Education is an individual’s dynamic force and plays a highly influential role in a person’s mental, emotional, social, physical, creative, spiritual, and ethical development. It helps an individual to go through various experiences and implement these experiences in creating a meaningful life. According to Plato,
“Education is the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment; it develops in the body and in the soul of the student all the beauty and all the perfection which he is capable of.”
Education in Pre-independence India
The Upanishad Period
In this period, the teacher was referred to as the guru who was considered to be an abode of knowledge and spirituality and embodying good qualities. The teacher has the freedom to select his or her student and the student has the freedom to select his or her teacher as well. Writing developed in the later years due to which, oral transmission of knowledge took place in this period.
The Buddhist Period
During this period, the role of teachers changed. Teachers were required to be proficient in various domains of knowledge. The period emphasized religious education as well as secular education. Takshila and Nalanda were the centers of learning. The monastic system ensured that every learner was under the guidance and supervision of a preceptor (Upajjhaya). The disciple selected the Upajjhaya and respected him.
The Medieval Period
In their dominions, the Mohammedan rulers established schools called Maktabs and colleges called Madrasas. Students were instructed according to the Koran. They had to recite and read it. Writing and arithmetic were also taught. Studying Arabic was compulsory and the medium of language was Persian. The subjects taught in the Madrasas were grammar, rhetoric, theology, logic, metaphysics, literature, jurisprudence, and sciences.
The Modern Period
European missionaries started the scholars and established the teacher training institutions later on before the British arrived. At Serampur near Calcutta, a school to train the teachers was established by the Danish missionaries. Dr. Andrew Bell began with the monitorial system experiment in Madras, which was the basis of the teacher training program. In England, it was referred to as the Bell-Lancaster system. Sir Munro, in his Minute dated 13 December 1823, suggested an allowance increase and introduction of the varying syllabus for the Hindu and Muslim teachers.
Following the arrival of the British many things changed in the education scenario of India such as the Wood’s Despatch, Lord Stanley Despatch, The Indian Education Commission, and more which in one way or the other have contributed to the educational progress of the nation.