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Gandhi Journal Article - III : The Gandhian Concept of 'Swaraj' in Education

The Gandhian Concept of 'Swaraj' in Education

By CA. Reena Desai

The second half of 20th century has witnessed three major explosions of the human world, the population explosion, explosion of knowledge and explosion of our hopes and aspirations. People have realized more and more the need of knowledge to improve their standard of living. Extensive use of science and modern Information Technology has also provided a wider scope of educating the millions of people to serve their growing needs of education.

Under these circumstances, formal school and college education has proved to be inadequate to undertake the gigantic task of educating the increasing number of the world population. Mere theoretical education is not sufficient in today's competitive world. In this scenario of problems with global magnitude, the reformation of the education sector is needed to be rethought. Gandhiji visioned a very different education system. The entire world accepts the clarity of his perception and his assessment of the shape of future trends so much so that with the passage of time the relevance of his thoughts and ideas is gaining greater significance globally. When Gandhi denied the prevailing system of education, he had radical ideas to restructure it. What was so radical about his views and ideas on education? His concepts and ideas about education were dynamic and futuristic. Autonomy and Privatisation, the most controversial issues in the field of higher education today were dreamt and advocated firmly by Gandhiji years ago in the form of ‘Swaraj’ in education.

The present paper discusses the relevance of Gandian model of ‘Swaraj ’in education in the new millennium. The concept of ‘Swaraj’ is developed in this study by correlating it with three aspects viz. Autonomy, Self supporting system and Privatisation. Mahatma Gandhi wanted education reconstructed to help India move towards a different form of development which is more suited to its needs and more viable for the world as a whole. Swaraj in education as interpreted by Gandhiji was all about Higher education in private hands, Autonomy in the educational institutes with least interference of the Government and Self supporting system of education which is simple, practical and less expensive.

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