Education System in India
This education system profile provides an in-depth overview of the structure of the education system in India, its academic institutions, quality assurance mechanisms, and grading practices, also as trends in outbound and inbound student mobility.
Points to be discussed: Overall Course Structure of Education System in India
- What is Education?
- Education System in Ancient India
- Education System in Medieval India
- Education System during British times
- Status of Education in India during Post-Independence
- Lacunae in the Education System in India- Challenges
- Rebooting Indian education system – way ahead
What is Education?
‘Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can change the world’- Nelson Mandela
Education is the process of acquiring knowledge, data, skills, beliefs, values, and habits.
While talking concerning the education people usually confuse it with schooling. When seeing or hearing the word (Education), many peoples imagine places like schools or colleges. Also, they consider specific jobs such as teachers or tutors.
Education means ” To prepare a person to handle challenges of every day of life.”
The problem with this is that while looking to help people learn, the way a lot of the schools and teachers operate isn’t necessarily something we will properly call education. they need to be chosen or fallen or been pushed into “schooling”- trying to drill learning into people according to some plan often involved by others.
Such ‘schooling’ quickly descends into treating learners like objects, things to be acted upon instead of people to be related to.
The whole purpose of education is to show the mirror to windows. education must help to question, Inquire, act, and rethink.
Education may be a social process- ‘a process of living and not a preparation for future living. The task of educators is to develop potential. Such education is hopeful. it’s a process of inviting truth and possibility. it’s a cooperative and inclusive activity that appears to assist people to live their lives, as well as they can.
Characteristics of Education
- Education as a process
- Education as a product
- Education as a discipline
- Education as growth and development
- Education as direction
- Education as developing mental faculties
- Education as an acquisition of knowledge and skill.
There are many types of education are:-
- Child Education
- Adult Education
- Technical Education
- Health Education
- Physical Education
Education is classified under these three categories:-
- Formal Education
- Informal Education
- Non-Formal Education
- Formal Education
- It is an institutionalized process
- Everything is systematic and organized
- There will be a particular procedure of evaluation
- There will be a particular procedure of admission
Characteristics of Formal Education
- Systematically organized and institutionalized
- Planned with a particular end in view
- Limited to a specific period or stage
- It has a well-defined and systematic curriculum
- Given by specially qualified teachers
- observes strict discipline
- Informal education takes place naturally in the process of living
- Learning education from spontaneous or incidents
- Not scheduled or deliberate
- It is not imparted by any professional organization
- No prescribed program or time schedule
- It is a life-long process.
- Non-Formal Education
- Non-formal education is systematic and organized but does not happen in the realm of formal education.
- Does have agencies
- As per the need of the client, there will be; flexibility in teaching and curriculum.
Characteristics of Non-Formal Education
- Organized, Systematic education carried outside the framework of the established formal system
- Outside the realm of formal education
- Conscious and deliberate
- It is organized for a homogeneous group
- It serves the need of the identified group
'The functions of educations are to teach one to think intensively and think critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of Education' by Martin Luther king
Education System in Ancient India
- The education system in India during ancient times can be traced back to the 3rd century B.C., at this time, the Gurukul Education system in India existed.
- These gurukuls where primarily residential schools where the sishyas (student) lived in the same house with their gurus (teachers)
- The rishis imparted education orally. the bark of trees and palm leaves were used for writing. Teaching methods used where reasoning and questioning.
- Character formation and personality development, infusion of spiritual and religious values were mainly imparted by the guru into sishyas through the Gurukul system of education.
- Education was free, but the students paid “Gurudakshina,” a voluntary contribution after the completion of their studies.
- Through Upanayana, a student was initiated into Brahmacharya. This time period was exclusively allotted for Vedic education. During this pupil, was under complete self-discipline and self-control. all sorts of luxuries and pleasures where to be avoided.
- Herbal medicine, Astronomy, Drama, Philosophy, Astrology, Literature, warfare, Statecraft, and History were the most common subjects.
- Vedic education included: proper pronunciation and recitation of the Veda, the rules of sacrifice, grammar, understanding the secret of nature.
- The Upnishads encouraged and exploratory learning process where teachers and students co-travelers in a search for truth.
