A History of the Indian Education

The Indian education system is probably one of the largest in the world. In fact, the higher education system of the country indeed ranks third in the world, after US and China. Furthermore, it’s even expected to leave US behind in just around 5 years, and China in around 20 years.

Some statistics suggest that the country’s college-age group population will only keep rising, which is again something very positive for the country’s education system.

However, as good as the future prospects look for the Indian education system, there’s also just as interesting history of the education in India. We will be learning more about that below.

An overview

The education system was started in South Asia with teaching many traditional educational elements such as Indian mathematics, Indian religions, and Indian logic. There may be many other things, too, that were thought of during the period, but these three seem to be the most common ones.

The learning centers were built in Taxila, which is now a part of the modern-day Pakistan, and Nalanda, which is still a part of India.

Things changed rather rapidly after the British invaded India. The western education system was brought in at this point, and apparently, is still followed to a significant extent in the country.

Early history

When education was started in India, it usually used to be under the supervision of a “guru”, or in a more modern sense, a teacher. However, back then, education was attained at learning things that would help one achieve Moksha, or attain liberation.

Soon after that, though, the education system in India witnessed many changes, including the emergence of “caste-wide” education. The Brahmans were made to learn about religion and scriptures, while the kshatriya would learn about warfare activities. The Vaishyas would be taught mathematics and commerce activities, while the shudras, believed to be of the lowest caste, were denied education altogether.

How was the education provided?

Also, the way education was provided to students used to be very different to what it is now. Back then, students were made to stay at “ashrams”, which usually used to be far away from their home. Furthermore, they were made to follow strict guidelines laid down by their guru.

The changes beginning to set in

However, the population started increasing at a rather tremendous pace after the beginning of the Gupta empire period, and hence, learning centers were set up in cities such as Varanasi and Nalanda. This obviously also led to many changes in the then education system of India.

However, religion still used to be a major factor while providing students with education. Apart from religious teachings, however, students were also taught various different things such as arts and science, politics, economics, philosophy, and so on. Needless to mention, back then, all these different educational elements were called by different names.

More information

If you are looking to learn more about the Indian education system, you can visit SearchAllIndia.com, a blog dedicated to the modern Indian education system.

Bloom’s Taxonomy in Education

What are the various aspects of learning that needs to be taken into account to make education wholesome and effective? Many educators, thinkers, philosophers, and psychologists have dwelt upon this question. In the modern era, Benjamin Bloom, an American educational psychologist probed the underlying principles behind learning and came out with a very systematic way of looking at learning known as the Bloom’s Taxonomy that tries to provide an elegant and comprehensive answer.

Bloom’s Taxonomy covers three domains through which a learner engages in learning, namely, the cognitive, the affective and the psycho-motor.

He divided the cognitive domain into six levels ranging from the lowest to the highest form of cognitive learning abilities.

The six levels that Benjamin Bloom identified under cognitive domain are:

1. Knowledge: Knowledge involves simply recalling or memorization of facts. For example, formulae, historical dates, key definitions, etc, can be memorized. In this rudimentary stage of learning, the learner may sometimes spew out some information that he/she remembers without completely understanding the concept. He/she may only have a vague understanding of the topic. Schools in the early 1900s focused on rote learning. This practice still continues to be the norm in many parts of the world.

2. Comprehension: In this stage, the learner demonstrates deep understanding of the concept and is able to articulate the information learnt in his or her own words. For example, a learner might be able to beautifully explain the process of photosynthesis in his or her own words after going through a detailed interactive animation on the same topic.

3. Application: In this stage, the learner after having a deep grasp of the concept is able to apply it in practical situations. For example, the learner will be able to make a simple solar cooker after learning about its principles and how to make one.

4. Analysis: Analysis involves breaking down the information that is conceptually understood and applied into smaller chunks and being able to think about it. For example, the learner might look at particular aspects of a poem that he or she is studying like the rhyme scheme or use of metaphors and similes.

5. Synthesis: Synthesis is bringing together the different concepts of a topic/group of topics into a cohesive whole after applying the learning and coming up with innovations based on the same. At this stage, one’s creativity is unleashed as the learner tries to integrate the learning from different sources. For example, the learner may come up with a new design for a space craft after a comprehensive study of aerodynamics.

