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     Gandhiji was not a brilliant student, nor he did excellently after his graduation in academic matters.  He was a great thinker, logician and philosopher in life.  His experiences with life and his gradual evolution in terms of culture, idealism, social purpose made him great.  He form a philosophy on education that should be imparted to the people in free and independent India.  The education that would make people ideal social beings than persons working just for themselves and for careers.

    Gandhiji’s education philosophy was called "Nai Talim".  It was influenced by famous intellectuals world over and the ancient Hindu scriptures.  He believed that education was to be passed from one (guru) to another.  Many of those principles are implemented over the last few decades, even though not in the name of Nai Talim.  There are many residential schools in India that follow his principles.  Nai Talim was to create a good society rather than a free India sans good society.

     He did not like British education system in India.  British educational system was to make graduates as only their obedient workers.  Gandhiji was against English medium, as it made people alien to their own culture.  Children could learn in local language and could teach their illiterate people.  He also found that the education at that time was not at all connected with home life, village life, and the requirements of the country.  That was not right.

    Gandhiji wanted an integrated development to allround personality that includes physical, moral development in addition to intellectual development.  He clearly identified the distinction between literacy and lessons, between learning and education, and between knowledge and wisdom.  That is, he wanted education, wisdom and lessons in life.  He said that literacy in itself is no education ie., literacy is not enough.  But that was found to be happening. 

     Education finally should lead to spiritual path and not stop at careers and at achieving a social status.  It should enable a higher role in the society.  Education must produce enlightened souls.  He did not like students to do nuisances, smoke or drink.  He preferred students to lead celibate life (brahmacharya) and discipline.

     He formed his ideas into “Nai Talim” in 1937.  It is a spiritual principle expressing his philosophy.  It means “Best education for all”.  In that philosophy, knowledge and work (profession to earn one’s living) are not separate.  Education should be a complete process for the development of a person along with morals and a good social character.  His philosophy is an idealism formed through the impressions of Tolstoy on him in South Africa as well as his life at Sabarmati Ashram.  His approach was more rural oriented and traditional to make a person a wholistic ideal person.  Nai Talim was to eradicate illiteracy, superstitions and the development of the attitude of slavery (in British rule).  Education is supposed to remove all taboos that inhibit free thinking.

    The ideas in Nai Talim were sort of revolutionary.  However his philosophy was not adopted in Independent India by Nehru.  Nehru supported industrialization, centralization, centrally planned and controlled economy.

     Handicrafts, arts and sketching (painting) are also part of Nai Talim, to develop the young minds in an unstressed and informal environment.  In fact, these are to be used even before teaching alphabets.  Spinning and weaving were also part of the pedagogy.  They were suited to the situation India was in at that time.

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