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RNI : UPBIL/2012/44732
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Politics of education in the colonial and post colonial period in India

Dr. Gurvinder Kaur, MA, JNU delhi,
Miss. Satvinder Kaur, Research Scholar, MJPRU, U.P

The paper gives emphasis to the education system in India during the colonial period and how it affects the basic curriculum of the education in the post colonialism. In the colonial period the main purpose for the educating Indians to be ready for clerical job.. The lot of changes happened during the colonial period like the minute on education by Lord Macaulay and Lord Curzon. Indian education system becomes illogical between the society and the knowledge. That is why India is still lacking in their education system. The addition of English language in the curriculam makes a difference (negative) with the ancient education system in India. After independence the social reforms makes a lot of changes in the society as well as in the education system. The traditions like sati pratha and untouchably be present which is also the main hurdle in the development of effective education system post colonialism. The contribution of the famous social reformers and activists was remarkable. After independence Indian education improves through the target setting (Five Year Plans) and achievements are remarkable. Keywords: Education system, colonialism, post-colonialism, Social reform, curriculum  The education system of India in ancient era was the totally unique to any other country of the world. The Gurukul called as ashram was a place where the student has to live and learn there. All actions and activities are controlled by the Guru(teacher). The life there was very tough yet useful for future learning . There were no discrimination exist and all the students were treated same to others whatever be their background of the family. The main subjects taught were Sanskrit, Pali . The key education were includes the Vedas, upnishads, purans etc. The dancing and the music, housekeeping and arts were for womens . The gurudakshina was the gesture used as a tribute(one time fee). All the eduation were totally free of cost in that period. When Bristish came to India there was a emperor(king) called Jahangir. Britishers were initially came to pursue trade through the East India Company. They consult with the emperor in the year 1640. The king has given the permission and after that Britishers sets up the Factories in Ahemdabad and Agra etc. After sometime the motive has changed from trade to the acquiring power. The time has came when the Britishers rules whole country. Sometimes after doing business in India Britishres have realized that they spends a lot of money on the officers and for the administration of the country . Britishres are always preferring their own countrymen for the important decisions and the tasks. They dont adopted any notion to educate the mass education and it is not their responsibility in any way. But soon after they find the need for the clerks and the interpreters. Also the Britishers found the native mind useless and waste. They don’t want the education system which makes Indian knowledgeable and thinkers. They just need the helping hand without interruption in the ruling. In 1835 the step has to be taken to introduce the English Education. The reason has a complex of many factors(political , economic and Cultural). Britishers wants the countrymen ready to adopt the westernization and does what they want from them to do. The Government decided to concentrate on the higher education of the upper classes.  With the progression of the colonial system of education, the curriculum becomes totally unmatched to the Indian society in reality and milieu. The syllabus and the prescribed textbooks were prepared to opertationalise the British rule . It represents the values and colonial system of Government . The life of the local community has no reflection in the school’s curriculum or we can say that there is no connection between the life’s reality and the education system at that time. The Bristishers’ push the education system to be taught in the English language and gives a preference to it as the way of instruction and communication. The salary of the school teacher’s was very little and their status was low, the colonial state makes it sure that its propagation and adoption would be faithfully transferred to Indian Children. The addition of the English language just aboilish the scope the Indian society could have in the curriculum of school knowledge to the children’s everyday life.  For Britishers the education in English language was not only the linguistic instrument but it was also the way to get the political power too. It was added as a official language for the legal system as well as for the commercial purpose too. It was the language that characterized the upper class. For Britishres, it was then easy for them to teach them the easy forms of work. This indicates that the representation of the Brtishres effort to modernize and westernized the Indian culture to material progress. In other words, English became a prominent measure used in the civilizing mission (Honenthal 1998)  The British in India expected the hereditary aristocracy to adopt English language as the language of the elite group. The establishment for the colleges was for the son’s and the chiefs and princess. But in place of this the traders and the lenders take an advantage of this and adopt this new education.  East India company faces a lot of problem and the financial crises and was compelled to cost cutting in the trade. The one way by which easy and cheap labor could come is the Indian’s. The employment for the Indians was basically reading, writing and speaking English. When talking about the enrollment in schools. The percentage of enrolled population at the primary stage was 31 pecent in India on the evening of the world war II in comparison to 100 percent to the other developed countries. The employment opportunities for the knowledgeable and the talented Indians were very few. The curriculum was basically includes the humanities and the arts in place of the science. The enrollment was huge for the arts and very less for the sciences or the professional courses. All the good and the superior post were reserved for the Europeans itself. The Britishers encouraged the mastery in the memorizing and producing as it is whatever is learnt.. Exams were held only to judge the reproducing power of the students in the copies not on the new ideas or innovations. That is why there is no new invention done in India because more than that we adopt the system to memorizing and reproducing things. So it was quite clear that the proportion(money) invested in the education and the teaching of the English language was just disproportionate. And we can easily see it in the higher education itself. The non-familiarity of the education as well the less opportunities for the employment filled the Indian students with discontent and sorrow. The only way remained for the lower castes was that they could raise the social status trough acquiring the western education.  