6. Evaluation: Evaluation enables the learner to give critical feedback on any piece of work. For example, a self-assessment of a piece of literature that a writer has written comes under evaluation.

The affective domain is another crucial domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy which involves the emotional well-being of the learner. This is one aspect of his learning theory that has been sadly neglected in many educational systems. This involves developing the self-esteem as well as the empathy level of the learner.

The psycho-motor domain involves using one’s own hands or tools in order to find solutions and encompasses the overall physical being of the learner including coordination. Sports help in developing this domain.

We can thus conclude that if all the aspects of Bloom’s Taxonomy are incorporated into the learning process, we can have a more wholesome learning outcome.

Education and Real Life Challenges

In contemporary times, almost as a cultural practice, education has been elevated to the level of an initiation rite into the modern world. With the aid of formal educational training, people acquire the skills of reading and writing. It is obvious that literacy, the ability to read and write, has become a requisite for coping with numerous challenges of modern times. As a strategy for ensuring that no child is denied the opportunity of acquiring formal education, not sending a child to school is a criminal offence in some parts of the world, especially in the West. In addition, some governments assist their citizens to acquire formal education by either subsidising the cost or making it available at no cost (at the basic level, at least).

It is impossible to fit into the modern times if one does not go to school. Consequently, education is a necessity, not a luxury. People’s attitude to education in contemporary time appears to suggest, in fidelity to Platonism, that it is better to be unborn than to be uneducated. The demand for education in different parts of the world is unarguably on daily increase. People make numerous sacrifices to acquire education. Parents are willing to give all they have in order to see their children through school. Some people travel to foreign countries in order to acquire quality educational training. Acquiring formal education has become one of the greatest priorities in life today.

However, despite the wide acceptance formal education has gained all over the world, one of the most significant questions about education that is often not asked is, “What is the relevance of education to practical life?’ In other words, to what extent is education helpful in addressing practical life challenges? This question needs to be asked because the expected impacts of education are absent is the life of many educated people. One of the factors that speak very eloquently on this is that education has continuously remained unable to improve the standard of living of numerous graduates.

It is imperative to remark that education is a means to an end, but not an end in itself. The implication of this is that education is a process that leads to the making of a product. The process is incomplete without the product. It is the product that gives value to the means. The quality of the process can be inferred from the quality of the product. As a means, education is incomplete without the end of the process. This end is the purpose it (education) is designed to serve (under ideal situation). Let us justify our claim that the expected impacts of education are absent is the life of many educated people by examining a very sensitive aspect of life of educated people, their finances.

How many educated people are truly financially successful? Most graduates struggle all through life to make ends meet, but to no avail. There are numerous people who graduated from tertiary institutions (even at the top of the class), but who are far below many people with lower educational training (academic intelligence and scholarly ability) than theirs in the ladder of financial success. Perhaps, financial struggles and crises are worse among educated people. Most educated people struggle all through their working years merely to make ends meet, but to no avail, and end as liabilities during their retirement.

The inability of education to assist graduates in managing real life challenges is rooted in the fact that most people are ignorant of the purpose of education. Why do we go to school? Why should people go to school? What is the purpose of education? What is the rationale of education? What are the objectives of education? Why should parents send their children to school? Education is one of the most abused or, rather, misunderstood human experiences. Unless the purpose of education is understood and clarified, the continuity of its abuse (by most people) will remain inevitable. Many people go to school for the wrong reasons. In addition, most parents send their children to school for the wrong reasons. Most people have erroneous conceptions about the objectives of education.

It is imperative to remark that this problem is rooted in the fact that the major incentive for going to school in the earliest days of its inception in different parts of the world was that it was a ticket to prosperity. This was possible then because employment opportunities abound for educated people then. But things have changed, and very significantly. In most parts of the world today, there is high level of unemployment among educated people. Thus, education does not guarantee financial success anymore. In fact, education has become a major cause of poverty, considering the fact that it has no provision for instilling the knowledge of wealth creation principles in students.

It is high time the purpose of education is reconsidered. The idea of going to school in order to acquire certificate should be denounced, if the training will improve the life of educated people. The idea of going to school in order to prepare for gainful employment should also be denounced because there are limited employment opportunities for unlimited graduates. If school prepares graduates for employment, but there are limited employment opportunities for unlimited graduates, it means that school prepares students for unemployment. This is why the conception that school merely prepares students for gainful employment is unacceptable.

