Education in India has a very long history. Ancient India had the tradition of 'Gurukuls'. Under this system students have to live at the 'Ashram' (abode) of the teacher and get the education. This form of the education is known as 'Guru-Shishya Pramapara'.
At that time, education was treated as a personal concern and has not been demonstrated in mass production by the sector of modern education. The manufacture of man was considered an artistic work process and not mechanical. According to ancient India
education training the mind and thought process are essential for the acquisition of knowledge..
The formal admission ceremony was known as 'Upanayana'. With the accomplishment of this ceremony the child had to leave his home for the 'ashrama' where he would receive education. It was supposed to be the re-birth of the child and was known as 'Dvijya', which means, "twice born". Sanskrit was the language of teaching. It was supposed to be the language of learned men. The academies of higher learning were known as 'Parisads'. The education system involved of three basic processes, which included 'Sravana', 'Manana' and 'Nidhyasana'.
In the 'Sravana' stage of education, students received 'shrutis' knowledge, which was passed orally from one generation to another. The second stage was 'Manana' which means that pupils had to think themselves about what they have heard. They have to make their own inferences and assimilate the lesson taught by their teacher into the life. The third stage 'Nidhyasana' means complete comprehension of truth and its use in the life.
Among women in ancient India were given the right to education and teaching. Both women seers "Gayatri" were participants in the debates on education and the process of "Parishads." (Assembly) was followed mainly by Brahmins Kshatriyas who have received education in Gurukul while children of lower caste family learned their craft from their parents.
Some of the most important universities in India in ancient times were Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramshila. Taxila University 7 th century BC, was famous for his studies of medicine and master of the galaxy as important as Sandwiches, a famous grammarian, Kautilya, the minister of Chandra Gupta Maurya and Charaka, the medical reputation of the teacher.
Nalanda was the highest learning center not just of India but also of the entire South Asia. Students from foreign countries like China, Japan, Korea used to come here for higher studies. It had around 10,000 students and teachers on its roll cards. The University had eight colleges. And one of the colleges had four-storied building. It was one of the earliest examples of residential cum learning complex.
Vikramshila University. Varanasi was famous for his religious teachings. Kanchi in the south was famous during the Vallabha was a university. Huan Tsang records about on par with the University of Nalanda University and Vikramshila.
India has had many great minds at work, which helped in all aspects of life. The concept of zero, decimal and the Pythagorean theorem were all developed here.
As India progressed from ancient to medieval its education system deteriorated. Various factors were responsible for the degradation of this most efficient and most ancient education system of the world.
The present educational system of India is an implantation of British rulers. Wood's Dispatch of 1854 laid the foundation of present system of education in India. Before the advent of British
in India, education system was private one. With the introduction of Wood's Dispatch known as Magna Carta of Indian education, the whole scenario changed. The main purpose of it was to prepare Indian Clerks for running local administration. Under it the means of school educations were the vernacular languages while the higher education was granted in English only. British government started giving funds to indigenous schools in need of help and thus slowly some of the schools became government-aided.
Reflections on the new system, introduced the Mahatma Gandhi expressed concern in the following words: "I say without fear of my figures successfully challenged, that India today is more illiterate than it was fifty or a hundred years, and is in Burma, as the British administrators, when they came to India, instead of taking hold of things as they were, began to root them out. They scraped the ground and began to look the root, leaving the root of such and the beautiful tree perished. The village schools are not good enough for the British administrator, as he left with his program. Each school must have so much paraphernalia, building, etc. . Well, there was no such schools at all.
Today education system in India can be divided into many stages.
Pre- Primary - It consists of children of 3-5 years of age studying in nursery, lower kindergarten and upper kindergarten. At this stage student is given knowledge about school life and is taught to read and write some basic words.
Primary - It includes the age group of children of 6-11 years studying in classes from first to fifth.
Middle - It consists of children studying in classes from sixth to eighth.
Secondary - it includes students studying in classes ninth and tenth.
Higher Secondary - Includes students studying in eleventh and twelfth classes.
Graduate - Here, a student goes through higher education, which is completed in college. This course may vary according to the subject pursued by the student. For medical student this stage is of four and a half years plus one year of compulsory internship, while a simple graduate degree can be attained in three years.
Postgraduate - After completing graduation a student may opt for post-graduation to further add to his qualifications.