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CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 7 – Civilising the Native, Educating the Nation

Last Updated : 23 Feb, 2023
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Indian education was examined both historically and sociologically during British colonization. It is worth noting that British colonial authorities implemented policies and initiatives aimed at “civilizing” Indians, such as the founding of new schools and the reformation of old ones.

William Adam was the first one to come up with his report in 1813. British introduced a more logic-based system of education which helped people to develop thinking capacities and elimination of problems in Indian society. Around this time, the Indian nationalist movement arose, asking for better access to education for Indians. The British colonial authorities were hostile to these nationalist initiatives to keep control over Indian education.


What Happened to Local Schools Under British Rule?

Numerous pathshalas had existed in India prior to British control. The count was around 100,000 pathshalas and each of them had around 20 or fewer students. There were no separate courses and all forms of instruction were given in the oral format. The income of the parents would usually determine the fees of pathshala.

The Britishers decided to reform the pathshalas in 1854 and to raise the teaching standards of the pathshalas. Proper schedules, textbook teaching, and production of reports were brought into the fold for the gurus. Regularising classes pay set fees and passing exams were made part of the rules. Government grants were provided for pathshalas which agreed to follow the regulations implemented by the British. Many children were adversely affected by the regulations brought in, as it didn’t suit their schedule and fees came to be expensive for them.

The Report of William Adam

William Adam traveled around Bengal and Bihar in around the 1830s, for the provision of a report for the development of local schools and education. It was found that, in Bengal and Bihar, around 1 lakh pathshalas were reported with around 20 pupils each. The educational system was assigned to be open-ended and did not include proper schedules and fees; not even proper separate infrastructure. This system came to meet only the local demands and was adaptable in nature. There were no classes during the harvest period. The British regarded this as a chance to modernize Indian education and establish a class of Indians who were devoted to the British ruler.

The growing desire for English education led to the closure of several conventional schools, which caused a decline in the teaching of Indian customs and values. William Adam played a pivotal role in this shift by promoting a novel educational system rooted in British principles. The administration created fresh schools that delivered education in English and other Western subjects to produce a class of literate Indians who could act as intermediaries between the British colonial government and the rest of the populace.

New Routines, New Rules

The British colonial administration influenced India’s educational system significantly by introducing modern education, which aimed to impose British cultural values and beliefs on Indian society. As a result, schools with the primary goal of teaching English and other Western subjects were established throughout the country. This represented a significant departure from the traditional Indian education system, which emphasized local languages and traditional values through small local schools primarily run by religious leaders. This change had a far-reaching impact, permanently altering India’s perception of education.

Modern schooling was introduced, although there were several downsides. Traditional Indian knowledge systems and cultural values were disregarded in favor of English and other Western disciplines. Many Indians were now disconnected from their own culture and heritage as a result. Additionally, only a tiny portion of the people could afford the new educational system since it was so expensive. Due to their reliance on conventional educational methods, the majority of the Indian populace fell significantly behind the educated elite as a result.

FAQs on Local Schools

Question 1: What was the Charter Act of 1813?


Charter Act of 1813 meant permanence of British rule in India. Around 1 lakh was set annually for educational purposes.

Question 2: Who introduced the British education system in India?


Lord William Bentinck introduced British education system in India.

Question 3: Who was Lord Macaulay?


Lord Macaulay served from 1834 to 1838 as the first member of law department on governor general council, helping in ensuring that english is used widely.

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