We can divide the British colonialism in India in three stages: first stage(1757-1813) which mainly dealt with the establishment of the sanskrit college and hindu college, second stage(1813-1860) in which the Charter Act has passed and the provision for investing 1 lakh rupees on the development of the education system has been decided, the third stage 1860 onwards comprises with the reaffirming the recommendation of the Macaulay on which the main focus was on the upper class people who is ready to do the job under the British administration. There were many leaders in favor of the economic modernity but some other went through the eastern concept only.  The importance of education been realized in the colonial period and the Britishers were aware of it. For Indians the need of the education was felt for the social reformation. The 1813 Charter Act induces the notion that the education is the reponsibilty of the Britisher’s. The new initiatives like establishing the Universities at the Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in the year 1857. After reading the Vedas and the intellectual history the modern India could think critically.  Throughout the non-western world in recent centuries, the process of advancement and the modernization has been accelerated by contact and conflict with the west. The introduction of English education was one of the act which opens the doors of the west to the East. Even after the independence the social reforms in Hindu society, the movement for the emancipation of the women and for the removal of untouchability reflect western influence to a considerable extent.  But also the negative impact of the English education was also obvious. It made a barrier in between the upper classes and the masses. The presence of low rate of literacy, the method of teaching, neglecting the need of training of teachers was inevitable in the colonial period. The Lord Curzon’s Viceroyality in 1898 which act as control over the education system and its direction lasted till 1920 but after the system of the Dyarchy introduced by the Montague Chelmsford Reform education has transferred to the hands of Indian ministers.  During that period there were three principle agencies for the spread of western education. The christian missionaries, private enterprises and the colleges and schools established by the Government. Christian colleges were the first who bring the western ideas of education to India. There were political elite present called as zamindars and taluqdars. They are the most beneficialry of the English education at that time. There is obviously some connection between the growth of the modern nationalism and the rate of the social change. Education system after independence(Post-colonialism)  The problem with education is still very poor because of the poverty and the low standard of living. The primary as well as the secondary level of education is not up to the mark. The curriculum was not effective. In the year 1944 the attention turns of the Indian Government on the rebuilding the aspect of Indian life and its education system. It was adopted as the Post war Education Development in India. It was important and was the historical remark According to the Sargeant Plan of Education, education at the nursery level should target providing social experience and educating general behavior on infants. These individuals should not be burdened with the general education curriculum. At the pre-primary level, the scheme suggested that the start of nursery schools holds the key to the success of the scheme. Children ages three to six should attend these schools. In the rural areas, nurseries could be attached to junior basic schools while in urbanized regions in India, nursery and junior basic schools should be separate and independent from each other. Education of pre-primary school children should be free of charge (Sharma and Sharma 2006)  The presence of Indian caste system made many of the class and caste distant from the education. At the time of independence the India were depend on the other countries for the advancement in all sectors. The education system in the 19th century had its own merits and demerits. The education system during the colonialism destroyed the indigenous system of mass education.  On Aug. 15, 1947 India attained independence from the British Domination . This turns the people of the country responsible for the education and the trading concepts too. The molding of the education policy was realized and soon the new education policy tried to implement in the nation of fast changing times. Since 1947, education Department in the centre has developed fully developed Ministry under the Central Government.Making education available for all had become the priority for the Government. Although the caste, inequality discrimination was existed in the Indian society but then also the Indian Constitution made everyone equal in terms of rights and freedom.  “The 86th constitutional amendment has also made elementary education a fundamental right for the children between the age group 6 to 14. According to the 2001 census, the total literacy rate in India is 65.38%. The female literacy rate is only 54.16%. The gap between rural and urban literacy rate is also very significant in India. This is evident from the fact that only 59.4% of rural population is literate as against 80.3% urban population according to the 2001 census” as cited by Mehta.P  Indian Education System as a result of the widespread illiteracy, India has successfully adapted its education system to global standards. We have made great progress in education in the 70 years since independence. The picture in education was quite different in 1947 from now. India has come a long way in terms of literacy rates in general with more universities and educational institutions. In 2001, the literacy rate was 64.8%, and this ratio rises to 73% in 2011. In 1951, it was 18.33%. At present, India’s higher education system is the largest in the world, hosting more than 70 million students in less than two decades as per the article “Indian Education System”( 2017) Social Reformers in India The foundation of the present education was based on the efforts of the great social reformers of India like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dr. BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi etc.
