A Review of Eastern Philosophy of Education: Case study of India Education
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A review of the history, Philosophy, social - political events that have shaped the policy, system and education contents. Also, minority (Muslim, etc) education and international ratings.
Group 0025A Assignment and Presentation
A Review of Eastern Philosophy of Education: Case study of India Education
1. A Review of Eastern Philosophy
A Case Study of India Education System, and
Account of Philosophical and Historical
Ibiloye Abiodun C. & Kehkashan Rasool
2. Table of Contents
● What is Education?
● Principles, Aims and Philosophy of
Eastern Education- India
● Historical Review of Education
● Education System and the Statistics
● Social and Political Events that have
shaped India system of education
● Effects of Educational Reforms
● Discussion and Conclusion
Education being a most important social activity, its meanings have been
changing through the ages due to changes in social and physical
conditions as well as philosophical outlook of people towards life.
The Education System in India is the interest, we looked at the overview of
the history, philosophy, policy, performance and social events that have
shaped this nation Education System and Policy. Also, the global status of
Indian Education, the effects of globalization and introduction of Western
Education since 1784 AD
The Republic of India (India) belongs to the Eastern World, and is located in the
Asian continent. It has 15% of the world’s population with more than 1.1 billion and
is one of the youngest countries among large economies with a median age of 25
India is divided into 28 states and 7 so-called “Union Territories”. The states have
their own elected governments while the Union Territories are ruled directly by the
Government of India, with the President of India appointing an administrator for each
The Aryans entered India in II B.C. These Aryans were the first to make a significant
attempt in formulating an education policy in India. The Mohammedan invasion in
the eleventh century marked a significant social, religious and educational change in
India medieval times. Following that was British tradesmen who later made India a
colony of the British Empire, beating off the Portuguese.
5. What is Education?
Education in its broadest, (i.e., general sense), is the means and process
through which the vision and philosophy, aimed at culture, beliefs or religion,
skills and habits of a group of people lives and are passed on on from one
generation to the next. This occurs through any process and experience that has
a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts.
In its narrow, technical sense, education is the formal process by which society
deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, customs, and values
from one generation to another. Amidst numerous definition, it's safe to sum up
Education refers to the system and process of acquisition of
knowledge, skills, experience and competence as well as the
requirements for certification/license. It enables critical thinking,
research, application and developing habits, methods, socio-
career life and attitudes, a process which can take place
throughout one's life.
6. Views of some great Indian Philosophers
● Tagore: “Education means enabling the mind to find out that
ultimate truth which emancipates us from the bondage of the dust
and gives us the wealth, not of things but of inner light, not of power
bur of love, making this truth its own and giving expression to
it."Any plan of education should involve both nature and needs of
man in a harmonious programme. [‘Personality’ (1917), pp.113-120]
● A. S. Altekar : “Education has always been regarded in India as a
source of illumination and power which transforms and ennobles
our nature by the progressive and harmonious development of our
physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual powers and faculties."
7. Views of Some Great Indian Philosophers
● Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Education, according to S Radhakrishnan,
is acquiring of knowledge beyond what is academic and professional.
He felt that education should be neither bookish learning nor
memorising of facts and figures, stuffing the mind with information
unrelated to life.
● Mahatma Gandhi : His philosophy of education is a harmonious
blending of idealism, naturalism, and pragmatism. It may be noted that
there is no inherent conflict between the three philosophies. Idealism is
the base of Gandhi's philosophy whereas naturalism and pragmatism
are the helpers in translating that philosophy into practice.
8. Philosophical Views on “the Aims of Education”.
According to all schools of Indian philosophy, the aim of education is the
attainment of liberation from the cycle of birth and death and attainment of
unity with the absolute. It is not complete renunciation of the world as is
popularly understood but fulfilling social obligations and then achieves
Eastern philosophy takes more of a spiritual approach and India has taken
her ambivalent education philosophies within beliefs from Confucianism,
Mahayana, Buddhism, and Taoism. Thus, the aim of Indian Education is the
development of the human personality and for this it lays stress on 4
ashramas: Brahmcharya, Grihastha, Vanprastha and Sanyas. Ultimately,
education is to strengthen the society.
