Aims of education are implied in the very meanings of education. He has given two sets of aims viz. immediate and ultimate aims of education.
(a) Ultimate Aim:
Ultimate aim of education is identical with the goal of life, which is ‘Self-realization’. Self-realization is the realization of the self proper. True education should result not in the material gains but in spiritual uplift.
Gandhiji laid great stress on religious education which teaches fundamental virtues of truth, love, justice and nonviolence. According to Gandhiji, “Like without religion is life without principles.
“Gandhiji is also of the opinion that God could be achieved not by returning into jungles but by living in a society and serving it. He preferred to call a student “Brahmachari”, a searcher after God:
Self-realization can take place through self-control, character and abstinence.
(b) Immediate Aims:
Immediate aims include ‘bread and butter aim’, the cultural aim, the harmonious development of all powers, the moral or character development aim, and sociological aim.
1. Bread and Butter Aims
This is also called utilitarian aim. It is due to this aim that he gave the principle of ‘self-supporting education’. The educand should not only be made capable of earning own livelihood in later life after school but also during the schooling.
The child must be an earning unit who must be self- sufficient right from the beginning of the education of the child. This man is really an important aim of even modern education.
2. Cultural Aim
Cultural aim refers to the refinement of the Personality. Mere knowledge is not enough. Education should lead that quality of mind which may be reflected in daily conduct.
Peach, behaviour and manner must be refined. Culture brings in alit and frankness. Education should not take Indian children that there is a need of synthesizing cultures so °ne could inherit world cultures. This aim enables the students to ate and appreciate other cultures.
3. Harmonious Development Aim
Harmonious development or perfection of nature is another aim that Gandhiji advocates. Harmoniously developed person is that who adjusts to his life and environment.
He laid greater emphasis on the development i.e., Head, Heart and Hand than on 3 R’s i.e., reading, writing and arithmetic. Present system of education leads to unbalanced development.
4. The Moral or Character Building Aim
It is the chief aim of education. The central purpose of education is to build character. If choice is to be made between character and other things in life, then ever thing else can be subordinated to the former.
Man must be a man of word. He must be ready to do something for the humanity at the first call to this conscience.
5. Sociological Aim or Training for Citizenship
Gandhiji reconciled the individual and social aims of education. In democracy] the first slogan is ‘Educate your Masters’. Thus Gandhiji advocated ‘Universal education’. Every member of this Samaj should be educated so that he could uplift it. He must have qualities of a good citizen. Essential qualities are-spirit of courage, self-sacrifice and industry.