- The Mahabharata and Ramayana too were a part of ancient Indian education. these epic poems discussed human goals, explain the duty of the individual to society and the world through the concept of Drama.
Education System in Medieval India
- Medieval India saw the flourishing of higher education at Nalanda, Takshila, Ujjain, and Vikramshila Universities.
- Painting, Logic, Astronomy, Grammar, Art, Architecture, Buddhism, Arthashastra (Economics, Politics), Law, and Medicine were famous subjects.
- Education in medieval India expressed a new perspective in the 11th century when the Muslims established the elementary and secondary schools. These were established by emperors and other nobles.
- The aim of education during the Muslim period was the illumination and extension of knowledge and the propagation of Islam. The education of this era was imparted for the propagation of Islamic principles, laws, and social conventions.
- This further led to the commencement of universities like Delhi, Lucknow, and Allahabad.
- Urban education watch promoted by building libraries and literary societies.
- Primary schools called maktabs were established where reading, writing, and basic Islamic prayers were taught.
- Secondary Schools are known as Madrasas in which students learn advanced language skills.
- Oral education and memorization of the assigned lesson with the chief methods of teaching in the maktaps. Akbar encouraged writing and tried to reformed the scripts. Akbar wanted the educational procedure to become Systematic. Objectives of medieval India Islamic Education.
- Acquisition of knowledge
- Propagation of Islam
- Achievement of material progress
- The organization of the political and social system
The education system in India during British times:
For the primary 60 years of its domination in India, the East India Company, trading, and profit-making concern took no interest within the promotion of education.
Some minor exceptions were:
- Calcutta Madrasa by Warren hasting in 1781
- Asiatic Society of Bengal by Sir William Jones
- The Sanskrit college in Varanasi by Jonathan Duncan in 1791
Progressive Indians like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dayanand Saraswati also encourage modern education.
Charter act of 1813
Charter act of 1813 paved the way for setting aside 1 lakh rupee for promoting the knowledge of modern Sciences. but sadly this money wasn’t used for several years and there was an issue about the medium of learning. between 1828 and 1835 William Bentinck along which lord Macaulay encouraged English learning.
In 1835, the Elphinstone College (Bombay) and Calcutta Medical College were established.
However, there was also and the difficulty regarding the language of instruction. Some wanted the utilization of Indian languages (called Vernaculars) while others preferred English
Woods despatch 1854
Woods despatch 1854 was considered as the Magna Carta of English education in India. It enabled educational departments to be established in every province and universities were opened at Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras in 1857. At least one government school in each district was established.
It asked the govt of India to assume responsibility for the education of masses, thus repudiating the ‘downward filtration theory’, a minimum of on paper.
Later, several efforts were taken by British under-
- Hunter Education Commission 1882- Impart primary education in Vernacular and Division of secondary schooling in literary and vocational
- Indian Universities act 1904- Based on Raleigh commission recommendations
- Saddler University Commission 1917- 12 years of schooling before University admission, a separate board for secondary and intermediate education. Use intermediate education as a stage for preparing students for University admission.
- Hartog Committee 1929- More emphasis on primary education and only deserving students should go for high schooling. for the improvement of standards of universities, admission should be restricted.
- Wardha Scheme 1937- By Zakir Hussain Committee, the Main principle behind this scheme was ‘Learning Through Activity’, it was based on Gandhi’s idea published in Harijan weekly.
- Sergeant plan of Education 1944
The education system in India which the British introduced gave greater emphasis to the teaching English language and the study of languages like Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit were left to individual efforts.
The English introduced modern education to reduce the expenditure on administration, to encourage the study of the English language, to spread Christianity, and to expand the marketplace for English goods.
According to Lord Macaulay after receiving the modern education system in India, Indians would remain Indians only in blood and color but English in their tastes, opinions, morals, and intellect (there was a huge requirement of lower scale manpower for company’s administration). Macaulay was a fanatical Anglicist who had absolute contempt for Indian learning of any kind.
Mass education was neglect leading to widespread illiteracy.
The traditional education system in India, Indian learning gradually declined for want of support and especially after 1884 when it was declared that applicants for government employment should possess knowledge of English.
