Gandhi – A Proponent of Well-Rounded Education for All
Today marks the 145th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India. More commonly referred to by the honorific title Mahatma (Sanskrit for “high-souled”), Gandhi is well known for his leading role in the Indian independence movement against British rule in the early to mid-20th century. Gandhi employed nonviolent civil disobedience, promoting religious tolerance and a strongly humanitarian worldview.
Yet, what many people might not be aware of is that Gandhi was also a strong proponent of comprehensive education reform, calling for more educational opportunities for everyone. He believed that the only way to fully change Indian society was to start from the bottom up, promoting the integration of hands-on learning alongside skills such as literacy and logic. Gandhi wanted the Indian school system to be self supporting and fully separate from that in England, allowing it to grow in a way that made sense in that specific region. He believed that manual and mental work must complement one another, and that education must nourish the whole person.
To describe this view he was quoted as saying:
By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man—body, mind and spirit.
At the time this view was quite radical, as it tore through the strict structure of the caste system in India. By promoting the production of handicrafts as a part of comprehensive education, Gandhi was arguing against the class-based specialization of labor that was becoming the global norm. If we look at the reality many people face today, however, we can see that Gandhi’s teachings in this area are still highly relevant. While a formal education is incredibly valuable, it is also important to have a diversity of skills in order to be a well-rounded and successful individual.
Furthermore, Gandhi was also quoted stating:
Persistent questioning and healthy inquisitiveness are the first requisite for acquiring learning of any kind.
This quote underscores Gandhi’s promotion of interactive education and intrinsic interest in a given subject. Such interest is precisely what is required in order to stay motivated at a high level, for instance while pursuinggraduate or postdoctoral research. In this realm, the rise of interdisciplinary and international education fits into Gandhi’s ideas of broad-scale learning. Moreover, the proliferation of Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) and free online education are also key examples of a contemporary global movement away from classically structured formal education.
Thus, while we remember Gandhi today, we should not only think of his achievements in the realms of peace, independence and religious tolerance, but also in the area of open, diverse and well-rounded education.
Photo credit: David Nash
- For job recruiters
Best practices for every stage in the job recruitment process during Covid-19
Here we’ve compiled a list of tips and solutions to help make your recruitment plans more befitting. Job Advertising: Communication is key! Being as clear as possible in the job description in terms of the role, expectations and tasks to be performed, will help build a good rapport and trust with job applicants. Include flexible working hours, childcare, health insurance and the possibility to work remotely to incentivize applicants.
Top Free Online Courses in Statistics and Data Analysis
There are now more online learning options than ever available, including courses which are absolutely free. Whether you want to prepare for your upcoming university course, you need to pick up some extra skills to help with your job, or you are just interested in a subject and want to learn more, there will be an online course which you can take to help you achieve your goals.
- What You Need to Know
A Post-PhD Career in Research: Jack of all Trades, Master of Some
Our favorite caricature of a post-doctoral researcher: a frail man (or woman) with unkempt hair, hunched in front of a computer screen, with a half-filled cup of coffee by his side. As the coffee gets colder and time flies by, he appears oblivious to his surroundings – he is happy spending long hours at his desk conceptualizing arcane theory on obscure topics the real world does not care about. He is in a state of eternal tapasya – meditating on his eternal love-affair with knowledge… because, life is an eternal quest for knowledge!