Educational Philosophy of Acharya Vinoba Bhave:
Sant Vinoba Bhava is known as the founder of Bhoodan Andolan (Movement). He was born in 1894 in a small village in Maharashtra. He was so influenced by the philosophy of Ramdas and Shankaracharya that he decided to remain a Brahmachari. In the year 1916, Vinoba came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi and became his disciple. He was living with Bapu in Sabarmati Ashram. He was the first and foremost Stayagrahi of the non-cooperation movement in 1940. After Independence, he did not aspire for any high post, and after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba started his Sarvodaya and Bhoodan Movement for establishing a Welfare State (Sarvodaya Samaj) in India.
His Educational Philosophy:
Vinoba Bhave has adopted the elements of Basic Education propounded by Mahatma Gandhi and accordingly he has expressed his views regarding education. He has talked of two phases of education. The first aims at the inner education of a man and the second speaks for the outward education. By inner education, he means that education makes man’s soul strong and his notions regarding external education are consistent with the present school education. But the truth is that Vinoba wants the combination of both aspects. He is also in favour of making students self-dependant so that students should not only enter the realm of knowledge but they should also acquire the capability to meet the needs of life. Thus the educational philosophy of Vinoba advocates such an ability in man by which he might adjust himself according to the currents of time and country.
Vinoba and Aims of Education:
Vinoba has framed such educational aims which are in conformity with the aims of Sarvodaya Samaj. He is of the opinion that education should aim at making students knowledge seekers, independent thinkers, dutiful, self-dependent, self-restraint, benevolent, humble and inherited with the spirit of social service. Vinoba says that man should always be active, because by action he can achieve knowledge, and through knowledge only, the achievement of truth is possible.
In regard to curriculum, Vinoba has said that education should be useful for the proper development of five senses and for this he has presented a Triple purpose programme under which he has divided education into three parts. Under the first part, he suggests that children should be acquainted with nature and the present state. In the second part, students should become self-dependent in their education and in the third part it has been suggested that they should be able to know about themself.
His view is that the students should, through the education, develop physically and mentally and that there must be such arrangement in the curriculum by which they would do physical exercises and for the development of their speaking-power they would read sweet poems, Pada, and Bhajans. Due consideration should be given to the interest of the educand while imparting education to him. Lessons in mathematics should also be taught only up to that level which is essential for his practical life. The fact is that Vinoba is not in favour of a prescribed course, but he favours a change in conformity with the current need of society and nation.
Gandhi and Vinoba:
Like Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba has also advocated the Practical Art or Craft as the medium of education. In the selection of the subjects, the interests of the child must be taken note of. Thus the students would, while having accomplished their studies, become more practical and fit for their future life.
Vinoba has pleaded for Gurukul pattern of Education:
This pattern requires orientation. Such a school would become a family where students would get opportunities for their all-around development. He also suggests the establishment of “Family Schools”.
Vinoba’s View about the Teacher:
Vinoba has said something about the teacher also. An ideal teacher should be a man of high character, duty-bound, sweet-tempered, humorous, truly practical, self-dependent, mixing, tolerant, an admirer of nature, patriot and lover of humanity. According to Vinoba Bhave, a teacher must possess these qualities.