There was total neglect of women’s education because the British didn’t want to invite the wrath of the orthodox sections and it had no immediate utility for the colonial rule.
Since education was to be paid for, it becomes a monopoly of the rich, upper class, and city dwellers.
Scientific and technical education was neglected.
Nevertheless, by the 1920s, the student body had become hotbeds of Indian nationalism
Status of Education in India during Post-Independence
Literacy at the end of British rule in India was 12% India was faced with the challenge of imparting quality education to its citizens to make the most of its human capital.
After India got independence, education became the responsibility of the states.
The central government’s only commitment was to co-ordinate in technical and higher education and determine standards.
This continued till 1976, after which education became a joint responsibility of the state and the center when it was added to the concurrent list.
Several articles of our constitution provide for education as a fundamental right. there are also provisions for protecting the interests of minority educational institutions also.
Initially, the Radhakrishna committee was set up in 1948 to report on university education in the country.
Subsequently, the India education commission, popularly known as Kothari Commission was set up in 1964 to evolve the general pattern of education in the country.
Radhakrishna Commission 1948
- There should be 12 years of the pre-university educational course.
- A university degree shouldn’t be considered essential for administrative services.
- Rural universities should be established.
- A University Grants Commission should be established to oversee the university education system in India.
- Education should be placed on the concurrent list.
- English as a medium of higher studies should not be removed.
- Colleges should not be overcrowded. There shouldn’t be over 1000 students in each college.
- Setup UGC to look after university education in India
UGC was set up in 1953 and was given Autonomous statutory status through the Act of Parliament.
Kothari Commission 1964
- One of the main recommendations of the commission was the standardization of the 10+2+3 pattern across the country.
- It classified high school up to class X
- Graduate studies were recommended to be standardized as a 3-year course
- Stressed on making work experience and social service an integral part of education.
- It recommended setting up of book banks, provision of scholarship, residential facilities, opportunities to earn while learning, etc.
- It emphasized on free education up to secondary level
- It laid stress on women’s education by establishing schools, hostels, and colleges for women.
- Adopt three language formula- Mother tongue, Hindi and English for the education
- Development of education for the promotion of agriculture and industry
The government accepted most of the Kothari committee recommendations. It classified the various stages of education and framed the national education policy in 1986.
This education system has guided India for several decades and is still continuing to do so.
The central government established several state-run schools such as Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Vidyalayas, Sainik Schools, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya. It also established several universities and institutes of national importance such as Agriculture institutes, AIIMS, IITs, IIMs, etc.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 was landmark legislation that made education free up to the age of 14.
Various Stages in the Education System in India
- Pre-primary – consist of children of 3-5 years of age.
- Primary – classes 1st-5th
- Middle – classes 6th-8th
- Secondary classes 9th and 10th
- Higher Secondary – classes 11th and 12th
- Higher education – college educations which included undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
- CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)- It is the prime most governing body of education in India. It has control over the central education system in India.
- CISCE ( Council of Indian School Certificate Examination)- It is a board for Anglo Indian Studies in India
- National Institute of Open Schooling- Governs opens school which as constituted for students who cannot attend formal schools
- State government Boards- Each state has its own state board of education to look after education issues.
Initiatives by the Ministry of Human Resource Development:
- National Literacy mission
- national means cum merit scholarship
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
- Mid-day meal scheme
- madrasa modernization scheme
- Mahila Samkhya scheme
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
- Model school scheme
- Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scholarship scheme
- Rashtriya Unchchatar Siksha Abhiyan
- Saakshar Bharat- Adult Education
Lacunae in the Education System- Challenges
- Despite raising investment in education, 25% of its population is yet illiterate; only 15% of our country students reach high school, and just 7 % from the 15% who passed it to high school to graduate.
- India spends approx 3.8% of GDP (Data- World Bank) on education whereas the US, UK, Germany spend over 5% even when they are highly developed societies and have huge GDP.
- Rote learning marks culture, etc are the most amongst the biggest flaws in the education system in India. Rather than lifelong learning it enables cramming and forgetting. Students only study to get marks on their exams.
- One out of nine children who complete school joins a college. India has one of just 11 percent with the lowest enrollment ratio in higher education. it is 83% in the US.