The Raja Ram Mohan Roy His main focus was surrounded by the Hindu society of the times. He was not in the favor of the Idol worship and tried to prove him through the knowledge of Vedas and the Purans. His name was remembered mainly for the efforts he has taken to abolish sati pratha. He was the founder of the Brahma Samaj for wide spread of the brahm samaj and uplifting of the worst condition of the women’s. Swamy Dayanand Saraswati  He was very huge believer in the teachings of the Vedas; He himself gave the Slogan “Return to Vedas”. He hates the puranas, and tried to argue against all wrong things being propogated in the name of Hinduism. He was very much against the Caste system and says that work should not be designated by caste. He also supports the Right to Education for girls and their equal status.. He fights against the unctouchabilty and the Child Marriage etc. The intercaste marriage and the widow remarriage was appreciated by him. He estabished the “Arya Samaj” in the year 1875. Dr. B R Ambedkar  His main contribution was as chairmen of the constitution Drafting Committee. He works for the socio-political and economic justice and equality makes an effort for the socio- political, equality and the economic Justice. He does special concern for the rights of women, SC’s, STs and OBC’s. Their position in the country was very bad. They face the discrimination among employment opportunities and education. Mahatma Gandhi According to the Mahatma Gandhi English will never become the National language in the country. According to him the language should be easy to learn for Government officials it has to be capable of serving as a medium of communication in the regional and the economic and the political matters. The language should be easy to learn and understandable to the local people. The language should be the used by the majority of the inhabitants in India. It would not be a good idea that we use the English language as national language. The five year plan and the development of education System  In the constitution of India there was a compulsory education for the first ten years until they complete fourteen years of age. At the time of constitution was written only 17% were literate. The schools are available to only 40% of the children’s.  For the first five year plan (1951-56) the education was the prominent place. The target was set up for the 60% of all the children of the school going age within the age group 6-11.also the percentage for the girls education be increased from 23.3 to 40% in the year 1955 -56. Many persons with the non professional courses were available but the graduated with professional degrees were not available. There was a problem of teachers training too. And the shortage of the teachers was also being felt. The school colleges of the medical and engineering courses was about to establish. And allot to do with the curriculum of the courses. To meet the needs for the trained people Indian government ready to send the citizens to abroad to know about the technical assistance. Conclusion After the elaborated discussion we can see the impact of the colonialism on education system in India. The teaching of the English language was introduced for the betterment of the interpretation of the language in between the native and the Britishers and also by it the new clerk and the helpers will emerge. Britishers are not focused on the intellectual development of the people and educating the things which they can use for the employment easily. The culture of the Gurukul’s and the Dakshina is just vanished and the study of Sanskrit and the Arabic is discarded by Britishers. After independence with the help of many social reformers the society influenced a lot. The enrollment in the school gets improved and the new education system is passed. Although the impact of colonialism is that the curriculum is still includes the English language as compulsory language. The natives of the India are not able to connect themselves with the language and many of them are struggling with the understanding with this language. References 1- Basu,A.(1974) The growth of education and political development in India, 1898-1920, Oxford university press. Delhi 2- Chouhan, K. (2016). Education system in ancient India. International Journal of History and Research (IJHR) ISSN (P), 2249-6963. 3- Essays, UK. (November 2013). The British Colonialism And Education In India History Essay. Retrieved from 4- Hohenthal, Annika. “English in India: a study of language attitudes.” (1 998): 45screens. 16 May 2000 ml>. 5- Indian Education System After Independence. ( September 3, 2017) Retrieved from 6- Kumar,K.(2014) Politics of Education in Colonial India, Routledge Taylor and Francis Group New delhi 7- Majeed, J. (2009). British colonialism in india as a pedagogical enterprise. History and Theory, 48(3), 276-282.8- Mehta .p (n.d) retrived from 9- Sharma, R. N., & Sharma, R. K. (2006). Problems of education in India. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. 10- Social reformers of India retrived from 11- Source : 12- Vil’anilam J.V, Yojna August 2012(p. 28-33) retrived from 13- Wood, H. B. (1955). Education in India under the Five-Year Plan. The Elementary School Journal, 55(9), 522-524.

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