The ideal purpose of education is to facilitate an integral development of the human person – the intellectual, moral, physical, social, spiritual, psychical and psychological dimensions of man. Going to school should facilitate the optimum development of all the aspects of the human person. An ideal educational system should not isolate any aspect of man in the training process, nor consider some aspects more important than others. Anything short of this is an aberration, and is unacceptable.

Every educational process should be able to assist students to develop their latent potential. Any educational process that does not fulfill this objective is useless. When the mind is developed, it is able to identify and solve problems for humanity and, consequently, be compensated with reward. Money is merely the reward for solving problems. Any graduate who cannot solve problems in the society lacks the capacity for wealth creation. This is a fact most graduates are ignorant of.

Education will assist graduates to become happy and fulfilled in life if it is structured to facilitate the optimum development of their minds. If this is done, education will equip graduates with the requisite skills to survive the economic battles and challenges of real life. It is very painful to remark that education has remained unable to serve practical purpose because most of the things the school system teach students are things they do not need to survive in the real life. In other words, most students spend years in school learning things that will not be useful to them when school days are over. The crux of this deficiency in the educational system is that the people who are most concerned in the educational sector are ignorant of its existence.

One of the key objectives of education is empowerment. If the educational system is restructured to achieve this purpose, graduates will become assets, but not liabilities, no matter the circumstances. Such an educational process will assist students to create jobs if they are unable to get jobs when they become graduates. As earlier remarked, education is a process, and every process is incomplete without a product. The quality of a product is the most reliable standard for ascertaining the quality of the process that produced it. There is urgent need to restructure the educational system to ensure that that the training it instills in students adequately empowers them to effectively confront life challenges, especially when school days are over.

Despite the fact that the consequences of the deficiencies of the educational system in its present form accounts for the ugly experiences of most graduates in the real life, the government has continuously demonstrated increasing incompetence in addressing this challenge. Consequently, it has become obvious that graduates who conscientiously desire a bright, refreshing and happy life must acquire Supplementary Education on their own before their school training will have the desired effect in their life. It also implies that students should also go beyond what they are taught in the class if they are sincerely passionate about happy in the real world (I.e life after school).

Higher Education in Pakistan: Introducing FAST and Air University

Pakistan’s diverse and colorful face of modern Education has evolved and expanded drastically since the country came into being in the mid 20th century. Today a variety of educational committees, systems and boards are abundant in the country some of most common are Religious Schools committee, The Federal Board, the HEC or Higher Education Commission, and the private or foreign sector.

Under the official HEC there are several high-grade Universities that are not only listed as some of the best in the world but among the topmost of Asia and Pakistan. To name a few there is NUST (National University of Sciences and Technology), IBA (Institute of Business and Administration), UMT (University of Management and Technology), AU (Air University) and National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences.

Talking of the latter; FAST or NUCES for the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences we are first to relate to its history. Back in 1985 the Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology in the country in an effort to introduce developing sciences in the budding country; set up complexes for computer science in two of the main cities of Pakistan, namely Lahore and Karachi.

They later on set up campuses in Islamabad and Peshawar too. NUCES is acclaimed as one of the highest engineering universities by the Pakistan engineering council (PEC) and by the (HEC) in the nation. It thus has the honor of being the first multi-campus Institute of Pakistan.

Another notable institute of Pakistan is Air University, which is a project of Pakistan’s Federal Public Sector located in Pakistan’s capital; Islamabad. It was founded in 2002 and is approved of by the HEC and PEC as a leader in its field of engineering, especially aeronautical engineering. Its degrees are widely accepted and approved off internationally on a smaller scale and nationally too on a very wide one.

What’s more is that being very young for its timeline it has achieved much and granted much to a large number of alumni entering and leaving it yearly. The campus is state-of-the-art for its age to with laboratories, high-end cafeteria, sports activities and facilities.

Moreover studying is also becoming increasingly easier now that students are equipped with personal laptops. It also grants more second and third-party opportunities such as internships and pre-life experience. Health care is also very carefully regarded and lately Hostel facilities have enabled more aspiring students from neighboring cities to enroll and enjoy the benefits of better higher education.

