The history of education in India is quite interesting and rich in nature. It is evident that education in ancient days was imparted orally by scholars and saints and knowledge was passed down to generations, as the script was not invented by then.
The development of script took education to another level, the writing on palm leaves and tree barks was invented. This has helped a lot in the spreading of literature. The temples, village centres, city community centres served the purpose as schools which helped in the spread of education. Later the gurukul system emerged, which could be considered as a centralised learning centre. These gurukuls are generally Hindu traditional residential type of school system, in which the students stay in the teachers house and study. The gurukuls won’t charge any fees as the education is often sponsored by the king who rules the region but well-to-do students typically contribute to the gurukal.
At these Gurukuls, the scholar imparts knowledge on various aspects of the art, the scriptures, and the religion. Philosophy, the literature, the warfare, the medicine, astronomy and the history. This system could be considered as the oldest and the most efficient system of Indian education.
The following years witnessed the emergence of great universities like the Nalanda, Vikramashila, Takshasila, and Ujjain. The important subjects taught were mainly art and architecture, languages, religion, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, economics. Each university had its own specialization in the field of study. For example Nalanda specialized in religious studies, while Ujjain majorly focused on astronomy
The wide spread of education only started after the 18th century with the arrival of British in India with the establishment of school for every village barring the regions under the local kings and zamindars. British tried to eradicate the social evils such as, sathi, child marriage, caste system by educating the people, mostly by introducing them to the English education. There were several governor generals who laid emphasis on the education system. By the recommendation of Macaulay, the education is westernised. The British did not recognise the traditional methods of teaching and thus those methods have declined.
The British successfully tried and established western education system thereafter by the end of 18th century. Modern ideas if not education made their way down to the majority of population. Thus ushering the newer ideas into the country. The establishments of political parties, press, various associations have paved a platform for the educated Indians to express themselves
The technical education was fully developed with the colleges in madras and Bombay presidencies specialises in chemical engineering and physics.
The field of medicine saw revolutionary changes. The first medical college was established in Calcutta, which was also a largest hospital in the Bengal region. Lord wellesly recognised the need of medical colleges and established them all over the country. These colleges implemented new and revolutionary techniques. Indians were reluctant to visit these medical colleges and hospitals as the traditional medicine was still prevalent, but they slowly adapted to the change.