Indigenous Education in India: The Way Forward

Posted on April 13, 2011 in Education



By Anonna Dutt:

Sixty years after the Independence of our country, we feel that it is hep to be talking in English. In schools, colleges and workplaces, everywhere we use English as our first language. There is nothing wrong in it, but do we ever stop to think that we are slowly forgetting our own languages.

There is no official national language stated by the constitution as such. Each state can use its own language for official purposes. But surprisingly, the number of people using English for official work is steadily increasing. Also if we look at private companies, nearly all of them use English. This is making more and more people learn English, sometimes even forcibly. In today’s society there is a mad rush to gain control over the language of the Britishers forgetting totally about the languages that the Indian subcontinent has to offer.

This is a serious problem and it needs to be addressed properly. Earlier Indians had a problem with English and were treated as inferior beings and now with the mad rush to learn English there is a new problem of dying out languages of India. Thus we need to adopt a midway and Indigenous Education seems like the perfect solution. By changing the present education system, we will ensure that people not only learn English but also become close to their own mother tongues.

Also, we need to keep in mind that throughout history India was the education capital of the world and thus it has an immense educational base. We choose to ignore this fact and hasten towards the western education. We tend to forget the merits of the Indian education system. Also it is customised to an Indian so it appeals more to us. Yet we choose western education over indigenous Indian education.

If there is still a doubt as to why should Indigenous education system be followed, we just need to see the various subjects that the Indians had knowledge about. Mathematics is what it is today just because of a small contributions of the Indians, the zero. Also, Vedic Mathematics is well worth to know. It can provide short cut methods to do all mathematical operations as we do it today. An Indian saint was responsible for prophesying the existence of atoms (anu) in matter. We had very good astrologers who could trace the movement of the planetary bodies very accurately. We had a benefit in the field of health sciences and we devised the technique of Yoga which even the westerners practice today. We had people like Chanakya writing “Arthashastra” (The book of Economics) which is still taught in business schools all over the world. The list is endless and in itself gives a very clear reason as to why we should revert back to our own education system.

A wave of change is actually on its way. With the re advent of the Gurukul system India, we can say, is returning back to its traditional Guru Shishya structure.

The problem with Indians is that we have stopped taking pride in our own culture and traditions just because our colonisers tried to demean it. We still gladly accept the rosy picture of the western world as portrayed by them. What actually has to be done before the indigenous education system is implemented is that we as a country should start respecting ourselves. Once we do so even the world would respect us.

But while doing so we need to realise that this pride should not make us adamant and we should still remain open minded, bracing other cultures as well. Even when we start learning Yoga and Vedic mathematics, we should not forget about the mathematical and the scientific knowledge that the western world has to offer. Thus the main motto of implementing Indigenous Education in India would be to make everything go hand in hand, in a beautiful harmony.