Gandhian views on Community Education and its Relevance

The Ideal notion of Gandhiji was “सा विद्या या विमुक्तये” , it means education is the way which can emancipate the all problem of people .Gandhiji vision was to create an India where all citizens would attain “a keen sense of personal worth, dignity and efficiency”, through an educational system that would strengthen in them the desire for self –improvement and social service in a co-operative community .He was not a master of education ,but he made more sense than most of today’s educators ,when he said that true learning could be imparted only through doing .Looking at the educational sense not only India but the whole world ,he said that education through practical, physical or manual work is essential since true development of the mind and the heart. According to him, it could be achieved only through manual labor. According to Emile Durkheim saw the major function of education as the transmission of society’s norms and values. He mentioned that ‘society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands; without these ‘essential similarities; co-operation, social solidarity and therefore social life itself would impossible. Louis Althuser also argues that education not only transmits a general ruling class ideology which justifies and legitimates the capitalist system; it also reproduces the attitudes and behavior required by the major groups in the division of labour. Lester C. Thurow arguments that increased educational attainment will increase an individual’s skill; his productivity will therefore rise and with is his income. Education at one at the same time increases output and reduces economic inequalities in society.

Literature of Survey:-

According to Mishra B.K., (2013) Community colleges are alternative system of education which aims to empower individuals through appropriate skill development, leading to gainful employment in collaboration with the local industry and community. They offer educational opportunities to all sections of society, particularly the marginalized and the disadvantaged. The National Knowledge Commission, in its report on higher education, has also advocated for setting up community colleges for providing skilful employment to the vast multitude of rural youth. McGivney(1999)has got in his study that informal learning takes place in dedicated learning environments and non educational settings. The location of learning often proved more important than its actual focus. Informal learning generated by local people themselves often led to wider community involvement and activism, whereas learning arranged by education providers most often let to high rates of educational progression. Informal learning often started people on a continuing learning path by helping them become confident and successful learners. Factors facilitating and impeding educational progression were identified. It was concluded that, although educational progression is an important outcome of informal learning, first-step learning should also be valued for itself. It was further concluded that the system of funding education must consider the fact that adult learning pathways are not always in a single direction.

Mezey M (1991) argued that the most pressing aspect of community education is disseminating information and to change behavior with the help of general public awareness and knowledge. In the view of Voorhees, V.C (1972) we should be able to prove greater use of facilities by people of all ages, greater average educational accomplishment, and greater community interest in education. But what of our more complex claims? Can we really improve the standard of life in a community? Can we raise the achievement level of minority group children? Can we reduce crime? Can we enhance the self-image of people and communities?

Totten F.W(1977) explained the Community Education is the What, Where, When How, Why, and who method of learning. It suggests that each individual throughout his entire lifetime determine what he wants and needs to learn. When Community Education is the way of life, learning is not restricted to the schoolhouse or to a set time schedule. Hence, the learner has a choice of Where he will engage in his desired learning experiences and he chooses his own time for learning - When. As to how he will learn, the learner has a choice between the formal and the informal, or a combination of both - an opportunity to learn through experimentation - from methods other than formal lectures, question-and answer routine - from the environment. The Community Education concept emphasizes the thought that all learning should be meaningful and useful. Ultimately, Community Education will prove to be the most effective force known in the reconstruction of society, because it has the greatest potential of all movements to humanize the motive power.

Gandhian Views on Community Education:-

Gandhiji was used to say that Indian education like ‘The beautiful tree’. According to him education should be learning by doing, learning by experience, learning by means of action. He wanted to establish such society which must be without exploitation, for that every people must be educated so that they can build healthy society for living in the present competitive world. The contribution of him in education is unique, for instance, Nayee Talim, Khadi. Gandhiji was not opposed to literary training, physical exercise or religious instruction. But he opposed literary training without vocational training, physical exercises without spiritual development and religious instruction without practical social service.

