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All posts by Probal Ray Chowdhury

Gandhi on Indigenous Education

At India’s independence, the level of literacy in India was very low. Notwithstanding the arguments which consider oral education to be as good as literate culture for the moment, there has to be some reason for this poor state of education in India. India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with one of the first literate cultures. How did things come to this? In this article, Dr. Probal Ray Chowdhury tells us what Gandhi thought about indigenous education system of India.

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Revisiting “The Beautiful Tree” – IV – Caste Profiles of the Students

The greatest of the myths about ancient Indian education system in India is that Brahmins had such a completely monopoly on every kind of education that almost all other jatis and varnas were illiterate. Dharampal in his seminal study of the 19th century education system broke this myth. Dr. Probal Roy Chowdhury in this article discusses the respective number of students that studied from a particular community.

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Revisiting “The Beautiful Tree” – III – Home Education

The number of Indians who studied before the modern age was much higher than that number in Europe. Even more than that in a survey in Madras Presidency during 1822-55 it was found that the number of those who were instructed at homes was nearly five times the number of those who were instructed in the schools. This article looks into these figures.

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Revisiting “The Beautiful Tree” – II

Contrary to what people believe in a survey in Madras Presidency during 1822-55 it was found that there were 11,575 schools in the Madras Presidency with 1,57,195 students studying in them; the reports of the collectors of various districts also noted that there were in all 1,094 ‘colleges’ or centres of higher learning with 5,431 students studying in them. An important feature that emerged from the survey data was the wide-spread extent of the indigenous system of education, as evidenced by the number of boys who were undergoing instruction.

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Revisiting “The Beautiful Tree”: Part 1

In this first part of a series of articles, Dr. Probal Roy Chowdhury discusses the state of indigenous education in India before the British destroyed the system. He is quoting various surveys that were done in the colonial times to put the reality in perspective.

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Centre For Indic studies
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