Historical Background

Mahatma Gandhi visualised a need for Nai Talim (New Education also known as Basic Education) for a new social order 10 years before independence in 1937. For Gandhiji, the goals of education and society were not separate, nor could they be separated.

His basic views were :

  • Use the real world as your classroom and learn through life.
  • This real world was the closest environment in which children are growing.
  • This real world is the world of adults, their relationships and occupations.
  • He visualised a just world order directed towards the cooperative, self-reliant neighbourhood societies - self-reliant in most basic needs.
  • He experienced an urgent need to integrate the physical labour and intellectual work for a new social order. Gandhiji pinpointed the advantages of such a learning model.
  • Learning by doing is the best method of learning ever known. (It is important to note that most modern neuroscience research supports this contention now).
  • Learning inputs are spread over the entire surrounding environment and the society which can easily be harnessed.
  • To students, this should be "learning through earning" at later stage, as students have to get into earning through the acquired learning. This parameter was added mainly to ensure the quality, skills and intellectual abilities of learning.

Sevagram Experiment

Gandhiji's basic education or Nai Talim was experimented successfully during the 40's and 50's in many parts of the country. The Anand Niketan Nai Talim school at Sevagram together with Teacher's Training Institute and various levels of learning activities from pre-primary (Purva Buniyadi) to rural university (Uttam Buniyadi) was a unique and path-breaking experiment.

On the occasion of Ashadevi Aryanayakam Birth Centenary in 2004, an All India Conference on Education was organised in Sevagram. All the participants expressed their strong disapproval to the current system of education and expressed the need for 'Nai Talim' as an alternative vision to it.

This was followed by consultations with like-minded educational institutions and individuals who shared the same concern and were equally serious about initiating an alternative educational programme. Nai Talim Samiti took up the initiative and the responsibility to restart the school at Sevagram. This resulted in the reopening of Anand Niketan in July 2005.

Through Anand Niketan School, the Nai Talim experiment and experience is being revived and revitalised with the present and future needs of the Indian society.

Glimpses of our School