9. Summary: Indian Philosophy of Education
A. Early Indian education was dominated by religion.
B. The foremost was the quest for the liberation of the individual from the
bondage of evil. Evil is denial of good and arises out of ignorance.
Ignorance is the limitation of the ego. In fact all wants arise out of the sense
of limitation. Education is a means to attain from ignorance and hence from
C. The second value which was emphasized was one of tolerance and
forbearance. It arose more out of recognition that ultimately all individuals
are manifestations or moments of the Brahman.
D. The third value is the value of disinterested devotion (Nishkama bhakti). It
arose directly from the striving for freedom from limitations and the regard
10. Historical Review of Education in India
In ancient times, (called Mediaval), according to Dr V. Sasi Kumar (2020), India had the
Gurukula system of education in which anyone who wished to study went to a teacher's (Guru)
house and requested to be taught. If accepted as a student by the guru, he would then stay at
the guru's place and help in all activities at home. This not only created a strong tie between
the teacher and the student, but also taught the student everything about running a house.
From the perspectives of the ministry of Education, in the ancient period the major objective
of education was religion.
In this mediaval period, formal education began with teaching of traditional elements such as
Indian religions, Indian mathematics, Indian logic at early Hindu and Buddhist centres of
learning such as ancient Takshashila (in modern-day Pakistan) and Nalanda (in India) before
the advent of Christianity and Christian missionaries. There were no significant efforts made
to universalise education and include people from different groups.
11. In particular for many centuries, education continued to be monopolised by a few groups, with
‘caste’ and ‘gender’ determining both access to and utilisation of educational opportunities.
Helen Schropp , 2011 explained: "traditionally, only the highest caste – the Brahmins – were taught
to read and write". The traditional " Hindu education served only the needs of boys who belong to
Brahmin families. Education was similarly elitist under the Moguls who favored the rich rather than
those from high-caste backgrounds."
The British Period ( 1800s AD - 1956 AD)
The British came to India as tradesmen, but gradually became the rulers of the country. On Dec.
31, 1600, the East India Company was established, and, like all commercial bodies, its main
objective was trade. The Christian missionaries had started their educational activities as early
as 1542, upon the arrival of St. Francis Xavier. Britannica.com/Education-India
The introduction of western education was an event of great historical significance for the
emergence of stable education policy in India - extending opportunities for learning which were
confined to a very small portion of the population- castes and rich class.
12. Continuing: History of Education in India
It was only in 1813, when the company’s charter was renewed, that a clause was
inserted requiring the governor-general to devote not less than 100,000 rupees
annually to the education of Indians. In 1817 these semirationalists, led by the
celebrated religious reformer Ram Mohun Roy, had founded the Hindu College in
Calcutta, the alumni of which established a large number of English schools all over
Bengal. The demand for English education in Bengal thus preceded by 20 years any
government action in that direction.
The controversy as to whether educational grants should be used to promote Oriental
learning or Western knowledge. The matter was raised in the British Parliament which
resulted in the enactment of the Charter of 1813 which threw more light and shaped
the policy of education in India. The British government accepted the responsibility for
spreading education opportunities, i.e., a Public Education Policy (Singh, 2007, p. 57)
in Helen Schropp , (2011) .
13. Continuing: History of Education in India
This was decided in favor of the Anglicists by the famous Minute on Education of
1835 submitted by Thomas Babington Macaulay, and the recommendations
accepted by Lord William Bentinck, the governor-general. The decision was
announced on March 7, 1835, in a brief resolution that determined the character of
higher education in India for the next century. This also lead to the Woods
Education Despatch of 1854 and informed the Report of the Sargeant
Commission before India independence.
Thus Modern School System was brought to India, including speaking and
learning in English language, originally by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in
the 1830s. Bentinck’s resolution was followed by other enactments that
accelerated the growth of Education in English. The first was the Freedom of
Press Act (1835), which encouraged the printing and publication of books and
made English books available at low cost.
