Two shortcomings of British education system in India


That educational system can be called suitable which helps in all-round development of the individual, the society and the nation. Some critics think that from this point of view the English system was useless, and this again, was the reason why the people did not adopt it. There was no room for the spirit of self-reliance in this system.

Most of the British rulers thought that the education which inculcated the spirit of self-reliance would create in the Indians the feeling of independence and liberty and they tingled with awe at the much thought.

Their object was to keep India in their clutches in order to destroy its accumulated glory, to plunder its wealth and thus to show off to other countries of the world their own glory and prosperity. Their educational system catered to this.


(a) Wrong Methods of the Implementation of the English System :

The ideals of English education system were undoubtedly nefarious, but along with this the methods adopted for its dissemination were also bad. As a result of its propagation the old schools like Vidyapith, Pathshalas, Madarsas and Maktabs which catered; to the needs of the Indians were destroyed root and branch.

In this system English was made the medium at the cost of the Indian languages. It proved useful at the university level, but it became an unnecessary burden on the immature minds of the students of lower classes. Consequently, other languages became the scapegoat of English and the opportunities were also rare for acquiring new knowledge.

(b) British Education created a Gulf between the Educated and Uneducated and between the Old and the New :


Another serious defect of the system was that it had the same ideals for its implementation in India as it had for England irrespective of the fact that there was a world of difference between the social, economic, moral and cultural conditions of the two countries. Hence this system of education could not prove beneficial to India.

The main reason behind the indifference of the British towards the Indian condition was their intense dislike or hatred for India and the Indians. They were undoubtedly wrong, yet they were after all the rulers of the land.

This very feeling proved later on the cause of their own going away from India, but even before the awakening of India, it produced a class of Anglo-Indians who were English in ways of living but were Indians to all intents and purposes. Thus this system, instead of bringing about synthesis of Eastern and Western culture, created a wide gulf between the educated and the uneducated, and the old and the new.

If, on the contrary, Eastern spiritualism and Western materialism could have been synthesized with the practical sense of England and the spirit of detachment of the East, respectively, ways of a new knowledge would have emerged in the world. But the attitude of the British, apart from causing harm both to India and England, also adversely affected the minds of Indians against the Western civilization.

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