8 History Chapter 8 Civilising “Native” Educating Nation

Chapter Notes and Summary
How British saw Education : In order to understand India, British had to discover sacred and legal texts that were produced in ancient period. They made a lot of effort to encourage study of Arabic and Sanskrit languages and literature.
Tradition of Orientalists : Orientalists needed Indian scholars to teach them vernacular languages, local customs and laws and help them translate and interpret ancient texts. They believed that ancient customs of country and oriental learning ought to be basis of British rule in India.
Grave Errors of East : From early 19th century, many British officials criticized Orientalists’ view of learning. They considered eastern literature to be full of flaws and irrational thoughts.
Education for Commerce : It was believed that Indians would be able to understand advantages of trade and commerce through European learning. Western influence would change lifestyle of educated Indians so that they would readily accept British goods.
What Happened to Local Schools : Earlier, local schools or pathshalas were allowed to function without much interference. But after 1854, British standardised curriculum, imposed routines, established rules and ensured regular inspections of these schools.
Report of William Adam : In 1830s, William Adam, a Scottish missionary, toured districts of Bengal and Bihar to assess and submit a report on education in vernacular schools. According to his report, these schools lacked proper infrastructure. These pathshalas had a very flexible system of education.
New Routines, New Rules : Britishers appointed government pandits who were made in-charge of four to five schools. Teaching was now according to a regular timetable. Students wrote examinations, paid a regular fee and obeyed new rules of discipline.
Agenda for National Education : In 19th century, Indian thinkers were impressed with developments in Europe. They felt that western education would help in modernisation of India. They urged British to open more schools, colleges and universities and spend more money on education.
Gandhi’s View on Western Learning : Gandhi argued that colonial education created a sense of inferiority in minds of Indians and destroyed pride they had in their own culture.
Tagore’s ‘Abode of Peace’ : Tagore felt that creative learning could be encouraged only within a natural environment. Therefore in 1901, he set up his school, Shanti Niketan, in a rural setting where children lived in harmony with nature and cultivate their natural creativity

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