14. Sir Charles Wood’s Dispatch of 1854, led to (1) creation of a separate
department for the administration of education in each province, (2) the
founding of the universities of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras in 1857, and (3)
the introduction of a system of grants-in-aid. Even when the administration of
India passed from the East India Company into the hands of the British crown
in 1858, Britain’s secretary of state for India confirmed the educational policy
of Wood’s Dispatch.
The curriculum was confined to “modern” subjects such as Science and
mathematics. Subjects like metaphysics and philosophy were considered
unnecessary. While the the Uttar Pradesh (a state in India) Board of High
School and Intermediate Education was the first Board set up in India in the
year 1921 with jurisdiction over Rajputana, Central India and Gwalior. In
1929, the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Rajputana, was
established. Later, boards were established in some of the states.
15. Eventually, in 1952, the constitution of the board was amended and it was
renamed Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). All schools in Delhi
and some other regions came under the Board. The Central Advisory Board of
Education (CABE), set up in 1935, continues to play a lead role in the evolution
and monitoring of educational policies and programmes till date.
First Education Commission was University Education Commission (1948)
followed by the Secondary Education Commission (1952), Indian Education
Commission (D.S. Kothari) of (1964-66). And, the first National Policy on
Education in (1968), Draft National Policy on Education (1979), the National
Policy on Education (1986), (1992), … and National Education Policy (2020).
Among the major 2020’s reforms, the 10+2 structure in the schooling
system has been replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure. It will include 12 years
of schooling and three years of Anganwadi and pre-schooling.
16. At national level, training programmes are developed by the following
institutions: the NCERT; the NIEPA; the Central Institute of English and
Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad; and the Central Institute of Indian
Languages (CIIL), Mysore. [Source: NESCO IBE - World Data on
Education, 6th edition - India]
Regional Institutes of Education are located in the four regions of the
country, and newest was at Shillong for the states in the north-eastern part
of India. At the state level, programmes are mainly offered by the State
Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), the State Institute
of Education, the State Institute of Science Education, the Institute of
Advanced Study in Education, Colleges of Teacher Education and State
Institutes of Educational Technology.
Also, there are District Institutes of Education and Training, and In-service
Training Institute. [Ministry of Education, India]
20. National Objectives Of Education in India
Indian Education Commission, headed by Dr.D.C.Kothari , in its report
(1966) has pointed out the following as the national objectives :
● Relating education to productivity.
● Strengthening social and national integration
● Consolidating democracy as a form of government and helping the
country to adopt it as a way of life.
● Accelerating the process of modernisation.
● Building character by cultivating social , moral and spiritual.
And, in the context of the 1986 National Policy on Education, the India
Government formulated a national scheme for the in-service training of
teachers (primary and secondary schools). As of 2021, in-service training of
teachers is offered at the central, state, regional, district and sub-district
21. The Muslim Education
Medieval Period (1008AD - 1765AD)
The Mohammedan invasion of India in the eleventh century (i.e., medieval
one of the most extra ordinary historical events which marked a great
change not only in the social and political life of the country, but also in the
sphere of education and learning.
During muslim rule, education was imparted through: Maqtabs,
Madrassahas, and the Mosques. The schools attached to mosques were
supported by state grants or by land lords and nobles. In medieval period
the quality of education was quite high which could produce great scholars.
Madrasa education is still a very important part of the History of Muslim
education and Islamic studies in India. As many as 25 per cent of Muslim
children in the 6-14 year age group have either never attended school or
have dropped out, so madrasa school is the only choice for them. Beata
Pietkiewicz-Pareek, ( February, 2015).
22. The chief aim of Islamic Education was to spread the light of knowledge.
According to the Prophet “seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave” and
“Knowledge is nectar and salvation is impossible without it.”
The objectives of education differed with different rulers; Akbar and
Aurangzeb had quite different aims than that of other rulers concerning
education. For instance:
● Akbar aimed at organizing the nation through the implementation of a new
system of education, on the contrary
● The sole objective of Aurangzeb was to spread Islamic education and
culture by destroying Hindu culture and education.
