Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Indian Education System From Ancient to Modern


The education system in India is very diversified, the country has a unique education system that is designed to support the nation’s rich heritage, culture, values & customs.

Education in India is managed by the government bodies that mainly come under either the Central Government or the State government. 

In ancient times, early education in India was mostly available to the children of higher caste, the education is delivered through the “Gurukula” system. In the Gurukula education system, anyone who wished to study went to the guru’s (Teacher) house to study. 

In the Gurukula system of education, more emphasis was given to developing character and instilling human values like moral & ethical behavior, empathy, leadership, creativity, etc. The aims of education in the Gurukula era revolved around the acquisition of supreme knowledge, the development of character, and spiritual & cultural education. 

The learning in the Gurukul creates a strong bond between the teacher and the student as the student lives and studies in the Guru’s house and assists him in all daily household chores, the teaching in the Gurukula was not confined to memorizing the lectures/information but was closely linked to the nature and life. 

The relationship between the Guru (teacher) and the Shishya (student) was an important part of education. The Guru teaches everything the student wishes to learn from Sanskrit, Holy Scriptures, Mathematics, Politics, Law & Justice & Sciences. 

The Gurus in ancient times offered education by means of donations and not by asking fees. The education in those eras was religious but secular subjects were also taught like Science, Law & Justice etc. the knowledge in that era was also imparted in a way that the task a particular society had to perform. The Brahmins (priest class) were imparted knowledge of religion and philosophy. The warrior class (Kshatriya), were taught and trained in the various aspects of warfare. The business class ( Vaishya), were taught trade & commerce, and the working class of the Shudras were generally deprived of educational advantages.

Takshashila and Nalanda are great examples of ancient Higher education learning institutes of India. Nalanda was the oldest university of education in the world. These institutions imparted knowledge and attracted a large number of foreign students to study topics such as Buddhist Páli literature, logic, and páli grammar.

Modern Education in India

Modern school education in India was brought by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the 1830s. The school curriculum included subjects such as Science, Mathematics and also English Language.

The teaching & learning was classroom-based, the teaching was professional and result oriented, and the link of teaching & learning with nature & life was somewhat broken.

The first education board in India was established in the year 1921 known as the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education. Later in the year 1929, the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Rajputana was established as the country’s central education board. 

In 1952, the constitution of the board was amended and the board was renamed as Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). All the schools in Delhi and many other parts of the country got affiliated with the board. The primary function of the board was to provide an academic curriculum, conduct examinations, and prepare textbooks.

The modern education system was introduced into India by the British which is still followed in the country. This system changed the age-old archaic systems with the English way.

Past the independence of India, the government of India understood the great need and value of education and put in great effort to get people into schools and educate them.

The far-sight of the visionary leader Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the much-needed educational reforms in the country. Presently, the country has world-renowned universities attracting students from all over the world.

The modern education system in India follows a pyramidal structure starting with the Pre-primary level, Primary (elementary) level, Secondary level, and higher education.

Through the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002, elementary education has been made a fundamental right.

Successive Union and state governments have spent millions of rupees to spread literacy in the country with Kerala becoming the state with the highest literacy rate in India.

The Indian modern education system aims to provide free and compulsory elementary education to all irrespective of their caste or creed.

To ensure there is no disparity in access to education, the government has also provided reservations for the SC, ST, OBS, and other minorities in the society.

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