- According to the 10th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), only a fourth of all class 3rd children able to read class 2nd text fluently, In fact, 25% of class 8th children could not read the class 2nd level text.
- It is estimated that there is a shortage of more than 5 lakh qualified teachers in elementary schools. The shortage of teachers is endemic with even the IITs reporting a 20-30% shortfall in faculty. RTE norms stipulate a teacher per 30 students and there is a huge lack of teachers, most in UP.
- Teacher absenteeism is very high in many schools. many are not willing to work in rural areas as the incentive is poor.
- If the teacher problem is the structural problem at the qualitative level, teaching is also crippled by absenteeism, a culture of proxy teacher and sub-contracting, appointment of under-trained teachers, long-distance posting, lack of motivation, poor accommodation, and among the most important obstacle is the allotment of non-academic duties and political duties and political pressures.
- There is no such department like the education department where teachers take such a decent salary and refuse to work, says the Magsaysay award winner activist Sandeep Pandey.
- Infrastructure is very poor in many schools. eg: Many don’t have separate toilets for girls which have led to several girls dropping out from schools.
- Corruption and red-tapism plague educational schemes. E.g. mid-day meal scheme, teacher recruitment scheme, scholarship schemes.
- India’s education policy, 1986 is over 3 decades old and not updated to keep with modern developments in the education sector.
- A recent McKinsey study showed that only 1 out of 10 Indian Students with degrees in humanities and 1 out of 4 engineering graduates are employable. So much for India’s demographic dividend.
- The above-mentioned report says that 20% of the teachers do not measure up to the standards of the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE). Also, due to the absence of a focus on effective skill development, India is one of the least skilled countries.
- Many institutes like IITs, IIMs lack autonomy and work with heavy political influences. this has stifled academic creativity. No Indian university ranks the top 100 universities in the world. India ranks among the bottom in all innovation indexes with regard to the education system in India.
- Extreme pressure from parents to use education as financial security as people are spending parent’s life savings and borrowed money on education. This is crushing innovation and students begin a rat race to find the best employment. It also forces students to commit suicide.
- Additional pressure due to limited seats resulting in very intense competition between students.
- Standardized tests determine everything. The aptitude of students is not recognized outside this format.
- The curriculum remains outdated. (Refer- NCERT to review books for 1st time since 2007)
- There is a lack of diversity in subjects one can take in college. e.g. cannot double major in Maths and German like you can in the USA. less flexibility to cross over into different streams of education.
Lack of emphasis on value-based education.
There are crooks, money launderers, and politicians opening private educational institutions that extract money from students. their focus is on marketing rather than innovation or providing great educational service.
- While private schools are expected to follow norms set by the state government and department, there is no other government body that is evaluating them periodically on the quality of holistic education provided.
Rebooting Indian education system – way ahead
India will be having the largest young population in the future by 2025. though only 20% constitute the present enrollment in various courses, they are definitely the 100% future of our country. It is essential the youth becomes assets and not liabilities for the country.
India should not only focus on fact-based education but should give emphasis on social education, physical education, political education, and moral education.
It will include values of honesty, truthfulness, kindness, etc. It will increase public engagement and participation in democracy. physical education will ensure a healthy mind in a healthy body.
12th plan recognized for measuring and improving learning outcomes. the center launched ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ targeting early reading and writing with comprehension and understanding mathematics as “twin-track”
Some suggestions with regard to the Education System in India
Personalize Education – one size doesn’t fit all. Assembly line education prepares assembly line workers. some kids learn comparatively slower than others. some are visual learners, some are auditory learners, some learn from practical experiences. this encourages creative thinking and innovation.
Implement ICT in Education on a massive scale
Implemented ICT in Education on a massive scale- focus on investing in technology rather than outdated brick and mortar institutions. this will ensure education is cheap and reaches all. The government can distribute smartphones, tablets, and computers with high-speed internet to rural students.
Redefine the purpose of the education system
Redefine the purpose of the education system- instead of aiming at getting jobs and indulging in the rat race and rote learning, our education system should focus on creating entrepreneurs, innovators, scientists, artists, thinkers, writs, etc.
