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The Agenda for a National Education

From the early nineteenth century many Indian scholars also felt the need development in the field of education. Some Indians felt that Western education would help modernise India. They urged the British to open more schools, colleges and universities, and spend more money on education.

Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore were against Western education.

Mahatma Gandhi

Rabindranath Tagore

Mahatma Gandhi felt that colonial education created a sense of inferiority in the minds of Indians. It made them see Western civilisation as superior, and destroyed the pride they had in their own culture. Indians educated in these institutions welcomed everything that came from the West, and started admiring British rule.

Mahatma Gandhi was keen on an education that could help Indians recover their sense of dignity and self-respect.

He motivated the students to leave educational institutions established by the British to show them that they did not want to be enslaved.

Mahatma Gandhi wanted ones mother tongue to be the medium of teaching.

Gandhiji felt that English education made Indians strangers in their own lands.

He felt that Western education was more textual than practical.

Education, according to Gandhiji was not for knowing how to read and write, it was for developing ones mind and soul.

Gandhiji felt that children had to learn to work with their hands, know how different things operated and also learn some crafts. This would develop their mind and their capacity to understand.

As nationalist movement gathered momentum many leaders started thinking about Gandhiji view on education. The realized the need for a system of national education which would be totally different from that set up by the British.

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