Over the course of 7 decades after Independence, the education system of India has evolved gradually yet phenomenally. From a literacy rate of 18% in 1951, we have moved up to 73% as of 2011. Currently, the education system in India is the strongest and largest in the world hosting more than 315 million students.
The modern education system was introduced to India in 1830 during the British rule by Lord Thomas Babington, who brought English language syllabus to the country. The syllabus was then limited to common subjects like language, science and maths. Classroom teaching became prominent and the relation between a teacher and student evolved.
In the following years, the education system started getting influenced by various institutions. During the late nineteenth century, the Theosophical Society of India and Rama Krishna Mission started to merge the western ideals of education with the Indian roots to inspire the students and make them accepted universally. Intellectuals of various nationalities came together and helped shape the education system.
Indian Education System post-Independence
Post India gained its independence from the British colonial rule, the Indian education system, previously accessible only to the elite, became available for the entire society. The government’s Central Advisory Board established two committees – one for higher education and one for secondary education – to address the challenges of education, formulate comprehensive education policies and improve the overall education landscape of the country. Currently, Indian School System consists of four levels – pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher secondary.
Admissions and Educational Institutions
As of 2019, India has the most number of students in a country. Compared to the tragic situation of 1947 when the country had merely 400 schools, 19 universities with a little over 5000 students, we have come a long way. Currently, India boasts of 1.5 million plus schools, 751 universities and 35 thousand plus colleges.
The Modern Learning Approach
To modernise the knowledge delivery ways according to the needs of the 21st century generation, schools and universities are adopting various unique practices. These methodologies and innovative pedagogies enable educational institutions to develop the skills of the learners in such a manner that they are able to become self-dependent and ambitious achievers. Some of these new age methods are:
• Experiential Learning: As it is evident by the name, experiential learning is the process of learning through doing or experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing. Learning only produces good results when learners have the desire to absorb the knowledge. Therefore, experiential learning comprises a hands-on approach to education that goes beyond the theoretical aspect and a classroom and strives to bring a more involved way of learning.
• Peer Learning: Peer learning has become a part of an active learning strategy in a lot of Universities and B-Schools. This form of pedagogy encourages students to interact with their classmates/peers and learn from each other beyond classroom without any supervising authority. This creates an environment of open communication which is highly crucial for learning. Research has shown that students, who engage in an environment of free communication, perform better academically.
• The Rise of Ed-Tech: Starting from the past decade, the new generation of learner is looking for courses which are experiential and interactive in nature and facilitate authentic skill development. This is where the Edtech is making its mark. According to a report by Google & KPMG, Online education has the potential to touch $1.96 billion by 2021 as everyone, from school going students to MBA aspirants to CXOs of multinational corporations and entrepreneurs, is a potential learner.
Let us consider the examples of two distinct Edtech start-ups. One of the app based Edtech company has moved in the direction of making learning fun for school going children. On the other end of the spectrum, Edtech startups in higher-education arena are partnering with premium Indian and international B-Schools bringing quality learning within the reach of working professionals.
The evolution of communication, cheaper internet, gamification, AI & ML powered learning platforms are some of the reasons behind the changing face education in the country and globally. The smartphone revolution has also provided wings for the Edtech to fly. Educators are now using smartphones as a significant tool for imparting knowledge.
In conclusion, the education landscape of India has evolved considerably since we achieved our Independence. The intervention of technology has made it easier and much more insightful than it ever was. The benefits of imparting relevant education have been understood by the governments which have done their bit to boost the existing system for all sections of the society.