“In India, You Become An Engineer First And Then Figure What To Do With Your Life”
If your dad’s a billionaire, and you are still to be educated,will you ever choose Delhi University over Oxford? Definitely not. Well, a lot of people reading this article may be surprised to know that people from the country of Oxford were the initial personalities who ruined our education system. The English Education Act 1835 was a legislative Act of the Council of India, gave effect to a decision in 1835 by Lord William Bentinck, then Governor-General of the British East India Company, to reallocate funds it was required by the British Parliament to spend on education and literature in India. Previously, they had given limited support to traditional Muslim and Hindu education and the publication of literature in the then traditional languages of learning in India (Sanskrit and Persian); henceforward they were to support establishments teaching a Western curriculum with English as the language of instruction. Together with other measures promoting English as the language of administration and of the higher law courts (instead of Persian, as under the Mughal Empire), this led eventually to English becoming one of the languages of India, rather than simply the native tongue of its foreign rulers.
In discussions leading up to the Act Thomas Babington Macaulay produced his famous Memorandum on (Indian) Education which was scathing on the inferiority of native culture and learning. He argued that Western learning was superior, and currently could only be taught through the medium of English. There was, therefore, a need to produce—by English-language higher education—”a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect” who could in their turn develop the tools to transmit Western learning in the vernacular languages of India. Among Macaulay’s recommendations were the immediate stopping of the printing by the East India Company of Arabic and Sanskrit books and that the Company should not continue to support traditional education beyond “the Sanskrit College at Benares and the Mahometan College at Delhi” (which he considered adequate to maintain traditional learning).
It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected in the Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England.
– Thomas Babington Macaulay
Lately a lot of chaos has been observed in the educational sector of our country, it may include debates over the digitalization of studies or the implementation of the newly announced education policy. National Education Policy 2020 envisions an India-centric education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society by providing high-quality education to all. Though it has been one of the most delayed reforms ever still it’s better to have something rather than nothing. The ministry of education has posted the policy on its official website. It was very difficult for me to interpret everything in that 66 pages long pdf, full of facts and figures. Now 185 years later including more than 70 years of independent rule, the native people of India will be allowed to educate themselves in their domestic language. I still wonder why some countrymen are protesting against such an exceptional reform which I believe only some governments had the courage to really think of. Any person aged seven and above and has the ability to read and write is considered literate in our country but I believe it should be the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.
It could have been a very long article a few months ago but as the national education policy has been announced, I’m barely left with anything statistical to worry about. Utopian societies remain fiction at least for this century but as we free ourselves from the oblivion of the old education system, it is our purpose of creating a healthy learning environment for generations to come so that they could really turn fictional utopian societies into reality. Human resource development remains the last but the most valuable alternative for human civilization to rely on existence. There’s a possibility of a time when not a single Indian student will have to think of spending a million to study abroad and instead we will be the global hub of quality education.
Gender inequality, though significantly managed is till to be eradicated completely in many parts of the world. I’ve personally been scolded in grade 7 for sitting beside a girl and trust me I didn’t know of any bad intentions back then, many other children like me are being sexualized which I believe is gravely harmful for the eradication of sophistication of our society. I’ve been in 10 schools but I’ve never been in one where I observed the sex ratio to be equal. By summing up, I would like to say Quality Education is not just about memorizing things but a better understanding of life and nature. Quality Education is not just about good books and policies but about having a mentally healthy environment with no silly social gender stereotypes and backwardness and only then a utopian society could become a reality