Dr Zakir Husain Views on Basic Education:
Dr Zakir Husain was a staunch supporter of Basic Education. He believed that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties of children could be drawn out and developed in a balanced way through Basic Education which is craft-centred, creative, productive and self-supporting. He originally thought of productive work as an instrument of education. He made a beautiful analysis of various steps of educative and productive work-
- Firstly it should be motivated for purpose.
- Secondly, it should be followed by mental activities.
- It means actual execution through appropriate tools.
- Evaluation of the work done is the fourth step.
- The most important step is its emotional and educational aspect.
Work should lead to social service, altruism, ethical ideals and spiritual goals. Devoid of social and ethical ideals work has no meaning. While advocating the linkage of productive craft with intellectual work, he strongly, emphasized “quality” both in intellectual and craft work, cautioning against turning the schools into small factories of spinning and weaving.
He discussed various aspects of the Wardha scheme, namely-
- Teacher Training.
- Inspection and Supervision.
He gave content, meaning and practicability to the rough ideals of Gandhiji. He was not a blind believer of what was originally thought of. Like a bold thinker, he expressed his disagreement with many points originally given by Gandhiji. He raised his objections regarding universal application of takli as the craft as well as its supporting aspect. When an opinion that Basic Education had failed was being made popular, Dr. Zakir Hussain observed,
“How could a scheme of education of such far-reaching significance and based on such manifestly sound educational, psychological and sociological foundations be declared to have failed before it has really been honestly tried….. Basic education cannot be said to have failed. It awaits being honestly tried”. According to him, “It presupposes genuineness, honesty and a little patience”.
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