Thursday, August 17, 2023

Education history in Indian subcontinent


Education in the Indian subcontinent began with teaching of traditional elements such as Indian religions, Indian mathematics, Indian logic at early Hindu and Buddhist centres of learning such as ancient Takshashila (in modern-day Pakistan) and Nalanda (in India). Islamic education became ingrained with the establishment of Islamic empires in the Indian subcontinent in the Middle Ages while the coming of the Europeans later brought western education to colonial India.

Several Western-style universities were established during the period of British rule in the 19th century. A series of measures continuing throughout the early half of the 20th century ultimately laid the foundation of the educational system of the Republic of India, Pakistan and much of the Indian subcontinent.

Early education in India commenced under the supervision of a guru or prabhu. Initially, education was open to all and seen as one of the methods to achieve Moksha in those days, or enlightenment.[citation needed] As time progressed, due to a decentralised social structure,[citation needed] the education was imparted on the basis of varna and the related duties that one had to perform as a member of a specific caste.The Brahmans learned about scriptures and religion while the Kshatriya were educated in the various aspects of warfare.The Vaishya caste learned commerce and other specific vocational courses.[citation needed] The other caste Shudras, were men of working class and they were trained on skills to carry out these jobs.The earliest venues of education in India were often secluded from the main population.Students were expected to follow strict monastic guidelines prescribed by the guru and stay away from cities in ashrams.However, as population increased under the Gupta empire centres of urban learning became increasingly common and Cities such as Varanasi and the Buddhist centre at Nalanda became increasingly visible.

Education in India is a piece of education traditional form was closely related to religion.Among the Heterodox schools of belief were the Jain and Buddhist schools.Heterodox Buddhist education was more inclusive and aside of the monastic orders the Buddhist education centres were urban institutes of learning such as Taxila and Nalanda where grammar, medicine, philosophy, logic, metaphysics, arts and crafts etc. were also taught.Early Buddhist institutions of higher learning like Taxila and Nalanda continued to function well into the common era and were attended by students from China and Central Asia.

On the subject of education for the nobility Joseph Prabhu writes: "Outside the religious framework, kings and princes were educated in the arts and sciences related to government: politics (danda-nıti), economics (vartta), philosophy (anvıksiki), and historical traditions (itihasa). Here the authoritative source was Kautilya’s Arthashastra, often compared to Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince for its worldly outlook and political scheming.The Rigveda (c.1700-1000 BCE) mentions female poets called brahmavadinis, specifically Lopamudra and Ghosha.By 800 BCE women such as Gargi and Maitreyi were mentioned as scholars in the religious Upnishads.Maya, mother of the historic Buddha, was an educated queen while other women in India contributed to writing of the Pali canon.Out of the composers of the Sangam literature 154 were women.However, the education and society of the era continued to be dominated by educated male population.

Chinese scholars such as Xuanzang and Yi Jing arrived on Indian institutions of learning to survey Buddhist texts. Yi Jing additionally noted the arrival of 56 scholars from India, Japan, and Korea. However, the Buddhist institutions of learning were slowly giving way to a resurgent tradition of Brahmanism during that era. Scholars from India also journeyed to China to translate Buddhist texts. During the 10th century a monk named Dharmadeva from Nalanda journeyed to China and translated a number of texts. Another centre at Vikramshila maintained close relations with Tibet.The Buddhist teacher Atisa was the head monk in Vikramshila before his journey to Tibet.

Examples of royal patronage include construction of buildings under the Rastrakuta dynasty in 945 CE.The institutions arranged for multiple residences for educators as well as state sponsored education and arrangements for students and scholars.Similar arrangements were made by the Chola dynasty in 1024 CE, which provided state support to selected students in educational establishments.Temple schools from 12–13th centuries included the school at the Nataraja temple situated at Chidambaram which employed 20 librarians, out of whom 8 were copiers of manuscripts and 2 were employed for verification of the copied manuscriptsThe remaining staff conducted other duties, including preservation and maintained of reference material.

Another establishment during this period is the Uddandapura institute established during the 8th century under the patronage of the Pala dynasty. The institution developed ties with Tibet and became a centre of Tantric Buddhism.During the 10–11th centuries the number of monks reached a thousand, equaling the strength of monks at the sacred Mahabodhi complex. By the time of the arrival of the Islamic scholar Al Biruni India already had an established system of science and technology in place.Also by the 12th century, invasions from India's northern borders disrupted traditional education systems as foreign armies raided educational institutes, among other establishments.

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