Nai Talim

In 1937, Marwadi Shikshan Mandal (Marwari Education Society) was celebrating its silver jubilee. The management conceived the idea of calling on the occasion a small conference of like minded educationists to discuss the plan of education Gandhiji was endeavouring. The Secretary,

Shri Shriman Narayan Agrwal, consulted Gandhiji with the desirability of convening such a conference and asked him to preside it. As Gandhiji liked both of these ideas, the conference was held at Wardha on October 22nd and 23rd. Gandhiji approached the task with confidence but in all humility, with an open mind and with the will to learn and to revise and correct his views whenever necessary. He proposed his ideas of education at the conference for consideration as they had appeared to him at that point in time.

Participants of the conference openly shared and discussed their views on the scheme proposed by Gandhiji. At the end of day one following resolutions were made for discussion on day two.

1. That is the opinion of this conference free and compulsory education be provided for seven years on a nation­wide scale.
2. That the medium of instruction be the mother­tongue.
3. That the Conference endorses the proposal made by Mahatama Gandhi that the process of education throughout this period should centre round some form of manual and productive work, and that all the other abilities to be developed or training to be given should as far as possible, be integrally related to the central handicraft chosen with due regard to the environment of the child.
4. That the Conference accepts that this system of education will be gradually able to cover the remuneration of the teachers.

At the end of day two, the resolutions were put to vote and they were all but unanimously accepted, Prof. Shah not accepting only the self ­supporting part of the resolutions.
A committee composed of the following people was appointed to prepare a detailed syllabus on the lines of the resolutions, to submit their report to the chairman of the Conference within a month:

1. Dr. Zakir Hussain (Chairman)
2. Sjt. Aryanayakam (Convenor)
3. Sjt. Khwaka Gulam Saiyddin
4. Sjt. Vinoba Bhave
5. Sjt. Kakasaheb Kalelkar
6. Sjt. Kishorlal Mashruwala
7. Sjt. J. C. Kumarappa
8. Sjt. Shrikrishnadas Jaju
9. Sjt. K. T. Shah
10. Shrimati Ashadevi
With the power to co­-opt more names.

The committee submitted their report with detailed syllabus on December 2, 1937. (The report can be seen at the following link)

Later, the Indian National Congress passed the same resolution (except the last point – self-supporting) at its Haripura Session in 1938 and requested Dr Zakir Hussain and Shri E. W Aryanayakam to take immediate steps, under the advise and guidance of Gandhiji, to bring an All India Education Board into existence, in order to work out in a consolidated manner a programme.

Gandhiji’s Ideas on Education

1. The present system of education does not meet the requirements of the country in any shape or form. English having been made the medium of instruction in all the higher branches of learning, has created a permanent bar between the highly educated few and the uneducated many. It has prevented knowledge from percolating to the masses. The excessive importance given to English has maimed them mentally for life and made them strangers in their own land. Absence of vocation training has made the education class almost unfit for productive work and harmed them physically. Money spent on primary education is a waste of expenditure in as much as what little is taught is soon forgotten and have little or no value in terms of the village or cities. Such advantage as is gained by the existing system of education is not gained by the chief taxpayer, his children getting the least.

2. The course of primary education should be extended at least to seven years and should include the general knowledge gained up to the matriculation standard less English and plus substantial vocation.

3. For the all round development of boys and girls all training should, so far as possible, be given through a profit yielding vocation. In other words, vocation should serve a double purpose – to enable the pupil to pay for his tuition though the product of his labour and at the same time to develop the whole man or woman in him or her, through the vocation learnt at school. Land, buildings and equipment are not intended to be covered by the proceeds of the pupil’s labour. All the Processes of cotton, wool and silk commencing from gathering, cleaning, ginning (in case of cotton), carding, spinning, dyeing, sizing, warp making, double twisting, designing, and weaving, embroidery, tailoring, paper making, cutting, bookbinding, cabinet making, toy making, gur making are undoubted occupations that can easily be learnt and handled without much capital outlay.
This primary education should equip boys and girls to earn their bread by the State guaranteeing employment in the vocations learnt or by buying their manufacturers at prices fixed by the State.

4. Higher education should be left to private enterprise and for meeting national requirements whether in the various industries, technical arts, belles letters or fine arts. The State Universities should be purely examining bodies, self supporting though the fees charged for examination. Universities will look after the whole of the field of education and will prepare and approve courses of studies in the various departments of education. No private school should be run without the previous sanction of the respective Universities. University charters should be given liberally to any body of persons of proved worth and integrity, it being always understood that Universities will not cost the State anything except that it will bear cost of the running a Central Education Department.
The foregoing scheme does not absolve the State from running such seminaries as many be required for supplying State needs.
It is claimed that if the whole scheme is accepted it will solve the question of the greatest concern to the State – training of its youth, its future makers.

