(Last Updated on : 28/11/2014)
Education in India is a fundamental right as established by the Indian constitution
. It is catered by both public and private sectors. Education has always received a special emphasis since ancient times, although it was restricted to certain classes back then. It has witnessed great evolutions since then. The technique and subjects of education in India changed greatly owing to the changing influences on the country. In the modern times, there are numerous schools, colleges, universities and other institutions in India that are continuously providing education to the students.
History of Education in India
India has been an ancient seat of learning and was often visited by travellers who came to India to study in the ancient Indian institutions. Education flourished at Nalanda
, Takshashila and Vikramshila
Universities. In fact, the Gurukul
system of education is one of the oldest educational institutions in the world. The Mughal period
saw the inception of Madrasahs in the education system in India. During the British rule in India
in the 18th century, education was widespread. English happened to be the medium of instruction for the western education introduced by the British in India. The introduction of English education in India benefited a handful of the population and this gave rise to the western educated middle class intelligentsia who organized the Indian masses in the struggle for freedom
. The British established many colleges in India, such as, the St. Xavier's College
, Sydenham College
, Wilson College
and Elphinstone College.
Education System in India
The government has taken up the responsibility for ensuring universal elementary education (primary and upper primary) for all children between the age group of six to fourteen. The primary
or the elementary education is the foundation of the education system in India, as the children are given eight years of schooling during this period. After completing the elementary education, the students get into the secondary level. There are broadly four stages of school education in India, namely primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary (or high schools). From class one to five is the primary school from the age group of six to eleven. Upper Primary and Secondary school pupils are aged between eleven to fifteen years organised into classes six to ten. The higher secondary school student ages sixteen to seventeen enrolled in classes eleven and twelve.
The undergraduate and postgraduate levels constitute the higher education. At this stage, a student chooses his/ her most favourite subject in which he/she is intending to pursue career. The students also put on lots of efforts to be successful in this stage. They are taught the skills and knowledge needed for them to be successful while working in different professional environments, in this stage. The students also get into different professional courses at this level and the courses help them to be in a better position. Higher education or the university education in India has evolved in distinct and different streams. Most universities are administered by the states, however there are eighteen important universities called Central universities, which are maintained by the Union Government. Private sector has also come up in the Indian higher education and this is creating greater opportunities for education in India. The nicely segmented and well organized education system in India has been working wonderfully and producing well educated people in India, for the past several years.
Challenges of Education in India
Education in India faces great challenges and is still at the stage of evolution in terms of its system. One of the prime challenges is the dissatisfaction amongst the youth owing to the teachers who are unable to satisfy the youth with their methods and knowledge. Another challenge is the lack of discipline in education centres. Political influences contribute greatly to this problem. Unemployment also causes a set back to the education in India rendering it incapable of providing a good and satisfactory job.
Poverty is another challenge as the rising cost of education is making it unattainable for the people belonging to low financial strata of India. Reservation in Indian education has also created barriers in Indian education system providing advantages to certain classes while ignoring the others. Corruption is a prominent issue in the country which has also seeped into the education system in India. Privatization is another crucial issue and a stark difference can be observed in the methods and administration of public and private organizations, both having their own pros and cons.