30 December 2016

Wardha Scheme of Education-1937 (Part 1)


The Wardha Scheme of Education derives its name from the education conference of National Workers held at Wardha under the president ship of Mahatma Gandhi. The scheme is also known as Nai Talim/Basic Education/Buniyadi Talim (Shiksha)/Basic Shiksha.

The scheme is the outcome of the philosophy of Gandhiji. It was given definite shape by the Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Zakir Hussain who later on become the President of India.


Ghandiji found the main defects of the system of education as, “I am fully convinced that present system of education is not only wasteful but positively harmful. They would pickup evil habits. English has created a permanent bar between the highly educated few and the uneducated many.” He further said, “let us now cry a halt and concentrate on educating the child properly through manual work not as a side activity but as a prime means of intellectual activity.”

Wardha Scheme of Education-1937

The scheme was the outcome of sound thinking of Ghandiji. Perhaps Gandhiji is the only freedom fighter in the world who initiated and strengthened several constructive programmes for the economic, educational and social development of the people. He considered education as an effective instrument of national reconstruction.
Ghandiji emphasized self-sufficient aspect of education along with other aspects. In fact he wanted India to be self-sufficient in every walk of national life.
In July 1937, Ghandiji wrote in the Harijan, “By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man – body, mind and spirit… Literacy itself is not education, I would, therefore, begin the child’s education by teaching it a useful handicraft and enabling it to produce from the moment it begins its training. Thus every school can be made self-supporting, the condition begin that the state takes over the manufacture of these schools.”

Conference of National Workers

The same year, in October, a conference of National workers was called at Wardha under the presidentship of Mahatma Gandhi and, after considering his idea, passed the following resolutions.
1)     That in the opinion of this Conference, free and compulsory education be provided for seven years on a nation-wide scale;
2)     That the medium of instruction be the mother-tongue;
3)     That the conference endorses the proposal, made by Mahatma Gandhi, that the process of education throughout this period should centre around some productive form of manual work, and that all other abilities to be developed or training should be given, as far as possible, be integrally related to the central handicraft chosen with due regard to the environment of the child.
4)     That the conference expects that the system of education will be gradually able to cover the remuneration of the teachers.

Appointment of a Committee

            The conference appointed a committee of distinguished educationists under the chairmanship of Dr. Zakir Hussain to prepare a detailed syllabus. Among others who serve on the committee, Prof. K.G. Saiyidain’s name is prominent. The report of the committee published in March 1938, has come to be known as the Wardha Scheme of Education. It was approved by Mahatma Gandhi and was placed before the Indian National Congress at its Haripura Session held in March 1938. The Congress accepted the scheme.


The fundamental features of the scheme which was evolved in due course are as follows:
1)     A school of say 5 ½ hours could roughly be divided on the following basis:
Physical activities…                                                             20 minutes
Mother Tongue…                                                                  20 minutes
Social Studies & General Science                                     60 minutes
Art                                                                                           40 minutes
Arithmetic                                                                               20 minutes
Craft work including study of correlated subjects…                      2 ½ hours

Thus the craft work will have 2 ½ hours instead of 3 hrs & 20 min.
2)     Free and compulsory education to be given for 8 years ( from 6 to 14 years) in two stages, instead of 7 to 14. the jounior stage covering 5 years and the senior 3 years.
3)     The medium of instructions is to be the mother tongue.
4)     Education is to centre round some form of productive work. The social and physical environment to be used for correlation in addition to craft.
5)     The self-supporting aspect is not to be over-emphasized. The sale-preceeds of he finished goods should be able to help the school to cover some part of its expenditure.
6)     External examinations are to be abolished. The day-to-day work of the student is to be the determining factor.
7)     Text books to be avoided as far as possible.
8)     Cleanliness and health, citizenship, play and recreation are to be given sufficient importance.

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