If we look into the early history of Indian (Hindu) society, we find that in ancient India, education was modeled on the gurukul system in which emphasis was placed on the direct relationship between the guru (teacher) and the sisya (pupil). The beginner’s stage or the first stage of Ancient Indian Education was Brahmacharya.
Brahmacharya represented the bachelor student stage of life. This stage focused on education and included the practice of celibacy. The students would go to a Gurukul (house of the guru) and would live with a guru (teacher) to acquire knowledge of science, philosophy, scriptures and logic, practicing self-discipline, working to earn Dakshina (donation) to be paid to the guru, and learning to live a life of Dharma (righteousness, morals, duties).
For achieving the complete education, the students needed to pass the toughest hurdles given by their teachers. These all were the tests of their moral characters. The teachers of Ancient India didn’t bestow knowledge to everyone. They believed only a person with proper morality should be a beholder of knowledge. That was the reason they tested their discipline to judge the level of their wish to learn. It was not easy to get the abundance of knowledge after crossing this kind of hardship, but those who crossed the hardship would remember it in their entire lifetime. The Samavartana ceremony – when the students would give their dakshina to the guru – meant a lot that time. The story of Maharshi Veda Vyas and his discipline is not a much-discussed story; but it reflected the actual picture of Ancient Educational System and its value of all.
Later, Britishers had planned three stages of education in India like primary, secondary and higher education. But unfortunately, the British policy makers who drafted the plan for education almost ignored the erstwhile existing indigenous educational systems in India. That is the reason today Indian education is facing three major issues.
1. The search for justice
According to the Article 45 of the Indian constitution, “The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years”. Since there is a positive hope for life, unfortunately, no landmark development is visible in the matter of right to primary and secondary education in India ; specially for underprivileged children. Today, the differences between the top and the bottom of the social ladder are not because of any differences in intellect but because of differences in the opportunity for education and knowledge.
2. Missing innovation and creation
It is highly marked in the current educational scenario that it is only based on memorizing things where deviance is discouraged. risk taking is mocked. Our testing and marking systems need to be built to recognize original contributions, in form of creativity, problem-solving, valuable original research and innovation.
3. Gross failure of our education system to end social disparity
The last but not the least failure of our education system is – after so many years, it has not being able to reduce social disparity in our country. Educational inequity is a major issue of Indian Educational System. Excellent education is not accessible to all children or in reality, it is available to only those who can afford it. We can see that South East Asian counterparts Malaysia, Singapore where education system is centralized and almost all children can go to public schools or afford at least primary education.
The Ancient education system taught us that education is not the amount of information that we put into our brain and runs riot there, undigested, all our life. We must have life building, man making, character making assimilation of ideas. How far current education system in India can travel? Does it need to be re-invented to evolve a system that is not based on doctrine method, but on learning? Time will answer it.512 Views