10 Major Demerits or Causes of Failure of Basic Education | Mahatma Gandhi

This article throws light upon the ten major demerits or causes of failure on basic education.

1. The self-supporting aspect of Basic Education is subject to severe criticism in the academic circle.

This aspect was neglected by teachers, social leaders and educational administrators.

An indifferent attitude was also shown to it. It is further argued that the scheme turns a School into a center of small scale industry.

The scheme makes the teacher dependent entirely on the earnings of the students. This surely would have a demoralizing effect on teacher-pupil relationship. This may also lead to unhealthy tendency in the field of education. In this scheme of education the student becomes a money-earning machine. It is also expensive in comparison with the return it produces.

The Sargent report remarked: “Education at any stage and particularly at the lowest stage cannot or should not be expected to pay for work.” A product of a basic school in no way can compete with a finished product in the market.

2. The second criticism levelled against Basic Education is its too much emphasis on a craft and neglect of liberal education which have sophisticated influence on the students. Very often a craft is not properly selected.

A basic craft must have immense educational possibilities and social significance. A craft is chosen to the utter neglect of these basic facts. Teaching through a craft is just a slogan. It has not been taken seriously either by the social leaders or by the educationists or teachers.

3. Basic Education is now regarded as an inferior type of education and meant for the common strata of the society, particularly the poor villagers. It has nothing to do with the urban people. The privileged classes usually send their children to modern type schools (English-medium schools).

The general public even has no confidence in basic schools because of the degraded social value accorded to it. Thus, Basic Education has failed utterly to become an integral part of our national system of education. Gandhiji intended it to be so but his disciples did not sincerely believe in its efficacy and suitability. Gandhiji really wanted to create a new and just social order through Basic Education but his followers and educational administrators deliberately allowed it to face gradual decay and disorganization.

4. Some people think that the scheme can in no way help rapid industrialisation and economic regeneration of the country which is the need of the day. We want rapid change and modernisation of our society. This can only be done through the application of modern science and technology in the fields and factories.

This argument no doubt carries a lot of truth in the present-day highly competitive world. We cannot go back to the days of bullock-carts instead of rockets. If it is done, it will dig our grave.

5. Lack of finance and absence of sound administrative policy has also given a death­blow to the cause of Basic Education. Practically, there is no co-ordination between the official and non-official agencies engaged in the organisation and development of Basic Education.

6. Another serious complaint is that instruction in this system of education is craft-centered. A single craft can and should not be the basis of the entire educational process. A basic craft may not help the development of liberal education. It may thus create imbalance in the educational system between the vocational and intellectual education.

The method of correlation as technique of instruction is not sincerely followed or stressed. Teaching of all subjects in all aspects through the basic craft is neither natural nor practicable at the early stage of education. Correlation is no doubt a sound principle of education but it should not be pushed to extremes.

7. The curriculum is also unsuitable from the point 6f view of allocation of time in the time-table. Much time is devoted to the craft work and, as such, less importance is attached to other academic subjects, and less time is allocated to these subjects. Thus, within the same educational institution, dualism is followed between practical and academic work.

8. Again, the craft is taught mechanically and not scientifically and without proper understanding.

9. The success of the scheme of Basic Education depends to a great extent on the cooperation of the community as a whole, because it is community-centered education. To make it a success, a close connection between the basic school and the community should be established.

10. It is the teacher who makes a scheme of education a success. This is especially true of Basic Education. Lack of adequate supply of efficient, trained and sincere teachers give a death-blow to the proper working of the scheme of Basic Education.

Suitable orientation and training of teachers of basic schools is highly needed. Adequate supply of equipment’s and suitable accommodation are also needed. Sincere teachers are rare now. The majority of teachers have no faith in the system.

Dr. Zakir Hussain remarked that Basic Education could not develop in an atmosphere of insincerity and dishonesty. He, one of the founders of Basic Education, said that “Basic Education as carried out by the State Governments was, by and large, a fraud.” The remark is, no doubt, substantially true. The concept of Basic Education as an educational theory and practice is unique and unquestionable. But its implementation is far from satisfactory.

Submitted by : Dr. Khloe, Category : Mahatma Gandhi