Nothing is stronger than a good story- Tyrion Lannister,Game of Thrones. But how one will know importance of a great story if he isn’t educated?
Whenever we hear the word ‘Education’, we immediately think of books and stuff. As said, history to the things is birth of the era, we must know about the historical trail Indian Education System has followed. Ever wondered what has been the History of Education in our country? Not really? So, let’s get on board to find answers to the mind tickling What’s, When’s, Where’s, Why’s and How’s to our Education System which transpires to be the backbone of our Country as it was established.
Nowadays Educational Institutes are available in every corner of our country. But if we turn the wheels of history in backward direction, we find how whole education system was centered around a guru. In vedic age there was no proper educational system. Mainly at the age of five, students who were known to be the Shishyas were supposed to go to their Guru’s place for the purpose of gaining knowledge and return by the age of twenty four. This system came to be known as the Gurukul System. Earlier gurus were mainly male members of the society who used to educate their students under large trees as that of peepal or bamboo. They were considered God’s proximate. The shishyas were taught orally, the teachings were religious in nature and the method was usually questioning and reasoning. Education was free, open to all and there was no discrimination on the basis of caste, color and religion.
Furthermore education flourished under Buddhists, Jains and Brahmins. They believed in Sangha System, a system in which people are not allowed to stay in homes, they need to travel from one place to another and add to their growth of knowledge and form ideas of different caste and cultures. It was only in the rainy season when they were allowed to stay at homes of their relatives or friends. Buddha is considered to have started spreading knowledge giving rise to the number of his followers. This led to the formation of another religion called Buddhism. After Buddhism spread over the centuries, Buddhists felt the need to have a proper institution where they could promote their religion.This need inspired setting up of some of the world famous educational institutes such as Nalanda, Ujjain, Takshila and Vikramshila Universities.These Universities cater to subject knowledge such as Vedas, grammar, philosophy, Ayurveda, agriculture, surgery, politics, archery, warfare, astronomy, commerce, music, dance, etc. Nalanda was colossal among all these institutes and managed different categories of Knowledge and provided residence to around 10,000 students. Takshila University laid emphasis on medicine while Ujjain University specialized in Astronomy. Vikramshila University was famous for its training in secular subjects and students from different corners of the world came to the University. Consequently our country became the nerve center of Education in the World.
One of the amazing facts is that India has the largest Muslim population outside Muslim-majority countries. The majority of Indian Muslims belong to the Sunni sect of Islam. But the major twirl is how and why did the Muslims enter India? The religion first arrived at the western coast of India when Arab traders as early as in the 7th century CE came to coastal Malabar and Konkan-Gujarat. But it was only in the 11th century that Muslims understood the importance of education. There was a crisp interaction among Indian and Islamic traditions in the field of Knowledge which led to the establishment of elementary and secondary schools known as Maktab and Madarsa respectively. The Muslim rulers in India, promoted education in urban areas by stressing on the importance of building Libraries and Literary Societies.
With the arrival of British in India, English started gaining eminence and became a mandatory subject in the education pattern along with subjects like Arabic, Persian, Hindi and Sanskrit (which became a matter of choice). Education in totality was not given much importance by the British, which is evident from the fact that the literacy rate in India was 16% at the time of independence. The education policy introduced was only to produce “cheap clerks” who could be beneficial for the administration in their pursuit of economic subjugation of India. But the only good it did to India was, that it introduced the Modern Principles of Democracy and Equality.
Then the turn of the wheel, independent India got the freedom to educate her own people, she understood the value of education. Earlier the education was mainly centered around religion, art and culture. But now we can see a boost in innumerable subjects that deal with many different areas of interest. One of the major change is the revolution of dakshina practice to fee practice. Our government has made Education compulsory for children till the age of 14. The education system at present is divided into primary, secondary, senior secondary and higher education. Indian government acknowledges education to be of utmost priority. Many different educational policies have been initiated by the government. As a consequence the spread of education is prompted in various corners of our country resulting in higher literacy rate.
At present if we trace the trajectory of Education System in India, we halt to the fact that Education progressively acquired the shape we see it in today. With time people started understanding the prominence of Education and today it is among the basic necessities. Literacy and Education stands to be the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world to make it a better place to dwell in. In addition to making poor…the poorer, rich and richer…the richest.
So keep learning as the pen in your hand which is mightier than a sword will eventually write all your futures.