Humanity is currently facing threats, issues, and challenges that are nearly insurmountable. Resource depletion, global contamination of the entire biosphere, and climate change are the most difficult long-term problems that urgently demand solutions. These problems are brought on by our huge and unchecked population growth.
The current Covid pandemic and other unanticipated but unavoidable health crises like hunger, poverty, and a lack of a universal public health infrastructure in the absence of stable country governments are frequent occurrences in our current world, and they will become more troublesome as our populations increase in a world with diminishing resources. Conflicts, such as wars and terrorism, a lack of dependable national and international leadership, religious intolerance, and corruption in political and religious institutions would all exacerbate the expected widespread failure of educational systems.
The key to making the world a more humane environment for everyone is education. Modern democracies’ establishment and development are education’s top priorities. We need to live in a world we can comprehend and contribute to if we want to be satisfied and happy. The world needs educated people to continue developing and nurturing the needs of humanity. The success of an individual and the gauge of a nation’s development can be measured by the level of the individual and collective education, respectively.
Education is an important component of every government’s strategy since it is their duty to educate every person because doing so will assist the nation has a prosperous future and a workforce. The resources required for academic performance in schools and colleges must be made available through public funding and governmental initiatives. Insufficient government funding for education and research will cause issues for society. This is because there aren’t enough knowledgeable people who can understand and interpret complex problems affecting a community, a country, or the entire world. Only education can provide logical justification for choosing from life’s many options. And it is here that the youth of today’s world will play a significant role.
Over the years, people have visited India from a wide variety of locations, each with its unique culture and atmosphere. For them, India was a magical place! The world is highly aware of Indian culture, wealth, religions, philosophies, art, architecture, and educational systems. The knowledge, customs, and practices that governed and inspired humanity were thought to have come from the old educational system.
Our ancient educational system, which originates with the Rigveda, evolved over time and was focused on a person’s holistic growth by taking care of both the inner and exterior self. The framework highlighted the moral, practical, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of life. The values of self-control, self-discipline, humility, and respect for all living things were given a lot of attention.
Students were urged to value the coexistence of humans and nature. By upholding one’s commitments to oneself, one’s family, and one’s community, teaching and learning were based on the ideas of the Vedas and Upanishads and covered every aspect of life. In the school system, both intellectual and physical development was prioritized. In other words, Indian education, which has a long tradition of being realistic, attainable, and supportive of daily living, valued a healthy body and mind.
The ancient educational system was based on the Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, and Dharmasutras. Aryabhata, Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali are well-known figures in Hinduism. Their writings as well as the medical treatises of Charaka and Sushruta were additional learning tools. Some of the learning resources were the Itihas (history), Anviksiki (logic), Mimamsa (interpretation), Shilpashastra (architecture), Arthashastra (polity), Varta (agriculture, trade, commerce, animal husbandry), and Dhanurvidya (archery). In addition to other physical education activities, students participated in krida (games, recreational activities), vyayamaprakara (exercises), dhanurvidya (archery), and yogasadhana (training the mind and body). The Gurus actively worked with their students to master all areas of learning.
Ancient India had both formal and informal educational systems. Native education was provided at home, in temples, pathshalas, tols, chatuspadis, and gurukuls. People assisted young kids in acquiring religious lifestyles in their homes, villages, and temples. Temples were centres of study as well, and they were eager to increase knowledge of our archaic system. In order to learn more, students visited universities and viharas. The majority of the instruction was delivered orally, and the material was retained and discussed by the students.
At that time, the gurus and their followers coexisted and helped one another with daily activities. The main objectives were to receive a comprehensive education, lead a disciplined life, and discover one’s own inner potential. Many spent years living away from their homes before accomplishing their goals. While continuing their education in different fields like history, debate, law, medicine, etc., the emphasis was not only on the outer aspects of the profession but also on strengthening interior aspects of the personality.
As far as we can tell, in order to better prepare students for life and society, the ancient Indian educational system placed a heavy emphasis on students’ total growth, including their inner and outer selves. Education was free and not centralised. Its foundations were firmly planted in the rich cultural traditions of India, contributing to the entire development of the mental, spiritual, physical, and artistic dimensions of life.
As a result, the traditional Indian educational system needs to be restored because it has a lot to teach us about our current educational system. As a result, the recently announced New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasises connecting learning to the outside world. The NEP 2020 is a historic endeavour and the Modi administration’s first comprehensive programme in 34 years. The NEP acts as a framework to guide the expansion of education across the country. India’s third policy is taking the role of the NEP from 1986.
The NEP 2020, according to the government, was developed after more than 2 lakh recommendations from various local self-government units, including 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, 6,600 blocks, and 676 districts, were taken into consideration. By 2035, when the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) will have reached 50 per cent, this was done in an effort to produce individuals who are productive across the board and who would contribute to the development of a just, inclusive, and plural society.
Education experts recognise the benefit of multilingual and multicultural instruction, which connects traditional and ancient knowledge to current learning, today. Students would benefit greatly from the freedom from rote learning and the choice-based credit system (CBCS), which would allow them make the best career decisions at the appropriate time. This innovative approach to schooling seems to have potential for reducing the country’s rising unemployment rate. Students from many disciplines can now work together and acquire incredibly specialised knowledge.
The major element of this concept, which would classify institutions into teaching universities, research-intensive universities, and schools that grant degrees, is the reform of institutional architecture. The systemic change in the educational system has been highlighted through NEP 2020, which seeks to transform India into a worldwide knowledge giant while upholding equity and inclusiveness. This is how India will recapture its former grandeur as a Vishwaguru in the globalisation of education.