During Muslim period education was imparted at religious places - was free and
discipline was rigorous. The relationship between the teacher and the taught
was close and cordial. Primarily Islamic education was divided mainly into two
stages: (i) Maktab (primary grade); and. (ii) Madrasha (higher grade). Maktab, a
term derived from Arabic 'Kulub” i.e., place where writing is taught.
23. 1. The foundation of Western education in India. Sir Charles Wood's Despatch
on Education, 1854 is considered as the "Magna Carta" of English
Education in India. It declared that the aim of the Government's educational
policy was the teaching of Western Education. Thus, three universities of
Calcutta, Madras and Bombay came into existence in 1857.
2. Influence of academic nationalists and political philosophers like Sarvepalli
Radhakrishnan (1888-1975) an Indian academic, professor, philosopher,
and politician. He served as the first Vice President of India (1952-1962)
and the second President (1962-1967). India's most renowned academics
on comparative religion and philosophy and for introducing Indian
philosophy to the West, bridging the gap between both culture. Courtesy:
The Social- Political Events that have shaped Indian Education
24. The Social- Political Events that have shaped Indian Education
He appreciated Tagore’s emphasis on aesthetics as well as his appeal to
intuition. From 1914 these begin to find their place in Radhakrishnan’s own
philosophical and religious proclivities. Over the next five decades, he
repeatedly appeal to Tagore’s writing to support his own philosophical
ideals. Michael Hawley(2021).
3. The people of India voted and the "Right to Education Act" , (RTE Act)
was passed in 2009. For the first time, April, 2000 "thousands of
demonstrators took part in a large rally [organized by Subra Chatterjee] in
the Indian capital, Delhi, to demand better standards in education". The
government had been arguing that education is one of its top priorities and
is already an important part of the constitution but the "problem revolves
around the lack of funds rather than a lack of commitment".
25. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to
Education Act (RTE) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August
2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory
education for children between the age of 6 to 14 years in India under Article
21A of the Indian Constitution. "Thus, India became one of 135 countries to
make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force
on 1 April 2010." reported BBC NEWS (28 November, 2010)
BBC NEWS Channel, 1 April 2010, Reported that the "World Bank says the
number of children reportedly enrolled in elementary education in India
increased by 57 million to 192 million between 2003 and 2009." With more than
two-thirds of this increase in government schools, while "number of children out
of school declined from 25 million to 8.1 million during the same period."
The Social- Political Events that have shaped Indian Education
26. Effects of the Education Reforms in India
The various post-independence reforms and advocacies, have informed modern
academic institutions, globalization of education, raised standards of research and
education even in regional languages with emphasis on India culture and original
technology. Present major projects include development of education program (e.g
Engineering) in regional languages, internationalisation of Higher Education, National
Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR), and conveying the National Education
Technology Forum (NETF). [See https://www.education.gov.in/nep-initiatives]
International regulations and standard still prevailed in manufacturing industries,
Bachelorette Examination, Medical Technology (such as current factory for mRNA
vaccine) and andragogy development. This 21st century has brought alternative to
physical work place, Remote Work and Education (ReWoEd) with micro certification to
post graduate courseworks in business management, public health and data mining
and software development.
27. The Union Cabinet approved the National Education Policy (NEP) – 2020 on 29 July, 2020.
The aim of the new education policy is to introduce several changes in the Indian education
system-]. In this policy, priority is placed on:
● recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student according
the highest priority, students to achieve Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by all
students by Grade 3
● conceptual understanding rather than rote learning and learning-for-exams.;
● helping the students to develop creativity and critical thinking abilities also encourage
logical decision-making and innovation.
The two of the three key visions include creating:
● Education Foundation: An education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes
directly to transforming India, that is Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant
knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all, and thereby making India a
global knowledge superpower.
● Curricula Reforms: The curriculum and pedagogy of India institutions must develop a
deep sense of respect towards the fundamental duties and Constitutional values,
bonding with one’s country, and a conscious awareness of one’s roles and
responsibilities in a changing world.
