The education system of the land is the delivery mechanism of the knowledge as understood by that civilization.
A community's view on education depends on their knowledge of sciences, understanding of man as a material being and or a spiritual being. The thought of the land / times defines the education effort.
The Rishischolars of India, over thousands of years developed the knowledge base for this civilization. This knowledge has been transmitted both in the oral and written form from generation to generation through the Gurukulasystem of education.
Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to England in 1931 for the Round table conference gave a statement likening the ancient education system of India to a beautiful tree, and how the British uprooted this beautiful tree.
The Gurukulasystem of India was indeed a beautiful tree, a vrksha. The mode of education in this Gurukulasystem is looked at in some detail.
Two officers of the East India Company studied the Gurukulasystem of India, imported some of the simple systems of instructions and teaching methodologies and introduced the same in England as "New system of schooling ". What are the simple instructions methods borrowed from India?
There exists a wrong opinion among us that the Gurukulaeducation was -
- restricted to Brahmins alone
- only shlokawere recited
The facts are contrary to the above, are brought out with statistical details from European records.
After Gurukulaeducation the students so desiring went on for their higher education to the mahavidyalayaor universities. India was probably the oldest civilization to have international universities, which drew students from Rome in Europe to China in the East.
Some of the famous universities were
Indian Ancient Universities
These Universities flourished from 400 B.C.E to 1050 C.E and were destroyed due to the invasions of their time.
The subjects taught in these universities were not only religion and philosophy but also included the various branches of science, mathematics, astronomy, plant sciences, Ayurvedaand other such knowledge systems, which were of practical day-to-day use then.
A regular question asked is, if India had such a good system of education, why did they go awry? The reason for the decline is analyzed as to why our education system did not evolve with changing times.
The British when they governed India uprooted this time honoured system of education and instead introduced the Macaulay system of education, which we are presently following.
This capsule analyses the merits and demerits of both the ancient and the present system of education and looks at how a synthesis of both can take India forward once again as the educational giant of the world.
The future is indeed bright for the revival of quality education and the quality of educators in India.