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From students scrawling alphabets on black slates to digitized classrooms, the Indian education system has come a long way. With parents constantly on a hunt for top schools for their children, finding the right fit is extremely essential. Today, it is easier to find an educational institution that offers overall knowledge and personality enhancement, but India took several leaps and bounds to acquire this academic finesse. Let's take a peek at the history and evolution of the Indian education system and appreciate the convenience and amenities that the schools offer today.
Education in the traditional sense is usually the means through which a group of people's aims and habits persevere from one generation to the next. Education has a formative effect on the way we think, feel, or act. This formal process is formulated to transmit specific knowledge, skills, customs, and values from one era to the next. There is no denying that our current education system in the top schools is rooted in history. In the old days, our main source of knowledge were spiritual texts and the wise lessons of the yogis. Children were taught these texts and scriptures and how to enunciate slokas. Religious training and traditional knowledge were imparted orally to children at a very young age. This was before the invention of paper, so everything was documented on tree barks and leaves.
Gurukuls were meant for children who had the means to get the education. Unlike today's top school schedules, children in ashrams and gurukuls lived and learned on the property and did various things ranging from small errands to religious exercises. The teachers were called gurus back in the day and were treated with utmost respect and reverence. These gurukuls had students from various backgrounds and were taught about religion, philosophy, literature, warfare, medicine, history, astrology and much more. Offering Gurudakshina to the teachers was a sign of respect for the teachers. It is definitely one of the oldest education systems in India and started off as an opportunity for all. Eventually, the caste system seeped into the society and tainted the field of education. The caste system meant that each group was taught specific skills that benefited the society and royal family. And students who belonged to the fringes of society were not given the opportunity to enhance their knowledge.
Unlike the gender and class inclusivity of the top schools today, ancient education system allotted a period of time exclusively for the boys. Through Upanayana, a student was initiated into Brahmacharyam. These students were taught self-control and discipline. Luxuries ad pleasures were kept at a distance and they mostly concentrated on a wide range of subjects that would accord them with respectful positions in the society.
As humans progressed, the attitude towards education changed and new beliefs flourished. Takshashila was an early Hindu and Buddhist centre of learning for students with specific religious beliefs. According to historical records, this institute is considered as one of the first universities in the world and is an important part of our culture, history, and tradition. The institution taught advanced skills like hunting, archery, law, medicine and military science. Nalanda was established in the fifth century AD in Bihar, India and lasted till 1200 AD. They specifically devoted their existence to Buddhist studies and trained the students in politics, arty, astronomy, mathematics, and art of war. The pupils came from across the globe, from places like Japam, Turkey, Tibet, Persia and more.
With the emergence of Islam in India, things changed. Today, we are taught about the Islamic era in top schools of India, but there was a time when our education system came under Islamic influence. The rulers of that era built universities and institutions and the education heavily focused on the connection between science and humanities. The rise of private tutoring was eminent in this age and individuals in the education field were highly respected and revered.
The British Raj had definitely made a mark on our education system and we can feel its effects even today. The Britishers made learning English a high priority and wanted to speed up modernisation in India. The present form of education most top schools follow in India today, was an idea proposed by Lord Macaulay in the 20th century. According to him, Indians needed modern education to leave their traditional thoughts, interests, and morals behind to thrive. They came with the sole aim to spread western thought in the society and benefit by educating the people in India.
The education system became the responsibility of the government and the individual states. As per the rule, education became compulsory up to the age of 14 and also a fundamental right of citizens. The government got involved in the education system and it is definitely one of the reasons for the current high literacy rate in India and the flourish of top schools in India. Throughout our history, the several reforms have shaped our thought and education system and it continues to help us grow to perfection.
There is no denying that India has come a long way from the old traditions and customs. We have progressed tremendously in terms of education and today it is one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India. Scientific research has definitely helped in creating value-based education. Today, top schools in Vadodara are focusing on not just knowledge enhancement, but overall personality development. Whether it's in the field of academics or sports, India is leaving a mark on the world and education is a key contributor to this exponential recognition, growth, and success.
Here's to more years of enlightenment and moulding of sharp minds that will grow up to represent India, a country immersed in culture, genius, tradition, innovation, and creativity.