Focus on skill-based education
‘Give a man fish and you feed him one day, teach him to how to catch fishes and you feed him for a lifetime.’ students are rewarded for cramming information rather than practical implementation.
Bring Smarter Teachers
Teaching has become the sanctuary of the incompetent. Thousands of terrible teachers all over India are wasting valuable time on young children every day.
Allow the Private Capital in Education
The government cannot afford higher education for all people in the country. It’s too costly for the government to do so. allowing profit-making will encourage serious entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors to take an interest in the Education sector. In other developing countries such as Brazil, private capital is responsible for the majority of higher education.
Reward Creativity and Innovation
Testing and marking systems should be built to recognize original contributions in the form of creativity, research. The education system in India rarely rewards what is actually deserving, Deviance is discouraged, risk-taking is mocked.
Recent Initiatives by the Government
- BRICS ( means-Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Nations adopts New Delhi Declaration on Education
- Interest-free loans for all IIT/Higher education students under ‘Vidyalakshmi’ scheme
- Higher education study material to be made available for free through e-Paathshaala
- Rajasthan becomes the first state to make student data available online
- HRD Ministry calls for compulsory aptitude tests before JEE to remove coaching needs
- Government to fund ‘pure science’ scholars’ for post-doctoral research
- HRD launches 32 educational channels for students
- CBSE directs schools to drop school bags until class 2
- Kasturirangan committee formed in 2017 to make a draft of the new education policy.
T.S.R. Subramanian committee 2016
It has been formed to frame a draft of the new education policy which will replace the 1986 education policy. some of its recommendations are;
- Indian Education services- like IAS, IPS, etc should be established to have dedicated and competent personnel overseeing the education system.
- Pre-school Education- was not given enough focus in the 1986 policy. It recommends all primary schools to cover pre-school education.
- Learning outcomes- No-Detention Policy to be limited up to class V only.
- School education- School mapping to identify schools with low enrolment and inadequate infrastructure.
- Use of ICT in Education- ICT to be part of the curriculum. online maintenance of all records
- Inclusive Education- Curriculum should cover issues of social justice and harmony to avoid social discrimination
- Comprehensive Education- Schools should earmark funds for co-scholastic activities like Yoga, NCC, NSS, Games, Art, and Craft.
- Skill in Education- skill schools should be created to improve employment opportunities.
- Language and Culture Education- All schools can provide education up to class V in mother tongue or local language. Schools must instill discipline, civic sense, and must have facilities for teaching Sanskrit.
- Adolescent Education- schools will engage trained counselors to solve adolescent problems faced by students.
- Teacher Development- Urgent steps to be taken to fill vacancies. set up a teacher education university, establish a separate cadre of ‘Teacher Educators’ in every state.
- School Assessment and governance- A mechanism to be put in place for accreditation of schools.
- MOOC– NIOS and Ministry of Skill Development must reshape, promote, and modernize MOOC (Massive open online courses).
- Regulating In Higher Education- CESA (Central education statistics agency) will be established as the central data collector which will be used for predictive analysis, manpower planning, and future course corrections.
- Internationalization of Education- Top 200 foreign Universities will be allowed to establish a presence in India through collaboration with Indian Universities.
- Innovation- Setup 100 more incubators over a period of the next five years.
- Financing Education- To be increased to 6% of GDP. Instead of setting up new institutions focus on expanding the capacity of existing institutions. Brig performance-linked funding.
Learning from International Experiences
- Japan- Kindergarten schools in japan have pets in which the students are made to feed and wash. On weekends, the students are made to clean their classrooms. This teaches them responsibility, caring for animals, and the importance of cleanliness. thus early education focuses on values that develop the character of the child.
- Finland- No tuition fees are charged, subsidized meals are provided, free transportation is also provided. Thus, common basic education is available for all without any discrimination.
It is said that it will take India six generations or 126 years to catch up with developed countries if we do not change the education system in India dramatically. Thus, urgent reforms in this sector are the need of the hour.
India’s improved education system will act as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India. It will enable India to reap most of its demographic bulge and deliver an enhanced quality of living to its citizens. it will help the youth to develop to their maximum potential.
If you have any query with regarding the Education system in India, so please mentions it in the comment sections. Thank you…
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