The trajectories of India Educational Reforms and development have shown a positive
upward curve.. The 2008 UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report, which
provides projections for 127 countries in terms of the goal to achieve universal literacy
by 2015, puts India among the 15 countries with low `. Education for All' (EFA)
Development Index. This was attributed to "the deep disparities that exist between
urban and rural areas," said UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura.as reported
by Financial Express! ,
However, In 2020, the literacy rate of India is 77.7% while Kerala has emerged as the
most literate state in the country, followed by Delhi while Andhra Pradesh has
recorded the lowest literacy rate. "Kerala was also the first state in the country to
introduce Information Technology as a subject of study at the High School level." It
was started in class 8 with the textbook introducing Microsoft Windows and Microsoft
Office. [The Education System in India by Dr. V. Sasi Kumar ]
The landmark passing into law of "Right to Education Act" , (RTE Act) 4
August 2009, laid foundation for free and compulsory education for children
between the age of 6 to 14 years in India. Consequently, there were increase
in enrollment in elementary education, (57 million to 192 million between 2003
and 2009) while children out of school continue to decline.
As of 2020, UDISE 2019-20, the population of Students has reached over two-
hundred and sixty-four (264,527,575 ) while gross enrollment ratio stood at:
Elementary= 97.78%; Secondary= 77.97%. Also, the drop out rate: Primary,
1.45%; Secondary, 16.07%. Hope are indeed rising for children from low
income background. Education in morder tongues (regional) is being promoted
even in higher education, also indian technology as part of the curriculum.
However, the Muslim community still lag behind in education and economic
30. Summary of India Education Prospects and Advantages by
Ministry of Education, India
This study looked at the historical, philosophical, social and political contexts of
India Education, Education system, and the global status of Indian Education.
The Modern School System was brought to India, including speaking and
learning in English language, originally by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in
the 1830s.India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental
right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.
The various post-independence reforms and advocacies, particularly Education
Policy 2020 have revolutionized modern academic institutions, globalization of
education, raised standards of research and education even in regional
languages with emphasis on India culture and original technology. Online
education ( or remote Classroom), digital i-whiteboards and adaptive
technologies are becoming features of India eModern Education, which
curriculum include the emerging classes (AI, robotics and augmented reality
(AR), Machine Learning and Digital Analytics.)
32. Aman Sharma(n.d.)."Evaluate the meaning of education from the Indian and Western
philosophers’ point of view". https://www.preservearticles.com/education/evaluate-
BBC NEWS Channel (Thursday, 1 April 2010). "India launches children's right to
education". Accessed on July 31, 2021 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8598167.stm.
BBC NEWS (28 November, 2001). "India votes on right to education". Accessed on
July 31, 2021 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1680446.stm
Britannica.com/Education. The spread of Western educational practices to Asian
countries. India: "Education under the East India
Dr. Manjunatha S. (n. d.) "History of Education Policy in India" . Pre-University
Department, Bangalore . Language. Reviewer Prof. R. Indira. PDF.
Dr. V. Sasi Kumar(2020) "The Education System in India"
Financial Express, ( November 30, 2007). India at bottom UNESCO ranking on literacy.
Written by Agencies , New Delhi, November 30 2007. Accessed on July 31,2021..
Helen Schropp, (2011), India's Education System. History, current issues and major
public initiatives, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/337943
Michael Hawley , (2021). Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888—1975). Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy, IEP. ISSN 2161-0002. Accessed on July 31, 2021 at https://iep.utm.edu/radhakri/
MoE India (n. d.), "Ministry of Education, Government of India." Official Website.
Rajendran, K., (n.d.). “History of Education in India”. Retrieved July 28, 2021, from
Das, D., (2014). “Educational Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore”. India: Department of
Philosophy, Women’s College, India.
UNESCO IBE - World Data on Education, 6th edition - India. www.ibe.unesco.org. and
Wadia, Leena Chandran, Dabir, Neela (2020). "Vocational education first: state of the
education report for India 2020; Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET)".
UNESCO. ISBN: 978-81-89218-76-8
35. EDUC 5010 EDUCATION IN CONTEXT: HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY,
AY2021 - T5: Group Assignment 0025A
● Ibiloye Abiodun Christian
● Kehkashan Rasool
Instructor : Dr. Chad Weirick
A Non-Western Education Philosophy -