Tuesday, August 15, 2023

History of education


Understand India’s growing primary, secondary and higher education system, as we explore the history of education in India and how it plans to develop. 

India has a unique education system designed to uphold its nation’s culture, history, values, and customs.

In the past, education in India was reserved mostly for children considered to be higher-caste. However, new education policies have been aiming to achieve equal opportunities and the right to education for all children, irrespective of social class.    

Here, we’ll look at both traditional and modern facts surrounding education in India, looking in depth at the latest policies that aim to create a more inclusive education system.

We’ll also explore ways you can empower your students’ thirst for knowledge while meeting new classroom demands and needs, across primary, secondary and higher education.

A brief history of India’s education system

The Gurukul was India’s first system of education. It was a residential schooling system dating back to around 5000 BC, where shishya (student) and guru (teacher) used to reside in the guru’s ashram (home) or in close proximity. This allowed for an emotional bond to be developed prior to the transmission of knowledge. The mode of communication was the ancient Sanskrit language.

The basis of learning wasn’t only to read books and memorise information, but also incorporated the holistic development of a child. This includes their mental, cognitive, physical and spiritual wellness. Subjects taught were religion, holy scriptures, medicine, philosophy, warfare, statecraft, astrology and more. 
The emphasis was on developing student’s human values such as self-reliance, empathy, creativity, plus strong moral and ethical behaviours. The aim was that this knowledge could later be practically implemented to find solutions to real-life problems. 

The six aims of education for students of the Gurukul were:

The acquisition of supreme knowledge:   

 The ultimate purpose of the Gurukul education system was to understand Brahma (God) and the world beyond sensorial pleasures to attain immortality.

Development of character: 

Through study of the Vedas (ancient texts), the student developed will-power, a requirement for a good character, which subsequently allowed them to create a more favourable attitude and positive outlook towards life.

All-rounded development: 

Learning to withdraw the senses inwards and practice introversion was considered as the ideal method for complete living. This allowed students to become aware of the inner workings of the mind and their responses and reactions while performing various duties in the Gurukul.

Social virtues: 

By training body, mind and heart, the student was inspired to only speak truth and refrain from deceit. This was considered to be the highest human virtue. They were also encouraged to believe in giving to charities which made them socially efficient.

Spiritual development: 

The ancient texts suggest introversion as the best method for spiritual development, including Yagyas (rituals). Therefore, the student spent time in reflection and isolation from the external world to look entirely within himself to attain self-knowledge and self-realisation.
Cultural education: One day a year, students offered food to a passerby or a guest. This act was considered a sacrifice equivalent to one’s social and religious duty to another. 

Cultural education:

 One day a year, students offered food to a passerby or a guest. This act was considered a sacrifice equivalent to one’s social and religious duty to another. 

Facts and statistics about education in India

Under India’s Right to Education Act 2020, free and compulsory education is ensured to every child between the ages of three to 18.
Statistics on education in India show that about 26% of the Indian population (1.39 billion) falls into the 0-14 year category, which provides a great opportunity for the primary education sector. 
Recent reports show that the literacy rate of India is 77.7%, with Kerala being the state with the highest literacy rate. In terms of English speaking, India was ranked 52nd among the countries in an English Proficiency Index.

Aims for the future of education in India

Now we know a bit about the past state of education in India, what can we expect to see in the future?
Like many other countries, the pandemic has pushed a need for digital involvement in the education sector in India. Along with this, we can expect to see a shift in skills-based education as opposed to qualification-lead education.
By 2030, it’s estimated that India’s higher education system will have more than 20 universities among the global top 200 universities. It’s also thought that it will be among the top five countries in the world in terms of research output.

How does the modern Indian education system work?

It’s an undeniable fact that education in modern India has moved on from that of the “Gurukula.” The curriculum is mostly taught in English or Hindi, computer technology and skills have been integrated into learning systems, and emphasis is more on the competitive examination and grades rather than moral, ethical and spiritual education.
The modern school system was originally brought to India by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the 1830s. “Modern” subjects like science and mathematics took precedence, and metaphysics and philosophy were deemed unnecessary.
Up until July 2020, the schooling system in India was based on the 10+2 system, which rewarded a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) once completing class 10th and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) by completing class 12th.
As a result of the new National Education Policy (NEP), this has been replaced with the 5+3+3+4 system. The division of stages has been made to fall in line with the cognitive development stages that a child naturally goes through.

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