Merits of Basic Education:
Principally, this scheme seems very advantageous but in practice, this has been really inappropriate. Its
principles are considered as its advantages—
1. Self-independent scheme—at that point of time, the government did not have enough funds to make provide for compulsory and free education. At that time, the school expenditure was to be met by the sale of goods produced by hand skills by making the basic education based on hand skills. It is a different aspect that this could not happen.
2. Overall development of a human being—A human’s physical, mental, social, traditional, moral and
characteristic, commercial and spiritual development have been emphasized in Basic education. It
is a different thing altogether that through this, all these objectives cannot be achieved.
3. Preparation for the real world—Our nation is a nation of villages. In basic education, education for
rural work- farming and breeding livestock etc. and rural handicrafts- harvesting and knitting etc.,
was made mandatory for children and after acquiring this they could earn their own livelihood.
Principally, this sounds really good. It is a different matter that we could not achieve this through basic education.
4. Fundamental curriculum for Indians—Basic education is related to the real lives of Indians. In this,
all the subjects and social work for overall development of humans have been provided for and most important of all, Hindi has been mandatory for all children of the nation. We wish we could
have done the same, and then we would have been unified.
5. End of class distinction—There are lot of classes in our country based on caste, religion and labour.
Equal education and equal work has been provided for in the basic education. The class distinction
can atleast be reduced, if not ended.
6. End of difference of physical and mental labour—In that era, foreigners used to make us ‘babus’ by
teaching some English words, raise our status. The aftermath of the same was that people who did
mental tasks started considering people who do physical work inferior. Handwork and industrial
education and social service work were made mandatory for children in basic education. When
everybody would work, nobody would discriminate those who work. This should have ended class
distinction. It is a different matter altogether that nothing like this happened.
7. Action-oriented education process—In basic education, people were given opportunities and learn
with their own experiences by participating in real activities in practical circumstances. This is a
psychological method to learn. The knowledge and skills learnt through this way remains permanent.
8. Consolidation of all knowledge and activities—In basic education, knowledge and activities are
considered inseparable and the subjects and activities are consolidated in a unit through handwork and commercial and natural environmental and social environment. This is an apt process of
9. Mother Tongue as the Medium of Instruction for Education—Though the British had made mother
tongue (regional languages) as the medium of instruction in primary schools, but along with that
they also ran primary schools where the medium was English. Gandhiji insisted only on mother
tongue to be the medium of instruction for providing education. Only then, equality could have
10. Close relation between schools and society—The British education methodology did not have any
relation to Indian lifestyle. The basic education ended these differences between the schools and
society. The societal language, societal craftsmanship skills, societal commercial activities, societal
festivals and other societal activities were given importance. This established a close relation between
the schools and society.
Disadvantages of Basic education
Theoretically, the basic education might have many disadvantages and no matter how much they might
be praised, but practically, they have been unsuccessful.
1. Imcomplete scheme—though its called national policy, but in reality it is only a mandatory and free
primary education. Only the needs of rural children are kept in mind in this, not the needs of urban children.
2. Lack of relation to the higher education—Basic education is for children aged between 7 and 14 years
old. Its curriculum is based only on the requirements of this particular age bracket and needs of rural children. There was no correlation done with the secondary and higher education, it wasn’t made the base for the higher education. It seems like children would not study after this. Education should be in a sequential manner.
3. Inappropriate for the urban areas—It is said that India is nation of villages, but it is not appropriate
to fulfill just the rural needs through the primary school curriculum. No co-relation with the lives of
urban children is a big disadvantage. It seems like the basic education was meant only for the poor population of the country.
4. More emphasis on handwork—In basic education, the most emphasis has been laid on the handwork.
This has been made the central subject of the curriculum and on depending on this other subjects
and activities have been emphasized. Zakir Hussain committe had provided for a duration of 3 hrs 20 min, out of 5 hrs 30 min for handwork activities. It seems that the developers of the basic education wanted to create India as a nation of hand skilled people. And then in school education, giving
more importance to a specifi c subject or activity means giving less importance to other subjects and
activities. Then how the overall development of the children could have been done.
5. Wastage of raw materials—It is just an imagination to expect the production by small children, it
is not suitable for usage, it cannot be sold in the market. Nothing is achieved in this scheme except
wastage of materials.
6. Dissipation of time and power—In early stage, it is not possible to impart training of handwork
to the small children. In basic education, neither could the children be trained in the handwork nor
the expenditure of the school be met by the goods produced by them. Along with the wastage of raw materials, the time and power of children also gets wasted.
7. Prodigious process of education—Though the manner in which the education provided in the basic education is a natural process, psychological process, however, when imparted forcibly in a crowd, its natural and psychological aspects remain no more. Then, integrating all the subjects and activities and that too, considering handwork, commercial, natural environmental and social work as focal subject, remains just an imagination.
8. Serial order education is impossible—Even if it was possible to develop some subjects and activities
in an integrated manner, then another problem arises, to present a subject or an activity in a logical
order. It is not possible to arrange it into serial order.
9. Lack of religious knowledge—It is said that the basic education is called fundamental education, however, the basic religious education of the Indian society doesn’t find any place in the same, only moral education finds it place. Gandhiji feared that the hatred would have taken place in case of religious education. Does any religion teach about hatred?.