A History of the Indian Education

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Written By RobertMaxfield

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The Indian education system is probably one of the largest in the world. In fact, the higher education system of the country indeed ranks third in the world, after US and China. Furthermore, it’s even expected to leave US behind in just around 5 years, and China in around 20 years.

Some statistics suggest that the country’s college-age group population will only keep rising, which is again something very positive for the country’s education system.

However, as good as the future prospects look for the Indian education system, there’s also just as interesting history of the education in India. We will be learning more about that below.

An overview

The education system was started in South Asia with teaching many traditional educational elements such as Indian mathematics, Indian religions, and Indian logic. There may be many other things, too, that were thought of during the period, but these three seem to be the most common ones.

The learning centers were built in Taxila, which is now a part of the modern-day Pakistan, and Nalanda, which is still a part of India.

Things changed rather rapidly after the British invaded India. The western education system was brought in at this point, and apparently, is still followed to a significant extent in the country.

Early history

When education was started in India, it usually used to be under the supervision of a “guru”, or in a more modern sense, a teacher. However, back then, education was attained at learning things that would help one achieve Moksha, or attain liberation.

Soon after that, though, the education system in India witnessed many changes, including the emergence of “caste-wide” education. The Brahmans were made to learn about religion and scriptures, while the kshatriya would learn about warfare activities. The Vaishyas would be taught mathematics and commerce activities, while the shudras, believed to be of the lowest caste, were denied education altogether.

How was the education provided?

Also, the way education was provided to students used to be very different to what it is now. Back then, students were made to stay at “ashrams”, which usually used to be far away from their home. Furthermore, they were made to follow strict guidelines laid down by their guru.

The changes beginning to set in

However, the population started increasing at a rather tremendous pace after the beginning of the Gupta empire period, and hence, learning centers were set up in cities such as Varanasi and Nalanda. This obviously also led to many changes in the then education system of India.

However, religion still used to be a major factor while providing students with education. Apart from religious teachings, however, students were also taught various different things such as arts and science, politics, economics, philosophy, and so on. Needless to mention, back then, all these different educational elements were called by different names.