was that there was a dearth of teachers teachers who were artisans and artisans who were also teachers. And to create a new pedigree of teachers for India would be extraordinarily difficult. Professor K.T. Shah who was a part of the Wardha conference and the only member to oppose it made it quite clear that this scheme would require huge amount business acumen of management

of goods and their sale. An embargo against foreign goods would be in keeping with the nationalistic feelings but it this policy would also harm the existing professional artisans and give them competition. In an article in Harijan an anonymous reader pointed out that this would legalize child labour and schools and colleges should be places where the young minds should be taught about the values rather than the prices. Rabindranath Tagore pointed out that this teaching does not promote the childs aesthetic and creative powers and assume that material utility, rather than development of personality, is the end of education.

The kind of social transformation that Gandhi was calling for was primarily an inner moral transformation, one which placed as paramount the need for a conscious simplicity and self-imposed limitation. This limitation Gandhis scheme on the intellectual, scientific, economic and even social spheres were therefore clearly unacceptable to the modernist mindset. The question that was asked: who would seriously want to give up the manifold benefits of modern life and take up a hard life of manual work? In contrast to Gandhis radical policy of change, his detractors of the educational policy would see it to be medieval and conservative. But the dominant nationalistic feelings and to some extent the politics of the dominant elite political class would combat the Gandhian opponents and create a middle path for the basic education. But by the very act of negating

the voice of the Other, by trying to efface it, they contributed to its recognition.