Ancient India And Brief Introduction To The Gurukul System Of Education:
Ancient India: Knowledge Hub:
India has been a land of knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence for quite a long time. If we look at our history then we would certainly realize that people from neighboring countries used to come to India to learn Vedas, Upanishads, Philosophies, Ancient scriptures, and so on. India was quite enriched with innovations and scientific discoveries not only in Physical Science but also in Medical Science, Ayurveda, Yoga, Astrology, Chemical Science, Atomic Science, and so on. That is the reason why India was called ‘The Learning Hub’ of S-E Asia. These all were possible because of a strong and robust Education System which was well known as ‘The Gurukul System’.
Residential Gurukul System Of Education: Ancient Education:
Ancient Gurukul System in India was a Residential Schooling System which was dated back to appx. 5000 BC especially during the Vedic era. It was a quite different Schooling System if we compare it with the Modern Education System of India. In this Education System students (disciples/shishyas) used to go to the teacher’s (guru’s) place and stay there until they finish their basic Education. Students were basically categorized into 3 groups such as ‘Vasu’ (Those who obtain education up to the age of 24), ‘Rudra’ (Those who obtain education up to the age of 36), ‘Aditya’ (Those who obtain education up to the age of 48).
What Was Being Taught To The Students?
Vedic Gurukul System Of Education: Holistic Education:
The Sanskrit language was widely popular during the Vedic age. So students used to learn in the Sanskrit language and it acted as one of their mediums of instruction. During their stay in Gurukul students were assigned a lot of tasks to complete besides their curriculum. Students were not only taught Ancient Religious Scriptures, Vedas, and Puranas but also practiced Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation. The main aim of this system was to develop character, personality, social behavior, spirituality, intellect, culture, and knowledge among the students.
Practical Gurukul: Uniting Disciples:
There were more practical tests of knowledge through different tasks rather than any theoretical exams to evaluate the disciples. Gurus used to ask their disciples to go and beg for alms from the nearest village instead of taking any fee from them. They all used to cook whatever they collect in the alms and take them happily. There was no discrimination between the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, and the Shudras in the eyes of a guru. They all were taught together and lived together in the ashrama of the guru. So there was a strong emotional attachment created among the students.
Our Modern-Day Education System:
Modern Education In India:
With the introduction of ‘The English Education Act of 1835’, Lord Macaulay established the Modern Education System in India with noble thought. But the current Education System is totally off the track and is based upon garnering bookish knowledge rather than a proper value-based Education System. Students are more in a rat race regarding entrance examination but not after personality development or conscience creation. Institutions have become more commercial in nature where they extort money from the students introducing various courses. There is less time for the students to focus on physical activities and skill development.
Exam Obsession And Job Focus:
Sadly the current system assesses the students on the basis of marks obtained in the class exam which is not a proper parameter to judge their caliber. Students are after jobs these days but no one is interested in gaining a thorough knowledge. It seems as if everyone is after a quick success. There are a lot of peer and parental pressures being created in the mind of the students which is why they have become more aggressive and competitive in their approach. This in fact creates an unhealthy environment for the students and the parents, as well.
Lacunae Of Modern Day Education System:
When it comes to present-day scenarios many people think the Gurukul System of Education is a bizarre and outlandish concept. The idea of staying with the gurus without having a properly structured syllabus & curriculum may trigger a giant question mark in the modern-day educated parents’ mind. However certain educationists have a strong gut feeling of inculcating certain approaches of the Gurukul System to the present teaching methodology for a holistic development of the society. As we know the ancient Education System was more into practical and applied knowledge which can be a part of the Modern Education System as we require more skill-based learning in the 21st century. As we know the Modern Education System has many lacunae but still, somehow it is quite relevant to the present age.
Suggestions Towards Future Education System:
Our schooling system needs more scientific research materials compared to religious scriptures. We all need to develop a scientific temperament among our students. But all should happen in a holistic manner. We need to integrate the Gurukul System of education into our modern-day Education System. Like the Ancient System, students must focus on extracurricular activities apart from their main course material. They all must be taught character n moral development values. The relationship between the students must be more pious in nature. There must be always a friendly sentiment between the teacher and the students in a respectful manner. The motto of the modern Education System should teach the students how to maintain a balanced life which was taught during the Gurukul System to the students so that they may feel free to choose their own careers and life.
Disclaimer:- Views expressed are the author’s own.