By Mohit Chakrabarti

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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 being that the state takes over the manufactures of these schools. I hold that the highest development of the mind and the soul is possible under such a system of education. e. the child should know the why and the wherefore of every process. I am not writing this without some confidence, because it has the backing of experience.

42-43. What prompts Tagore to emphasise on exercising the power of thought and the power of imagination most naturally and spontaneously is to highlight the value of education through the mother-tongue without which learning becomes arbitrary, artificial, irrelevant, lifeless, mechanical, and dull. Indeed, he categorically asserts that education to be appropriately geared towards exploring and inspiring the essential values of life cannot but be had without order, harmony and beauty in everything, which is possible only through the mother-tongue.

He warns again and again against the dangers of passivity and dependence on knowledge which merely turns out to serve like an ornament and dominates over our senses and feelings, creativity and critical thinking. As such, whatever values we seek from education remain far away from our reach as the very foundation of education becomes shaky and artificial. Gandhi, therefore, calls for a sincere approach to a revival of our ancient Indian system of education where the education of the heart by means of character-building always ensures a sound foundation of education for values.

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