Restoring India’s education system! An overview of what advancements have been made since Vedic to the Modern era! An evolution from gurukul to universities or a ‘tampatra‘ to cutting the trees and then making ‘paper’ out of it.
Early Indian education was open to all and pupils were trained and taught by rishis and gurus in a gurukul system, where the individual comes stays with the guru for a stipulated time period in order to gain knowledge.
Although a guru Dakshina was presented as a form of fees, none of the gurus taught in the greed of price, the only motto was to acquire moksha i.e. enlightenment.
The gurukul system in the early era practised experiential learning where the students learned by finding solutions themselves under the guidance of their gurus, living in gurukuls i.e. boardings exposed them to a sense of independence as well as responsibility, helping their development even further.
As time progressed, individuals were assigned various duties in which they started gaining expertise, and so came the caste system, the drawback of which was the loss of flexibility to choose your job and education. The Brahmins learned about scriptures, Kshatriyas about warfare, Vaishyas about monetary issues and deals and then there were Shudras who were working-class citizens and were trained on skills.
Education in India was closely related to religion and culture, as the population expanded in the Gupta Empire, centres for education became common in cities like Varanasi and Nalanda which were established as universities and still are known across the globe.
Indian knowledge in the form of Veda in the Sanskrit language was immense. The well known four Vedic Samhitas were; the Rig-veda, Sama-Veda, Yajur-Veda and Atharva-Veda. Vedas gave explicit knowledge about science in the fields of astronomy, medicine, herbs, physics, algebra, geometry, etc.
Ancient India had several female scholars like Gargi and Maitreyi and the status of females was quite high, although the scenario changed with time and the society started getting dominated with the male population, increasing the number of female illiteracy. This happened majorly near when the Mughals were invading this traditionally rich country. Slowly not only were females restricted for several jobs but also their safety had become a major concern. This continued for a long time, until the British entered the nation, initially for trade with an intention of colonisation.
When India was colonised under the British rule, the major issue faced by the English was a language barrier which restricted them to maintain a proper ruling order in a multilingual country like India, this is when Lord Macaulay introduced his education policy.
The new system not only taught citizens in English language but was subjected to training in clerical jobs which were of the major requirement to the English. This system has classroom lectures and a restricted syllabus, drawback of which was that this training restricted the cognitive development of the individuals but enabled these so-called ‘learned slaves’ to work for the ruling govt., providing cheap labour.
The idea of innovations, inventions, creative thinking has somewhere ruled out from this new education system. Today, even after 72 years of independence, this system still remains imbibed in our education pattern. Students are trained to get good grades, to get admission in good universities, then to get good jobs, good salaries and lastly good retirement life.
Majority of the students are entering a rat-race of short term mediocre goals. Wide and explicit thinking is least encouraged, your scores are depicting your careers and fields. Students are taking degree over the degree and the difference between formal education and applicative education is widening day by day, but hardly does any individual know the applicative use of his approximately 16 years of education.
Times are changing, globalisation has pitched in, and each country is trying to be its best. Now the wars would not be fought by weapons, but now with “the mind”. No longer can we continue with the old methods of learning with increasing competition. It’s necessary to develop an individual’s cognitive function, which is only possible via experiential learning as also suggested by Dr Piaget. Restoring India’s education system!
His theory of constructivism suggests that people produce knowledge and form meaning based on their experiences. His theory reforms learning theory, teaching methods and education. One known institute practising this theory in India, Maharashtra, Bhayander is Cyanofarm Research Centre where the students are trained to serve the nations in their field of expertise and polished according to their inherent abilities and traits, under the guidance of Dr Rutwik & Mrs Dipali Thengodkar. This kind of training is necessary for the upcoming youth as the youth is the power of its country. 2020 is the time we do something about the educational scenario, as this is when the majority of our country’s population is young.
Implementation of better practices and redefining the Indian educational parameters is awaited. As PM Modi said, it is requested for every scientist to spare some time educating the public, where science would be exposed to young minds in a positive direction and India will have more Aryabhattas and Kalams.
Restoring India’s education system! An overview of what advancements have been made since Vedic to Modern era! – BioinformaticsIndia