Ancient Education System of India: Summary and Analysis

The prose, Ancient Education System of India, explains how the education system in India evolved since ancient times.

Ancient Education System of India Summary- Part 1

India was visited by innumerable travelers from around the world, from places with diverse cultures and climates. They wished to explore the rich culture, religions, philosophies, art, country’s beauty, and educational practices. The important features of the ancient education system in India were focused on the holistic development of both the inner and outer self of the individual. It focused on imparting rich values like honesty, self-discipline, reliance, humility, and more.

The education system in India emphasized the overall development of the students, be it physical, mental, intellectual, or moral aspects. The learning was based on the tenets of Vedas and Upanishads that taught students about the performance of their duties towards themselves, their family, and society. The evolution of the education system was brought from the Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmanas, and Dharmasutras.

The other sources of learning were the writings, the medical treaties, and the teachings of Sushruta and Chakra. They had many branches or disciplines like Shastras, Kavyas, Itihas, Anviksiki, Mimamsa, Shilpashastra, Arthashatra, Varta, Dhanurvidya, and more, from which the students learned. Other than physical education, they also focused on co-curricular activities in the form of Krida or recreational games like, Vyayamaprakara, Dhanurvidya, and Yoga Sadhana. They taught more disciplines with utmost dedication and integrity.

To assess the learning, several debates were being organized among learners. Students lived disciplined life to realize their own potential. They focused on peer learning and teaching in groups. These showed better learning among students. The educational institutions imparted education both formally and informally.

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Schools have been considered a temple of knowledge in India. The Gurukuls were residential schools based around the surroundings. The pathshalas, temples, and schools were the premier institutes of knowledge. Students who wanted to pursue higher education could go to universities. In ancient times, they had Vedic women scholars. They focused on providing education through scripts and on personality development and skill-based learning.

Ancient Education System of India Summary- Part 2

Since ancient times, there were several monasteries and viharas set up for monks and nuns. These were for meditation, debate, and discussion. There were universities set up for higher education, and students from different countries came. Kinds and society promoted education through Jataka tales by Xuan Zang and I-Qing. The notable universities developed during this period were situated at Nalanda, Takshashila, Valabhi, Odantapuri, Vikramshila, and Jagaddala. These universities provided advanced education for students who would learn through mutual discussions and debates with well-known scholars. The kings would call for scholars of different universities, meet, debate, and exchange views. UNESCO has declared that these universities are heritage sites and are considered the best learning centers in the world. The well-known religious Buddhist center of learning, Takshashila, attracted students from all over the world. Here, they would teach through the study of ancient scriptures, medicine, law, military science, astronomy, arts, etc., as a part of its curriculum. Panini, Jivaka, Chanakya, and other legendary academicians have studied there.

The teachers played an important role- from selecting students to framing the curriculum. When the teacher thought that the students have a good understanding, they would conclude the course. They encouraged the students to learn orally. The most renowned institute of higher education was Nalanda. It was visited by Chinese scholars like  I-Qing and Xuan Zang, who gave realistic accounts. The syllabus was diverse and included studying from the Vedas, and students were also trained in fine arts, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, the art of warfare, and politics.

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The community played an important role in promoting education. In ancient universities like Valabhi, Vikramshila, and Jagaddala, free education was imparted. In South India, agraharas were the centers of learning. Ghatika and Brahmapuri were the cultural institutions in South Indian kingdoms.

The education system in ancient India continued in ashrams, temples, and indigenous schools. In the medieval period, mastabas and madrassas were also educational institutions. The education system prepared students for life, and our present education system can learn a lot from the ancient one. Educationists play an important role in recognizing the importance of multilingual and multicultural education, thereby removing the gap between traditional and contemporary methods of learning.

Ancient Education System of India Analysis Key Points

The prose explains how the education system in India evolved from time immemorial. It talks about the various sources of different kinds of information and the evidence that education has been prevalent in the nation since ancient times. At that time, it was prevalent in the forms of stone inscriptions, palm leaf records, and metal engravings. The lesson shows the existence of ancient institutions and the rich heritage of India. This is focused on the development of students and the enhancement of their skills.