Harijan, 2-10-1937

Anand Niketan School

Anand Niketan School


School aims towards holistic development of a child i.e. the development of head, heart and hand. It equally aims for the development of a responsible citizenship. The development of intellect with compassion, humility and respect for all life forms, non violence and respect for mother earth is considered important. It believes in a transformative role of education towards a non exploitative and sustainable world. Since education is meant to get ready for life, so the learning process ought to be integrated with life.


Mahatma Gandhi said that ‘Nai Talim’ was his last and the best gift to the nation. In 1937, he presented the concept of Nai Talim for a new social order much before independence viz. in 1937 that was in tune with the culture and needs of our nation. This experiment was successfully conducted in Sewagram and other parts of the country for many years. The Nai Talim school at Sewagram 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 which continued for decades. After independence, due to Government apathy and other reasons this novel experiment was closed down in Sewagram in 1974. On the occasion of Ashadevi Aryanayakam Birth Centenary in 2004 an All India Conference on Education was organized in Sewagram. 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 the like minded educational institutions and individuals who shared the same concern and were equally serious about initiating an alternative educational programme. Nai Talim Samiti initiated and took up the responsibility and this resulted in the reopening of Anand Niketan since July 2005.


• Nai Talim promotes the use of the real world as classroom and appreciates learning through life. The real world to the child is the closest environment in which children grow. It is the world of adults, their relationships and occupations. It harnesses the learning inputs spread over the entire surrounding environment and the society.

• For Nai Talim, relationship with nature is not with a sense of conquest but with a sense of harmony and humility.

• Its vision is a just world order directed towards the cooperative self-reliant neighborhood societies/self reliant in most basic needs.

• It integrates physical work and the intellectual work for a new social order and also for the efficient learning as “learning by doing” is the best method of learning ever known. (Most modern neuroscience research supports this contention.)


Anand Niketan School inherits the same Nai Talim campus and the buildings where the historic experiment was conducted. Peaceful, pleasant, full of greenery and pollution-free atmosphere provides an ideal place for children’s education. Currently, there are three levels of pre-primary and grades 1 to 9  with a total of 225 children. Every year there has been an addition of one more grade as a natural growth. As a first stage of our work, it was decided to take the school to seventh grade. After review, it was decided to upgrade the school up to tenth grade.


• Learning takes place at the individual level, thus the freedom of the child to work with his/her own pace is honoured. There is no competition, no ranking. A joyful atmosphere is created.

• Medium of instruction and learning is the vicinity language i.e. Marathi.

• English is learnt as a language from class I. Hindi comes to children informally from the very beginning i.e. preschool, but formal introduction and writing work starts only from 5th grade.

• Taking responsibility for one’s own learning to become intellectually, physically and emotionally self-reliant is encouraged.

• Emphasis is given on learning through day-to-day life skills and crafts. Many activities of this type come under the free life skill activity at the, pre-school level. At primary level proper cleaning of class-rooms, ground, urinals, toilets, etc., is regularly done by teachers and children together. Cooperative weekly cooking class by class also takes place. Children enjoy various activities involved in the production and preparation of food. Gardening, spinning, hand stitching and embroidery, machine stitching, hand-paper making, bicycle repairing etc.
are the other crafts that are practiced regularly at primary level. Weaving, carpentry, etc. are some other crafts to be incorporated at higher primary level. Crafts help in imparting dexterity and aesthetic sense. It helps to develop self-esteem arising from a sense of worth and confidence in one’s competence.

• Carefully graded scientific educational material and real life situation for the learning of mathematics and sciences is made available to children. Use of integrated pedagogy is the special feature of the school.

• A well set computer lab also expases students to the basics of computers and their creative use.

• Creative expression through various art forms is given importance. Drawing and painting, paper folding, clay work, traditional art forms like ‘Alpana’, music, and dance are incorporated in the programme on a regular basis.

• Games are loved by children. It has an important role in the personality development of children. A wise combination of indoor and outdoor games, group games and traditional form of group and individual performance i.e. Malla-khamb forms the regular feature of the school for girls and boys both. There is a special time slot of 1/2 to 1 hour daily reserved for the physical activity.

• The vegetative and animal life that exists around the child becomes a part of the nature study.

• Special effort is taken to see that there is a free dialogue with the children on topics evolving out of individual and collective felt need, emotional and socio-cultural contacts.

• Self evaluation is encouraged and appreciated. Children are encouraged to think.

