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india Education under British Rule (Education in India)
« on: April 18, 2008, 12:15:10 AM »

:: Education under British Rule (Education in India)

British records show that indigenous education was widespread in the 18th century, with a school for every temple, mosque or village in most regions of the country. The subjects taught included Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Theology, Law, Astronomy, Metaphysics, Ethics, Medical Science and Religion. The schools were attended by students representative of all classes of society. But scholars have questioned the validity of such an argument. They argue that proponents of indigenous education fail to recognize the importance of the widespread use of printed books in the West since the sixteenth century, which led to a remarkable advancement of knowledge. Printed books were not used in Indian schools till the 1820s or even later. There were institutions such as Gresham's college in London that encouraged scientific learning. In fact, there were a number of such academic and scientific societies in England, often supported by Puritan and non-Conformist merchants, the like of which probably did not exist in India. The entire claim of indigenous education proponents is based on the thesis advocated by Dharampal which says that there was a general decline in Indian society and economy with the coming of British rule. In the process, indigenous education suffered. This, however, is too broad a generalization, and the exact impact of British rule on different regions at different times has to be studied more carefully before we conclude that the curve everywhere steadily declined. He argues that pre-British schools and colleges were maintained by grants of revenue-free land. The East India Company, with its policy of maximizing land revenue, stopped this and thus starved the Indian education system of its financial resources. Again, we need more detailed evidence to show how far inam lands were taken over by the government. More often, military officers, zamindar.~,and talukdars were deprived of revenue-free land rather than temples, mosques, madrasas. Recent research has revealed that inam lands continued to exist well into the nineteenth century, much more than was previously suspected.

The current system of education, with its western style and content, was introduced & funded by the British in the 19th century, following recommendations by Macaulay. Traditional structures were not recognized by the British government and have been on the decline since. Gandhi is said to have described the traditional educational system as a beautiful tree that was destroyed during British rule.

The British established many colleges like St. Xavier's College, Sydenham College, Wilson College and Elphinstone College in India.

According to Prof. Emeritus M.G. Sahadevan, F.R.C.P. (London), the first medical college of Kerala was started at Calicut, in 1942-43, during World War II. Due to shortage of doctors to serve the military, the British Government decided to open a branch of Madras Medical College in Malabar, which was under Madras Presidency then. After the war, the medical school at Calicut was closed and the students continued their studies at Madras Medical College.