School Education System in India before and after Independence

“Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them”

Henry S. Commager

The educational institutions which provide the primary Education to the maximum number of children is the world largest single enterprise. With the involvement of a bit array of teachers, the biggest number of pupil, a large number of supervisors and administrators, this kind of institution is able to change the social value of human life with the help of education. As such, from the point of view of magnitude, from the stand point of psychological preparedness, from the preponderance of the sociological influences, in view of the economic necessities, and the philosophical background and in view of scientific enlightenment and humanism, the role of primary education is extremely significant and crucial. Education works as a lever in raising financial and social status of the individuals. So, expenditure on education is regarded as useful investment not only by the economists, but also by the educationists. Economic condition of a country depends largely on the educational standards of its people since primary education is the foundation and should be the maximum or basic acquisition for the majority. Education is the root of modernization and human development. Education is a process of learning and it continues throughout the life. It promotes mobilization and encourages people to participate in development activities. Education makes people skilled towards jobs and creates productive efficiency. So to know the practice of Education in India, this chapter has been divided into two parts: Education in India before independence that includes education in all the three historical phases’ namely ancient, medieval and modern India). Likewise, another part basically deals with Education in India after her independence.

Education in India before Independence -

The cultural and the traditional education were started from the beginning of the human civilization. Although the pattern of learning was different from today’s curriculum yet, no one can deny that the human civilization was elaborated in a parallel manner in the presence of cultural and the traditional education. (a) Education system in Ancient Period Every aspect of life including education in ancient India was influenced by religion. However, it is worth to mention that education aimed at many sided development of the personality of the student of course with a religious orientation. The concept, aims and ideals of education were correlated with the ideals of life. Religion played an imperative part in life in ancient India. The whole social structure of those days was religious and the whole system of education surged with religious atmosphere. Teachers were usually priests, so they provided Liberal, Spiritual and Religious education. In ancient India the whole system of education ran on the specific system of institution called ‘GURUKUL SYSTEM OF EDUCATION’1 .The main sources of teaching in the ancient education were Vedic literature which represent the most important and intrinsic part of life of the Indian people. In Vedic period, as the period is known, teacher or Guru used to give knowledge to their pupil on the basic of Vedic literature which consisted of eight different forms; they are Four Vedas, Six Vedangas, Four Upavedas, Four Brahmanas, One hundred and eight Upanishads, Six systems of Philosophy, Bhagwad Gita, and Three Smritis. 2 .The Vedas deal with every branch of knowledge and provide basic material of all arts and science. In fact, they are the first source of wisdom. Ancient educators considered knowledge as the third eye of man which gives him insight into all worldly and nonworldly matters3 . Teacher occupied a vital position in the Vedic system of education. The teacher was a parent surrogate, facilitator of learning, exemplar and inspirer, confident, detector friend and philosopher, evaluator, imparter of knowledge and wisdom and above all a guru, religious and spiritual guide. In Vedic period forest was treated as a centre of education, which was far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife4 . In ancient time people used to live a simple and a pious life. They used to perform their duties and responsibilities with utmost care and devotion. 


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