Education is an increasingly popular method being used by many community, industry and government organisations to address issues of social, environmental and corporate concern. At present it has become a essential thing for surviving in the society. Although formal education has become vital for human being yet the value of community education is also becoming popular because it is much more than producing a brochure to tell people about the way we think a problem can be resolved. Effective community education requires a good understanding of the issue of concern, being clear about who we are trying to reach, knowing what behaviour we are trying to change, and investigating the best ways to make this happen.Community education is an area whose time has really arrived due to its unique ability to serve the vibrant as well as promptly changing educational requirement to people. Literally community education is known a multidisciplinary subject and should attract interest of teachers and researches in the areas like social, science, physical science, education and language. Community education is concerned with running education and development programmes within local communities. It has not concerned with any educational institutions like schools, colleges and universities. It is also known Community-based education or Community learning & development refers to an organization's programs to promote learning and social development work with individuals and groups in their communities. It uses several formal and informal methods for learning and a common defining feature is that programmes and activities are developed in conversation with communities and participants. This is sometimes called an informal education because it uses such type of methods which are formal and informal. The main purpose of community education is to give opportunities to those people who are socio-economic disadvantage and have lack of chances to get job and also are living to poorer areas. The term community based education first came to light in the reform era of the early twentieth century in America and now it has become popular in the whole world.

Thus it can be said that community based education is a process used to;

  1.  Create awareness of an issue
  2.  Enhance people’s knowledge understanding and skills
  3.  Influence people’s values and attitude
  4.  Reduce the environmental impacts of business grounds
  5.  Increasing capacity of communities
Community based education incorporates aspects of
  1.  Public involvement
  2.  Adult education
  3.  Vocational education and training
  4.  School & territory education
  5.  Community education
  6.  Communications or social marketing i.e. mass media, campaigns etc
Relevance of Community Education:-

So far as matter of community education it refers to an organization’s programs to promote learning and social development work with individuals and groups in their communities using a range of formal methods. The purpose of community’s education to develop wider holistic capacity of individuals and groups of all ages through their action. Communities educators have over many years developed a range of skill and approaches for working within local communities and in particular with disadvantages people .These include less formal education methods , community organizing on group work skill as well as want to provide wider development those communities like socio, economically environmentally culturally and politically. Community education is essential because most environmental and social problems arise as a result of people’s actions. It is people’s behaviour that is generally responsible for the problem; and it is people who need and want to find a solution for it.

Discussion & Conclusion:

It can be concluded that there is always importance of Gandhian thoughts of community based education. In the present scenario the main problem of India is unemployment, especially in backward areas. Community education which helps people to get an education with employment such as in the area of the cottage, handicraft, tailoring and embroidery, etc. If the government should be adopted and implemented the community education and the unemployment would be solved. For stance in Gujarat state, there are private institutions which provide and promote such learning skill programme. The most significant need for living in the society in the present scenario as well as by virtue of it could be able to compete people, that is education because by means of instruction can enhance cognition .Definitely formal institutions are providing job chances yet community education efforts those areas which are counting deprived and backward areas. Gradually the view of Gandhiji also perpetuates the learning program; hence it can say that Education has a great social importance especially in the modern, complex industrialized societies. For the overall maturation of the society, it is significant to realize the events relating to the evolution of the community and the souls, specifically. In order to understand the dynamics of community life, theoretically and practically, it trains the students to develop skills and competence for catering to the learning needs of the students so that they could contribute to the overall development of the society. Community education is essential because most environmental and social problems arise as outcome of people’s activities. It is people’s behaviour that is mostly responsible for the problem; and it is people who need and desire to get a solution for it.


  1. 1) Caroline, F (2001), “What We Need Is...A Community Education Project” An eight-step guide to running a community education project, NSW Environment Protection Authority, NSW Department of Land And Water Conservation
  2. 2) McGivney (1999), “Informal Learning in the Community: A Trigger for Change and Development”.
  3. 3) Mezey, M (1991), “Community Education”, The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 21, No. 5
  4. 4) Mishra,B.K(2013), “15 Community Colleges to Begin Classes Soon”, The Times of India,Patna,17 Aug
  5. 5) Totten,F,W(1977), “The Meaning of Community Education”, American Secondary Education, Vol. 7, No. 2 (March, 1977), pp. 26-27Published.
  6. 6) Voorhees ,V.C,(1972) “ Community Education Needs Research for Survival”.
  7. 7) Yadav.Y (2013), “Higher Education for Harijans- Mahatama Gandhi” Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra.
  8. 8) Yadav.Y(2013), “Education and Mahatma Gandhi”, Gandhi International Study and Research Institute, Jalgaon, Maharashtra.
  9. 9) Yadav.Y(2013), “Nayee Talim and Modern Education- Mahatma Gandhi” Gandhi International Study and Research Institute, Jalgaon, Maharashtr

Gunjan Mishra, Research Scholar, Dept.of Sociology, F.S.S, B.H.U, Varanasi