• An atmosphere of cooperation is built during most of the indoor and outdoor activities.

• An effort is done to relate learning to socio-cultural reality that exists around children so as to build up their analytical ability and to lay the foundation of responsible citizenship. Essential exposures are planned for the same.


Strength of the school is a team of committed teachers ready to learn and work innovatively in co-operation. The experiment has a clear direction, however it believes that an “Education” is a constantly changing phenomenon in response to the changing situational needs. We would like to encourage creative abilities required for the same. We know that this is just a beginning. This is a learning process for all of us-the students, the teachers, the parents and the management. We are aware of the fact that together we think and work, better will be the results. We hope that the school plays a transformative role in the life of all of those involved in it and gives us an experience of inner growth, strength and satisfaction. It will also be an inspiring example for the society. We are also happy to say that it has been through the sincere efforts on the part of teachers that the school has been recognized as ‘Heritage School’ by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).


The school has now reached grade 10. We also intend to develop the school as a Resource Centre for other organizations and teachers. An option of residential school is also open at the second stage of work. The challenge is to work out the operational details for the excellent craft based learning model based on Nai Talim philosophy. A team of committed and able teachers and fellows is the basic human requirement. There has been a huge social and political pressure on all schools with Marathi or a regional language as the medium of instruction. This cannot be certainly termed as scientific and pedagogically correct act ! However, most parents, the market economy and also the Government, ignoring children’s right to learn through their mother tongue/ the language of vicinity, are putting undue pressure on children to learn through English medium making the whole learning stressful for the kids. We intend to address this situation by teaching through the language of the environment i.e. Marathi so that children have the advantage of joyful, fast and perfect learning and also to be closely rooted in the socio-cultural world around. At the same time the inevitable situational need of learning good English is being catered by introducing effective ways of teaching and learning English.


There is a great need of social support to such educational initiatives in the interest of children and a larger society. It is important that freedom and autonomy of such experiments is preserved to get basic insights on education. This will also help to maintain prerogative of directing educational agenda
in the hands of the society. Anand Niketan being mainly committed to the lower socio-economic sections of the society, its need for sustaining the recurring costs can hardly be met by parents. Thus, we appeal all friends and well wishers to support us morally, intellectually and financially in this endeavour. Nai Talim Samiti is an educational Charitable Registered Trust and has registered under section 80G of the Income tax Act. Nai Talim Samiti is also registered under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. Donation or help may please be sent in the name of Nai Talim Samiti, Sewagram, Dist- Wardha, (Maharashtra) 442102.

For more details visit the school website https://anandniketansevagram.wordpress.com

Gunvattapoorn Sarthak Shiksha Abhiyan (GSSA)

सेवाग्राम आश्रम परिसर में 2005 मे आशादेवी आर्यनायकम के जन्म शताब्दी निमित्त से नई तालीम के आनंद निकेतन विद्यालय को पुनर्जीवित किया गया । वर्तमान परिप्रेक्ष्य में तत्व और सिंद्धांतों को सही दिशा में अपनाकर बालवाडी से कक्षा 10 तक, माध्यमिक विद्यालय के रूप में उसे अमल में लाना माना गया । हर विकल्प, विचार एवं तत्वों के साथ जमीन पर उतारने के लिए आनंद निकेतन के माध्यम से प्रयास शुरू हुये ।

इस एक दशक में नई तालीम के जो तत्व, शैक्षणिक सूत्र तथा सैद्धांतिक मुल्यों को आज के परिपेक्ष्य में प्रत्यक्ष उजागर कर परखा गया, उन्हे व्यापक स्तर पर ले जाने की जरुरत महसूस हुई । इन तथ्यों को व्यवहारिक सार्थकता देने कि दृष्टि से गुणवत्तापूर्ण सार्थकता शिक्षा अभियान चलाना तय किया गया ।

इसके लिये सरकारी या अनुदानित विद्यालयों की गुणवत्ता बढ़ाकर  उसे जीवन मूल्यों के साथ जोड़ना, क्षमता तथा कौशल्य का विकास कर, जीवन के अनुभवों से सीखकर सार्थक बनाना, इन बुनियादी तथ्यों के आधार पर गुणवत्तापूर्ण सार्थक शिक्षण अभियान की नींव रखी गई।

गुणवत्तापूर्ण सार्थक शिक्षण अभियान – कार्य अहवाल  सितम्बर 2014 –  मार्च 2017

Contact us

Akhil Bhartiya Nai Talim Samiti

Sewagram Aashram
P.O. Sewagram, Dist.Wardha.
Pin – 442102.

+91-7152-284754  | nayeetaleem.75@gmail.com