“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

On Mahatma Gandhi’s 146th birth anniversary, his ideas and vision on education still find relevance in educational status quo. He believed in imparting education through crafts, which Narendra Modi, in his speech at United Nations, also spoke about. “Education and skill development as India’s top priority”, the Prime Minister highlighted in his speech.

Gandhi emphasized the difference between education and literacy. Literacy according to him is neither the end of education nor even the beginning. He stressed on practical work and the potentiality of students in education.

“The real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock-exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated. The girls, we say, do not have to earn; so why should they be educated? As long as such ideas persist there is no hope of our ever knowing the true value of education.”

Education, being an integral part of economic, political, and social development, has always been the top priority, whether it is a developing nation or developed. In a developing country like India, where there is a great degree of disparity in education, getting even the basic education to all, is a humongous challenge. India has made great strides in educating its citizens since independence, but there is still a lot to be done. We still don’t see the true value of education beyond a vehicle to earn more. Mahatma Gandhi did. He closely aligned morality with education.

“The ultimate aim of education should seek a larger role for self and society, not a narrow means to enhance social status.”

And isn’t that intrinsically true for education as a concept? To not say “I know more”, but to say “I know better”.