Influence of Internet on the Education System

The Information highway or the Internet has changed the way the world goes about doing things. It is one more point in a long continuum of inventions that is set to revolutionize lifestyles. One is inclined to ask, how does the ability of computers to talk to each other improve the learning process in the classroom? How does it make a difference in study of epics like the Odyssey and the Iliad? These questions and more will be answered in the following passages. The Internet has a more pervasive effect than other electronic media and is the modern engine of progress; it is the new form of thinking that will show a fresh approach to online education.

Personal computers and the Information Superhighway are rapidly transforming America. Already, the Internet is making large amounts of information available at unprecedented speeds. When this revolution makes itself fully felt in schools, teachers and students will have virtually instantaneous access to vast amounts of information and a wide range of learning tools. If we guide the information revolution wisely, these resources will be available not only to affluent suburban schools but also to rural school districts and inner-city schools. Broad access can reduce differences in the quality of online education and give children in all areas new opportunities to learn. Used well, this transforming technology can play a major role in school reform.

The new technology will enable students to acquire the skills that are essential to succeed in modern society. Exposure to computer technology in school will permit students to become familiar with the necessary tools at an early age. By using the technology well, they will also acquire better thinking skills to help them become informed citizens and active community members.

The drive to integrate technology into our nation’s schools goes far beyond the Internet. If the Internet didn’t exist, advanced technology would still have so many valuable educational uses distance learning applications, collaborative learning, and so forth that far larger investments than are being contemplated would be justified.

Web resources are excellent tools for researches. Let’s not kid ourselves, however. Even if policymakers, practitioners, and parents did decide what their goals were and even if the research findings supported one of several configurations of hardware and software, deciding when, how, or if to use technology (or any other reform) in the classroom is not likely to be determined solely on these bases. Many other factors–ranging from parental pressure to superintendents wanting to leave their fingerprints on the district to technology corporations promoting their products–shape decisions to buy and allocate technologies to schools.

The Internet is an incredible information resource and a powerful communication tool. The ability to use new technologies is becoming a more important factor in career options, and the future success of today’s students will be more affected by their understanding of and ability to access and use electronic information. The increased use of on-line services in the home by children adds to the impetus for schools to take a more active role in family education regarding their use.

Schools have the potential to be access points and online educational centers for exploring Internet resources. Increased involvement of parents in school education programs can help address community concerns and can improve their children’s overall academic performance. If educators assume responsibility for helping students master the use of technology and educating them about potential risks, students will become more empowered to make intelligent choices.

Multicultural education relates to education and instruction designed for the cultures of several different races in an educational system. This approach to teaching and learning is based upon consensus building, respect, and fostering cultural pluralism within racial societies. Multicultural education acknowledges and incorporates positive racial idiosyncrasies into classroom atmospheres.

The concept of learning styles is rooted in the classification of psychological types. The different ways of doing so are generally classified as: Concrete and abstract perceivers and Active and reflective processors.

There are many academic and psychological issues do minority students encounter such as: low single head of household, low socioeconomic status, low minority group status, limited English proficiency, low-educational attainment of parents, mobility, and psychosocial factors.

Not only do school programs and practices have a direct impact upon student success, but the school and community contexts in which these programs and practices occur also affect success rates. “Context” is comprised of numerous factors. Some contextual variables can have a positive impact upon students, while others work against student success.

The call for total school reform strongly suggests that existing conceptions of education are inadequate for promoting multicultural equity. Unfortunately, these same conceptions have shaped the schooling of prospective teachers. Their education likely has been characterized by tracking (the process of assigning students to different groups, classes, or programs based on measures of intelligence, achievement, or aptitude), traditional instruction that appeals to a narrow range of learning styles, and curricula that exclude the contributions of women and people of diverse cultures. Competition drives this factory model of schooling, in which students tend to be viewed as products coming off an assembly line.

Education is a fundamental human process; it is a matter of values and action. The cluster of technologies called the Internet has the ability to complement, to reinforce, and to enhance the educational process. It will take the focus of education from the institution to the student. The Internet has come to befriend, dwell with, and live beyond, both, the teacher and the student. African wisdom says, “It takes an entire village to raise a child”.

My personal conclusion is that all students, regardless of race, ethnic group, gender, socioeconomic status, geographic location, age, language, or disability, deserve equitable access to challenging and meaningful learning and achievement. This concept has profound implications for teaching and learning throughout the school community. It suggests that ensuring equity and excellence must be at the core of systemic reform efforts in education as a whole.