The Indian education system dates back to when the “Gurukul” system was in play. The medium of instruction, in those times, was Sanskrit. With advancing technology and changing times, the world of education went under transformation. The current education system in India emphasizes not only academics but also a holistic approach to education that involves building confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. It is a complete blend of diversity, history, and human values. Education is a Fundamental Right under Article 21A that is free and compulsory for all children in the age group of six to fourteen years. To ensure compliance with the existing article, the parliament enacted the right to education Act of 2009. Under this act, free and mandatory education is guaranteed for every child between three to eighteen years.
Essential Stages of Indian Education System
The current Indian education system consists of the following essential stages:-
Pre School (Kindergarten)
This is the learning stage where a child joins a kindergarten. It consists of children of 3 - 5 years of age. In this stage, kids are encouraged to play or perform a learning-based activity to improve their cognitive and creative skills. This stage is crucial as the child's 50% brain develops at this stage only.
The school stage begins when a child is around 6 or 7 years old. This stage exists up to 18 years of age. The school stage can be divided into middle school and high school. The overall stage is from Nursery to class 12. At this stage, a student gets an opportunity to learn numerous subjects to help them decide which subject they should continue for higher education. Until class 10, a student must study a few subjects mandatorily like English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science, and Value Education in a school. After class 10, a student can opt for a specific stream like Arts, Commerce or Science as per interest. School students need to usually gain proficiency with a typical educational plan until they finish secondary school. Students all through the nation need to learn three languages, in particular, English, Hindi, and their first language (optional).
Higher Education in India
This stage takes place after completing school. It is governed by University Grant Commission. Indian higher education framework has expanded at high speed by the addition of almost 30,000 colleges and more than 7 million understudies in 10 years from 2000 to 2010. As of 2022, India has more than 1500 colleges and universities, 455 state colleges, 394 private colleges, and 160 Institutes of National Importance, which incorporate AIIMS, IIMs, IIITs, IISERs, IITs, and NITs.
This stage consists of college or university after they have completed schooling. This stage takes place at the age of 18 - 19 years. In India, a student acquires a graduate degree (three to five years to complete) based on interest and requirement.
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree, the student may continue with post-graduation (two years) based on interest and requirement.
This is the last official stage of education in India. If a student wants to explore more about a particular topic with practical emphasis, the student may apply for a PhD degree. It is one of the highest education qualifications that a person can acquire in India. After successfully completing this stage, a student is conferred with the prestigious title of a “Doctor (Dr.).”
Some of the commonly pursued undergraduate courses in India:
Some of the commonly pursued post-graduate courses in India:
A student can pursue any course after fulfilling its requirement from any recognized educational institute in India. To improve the current education scenario in India, the Government of India came up with National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. It brought a few significant changes at both school and college levels.
The following are its impact on the Indian education system:
The policy aims to achieve a 100% gross enrollment ratio in school by the next ten years.
A new higher education governing body will be established for the betterment, i.e., the Higher Education Commission of India.
The governing body will aim and work to improve and innovate India's teaching and learning system.
The new education policy also aims to make education inter and multidisciplinary by the next twenty years. This will allow students can take up any course of their interest and skills.
The policy shall provide an undergraduate student with multiple exit options. A student will be able to obtain a degree from a college after completing just one year of study. However, this is applicable only on diplomas and not on degree courses.
In the current times, the schooling will begin from the age of 3 rather than 6. This will allow students to complete their education early and get a job faster.
India has always given importance to the education sector; however, the current Indian education system is theory-oriented than job-oriented. It focuses more on theory and exams instead of the practical and industrial applications of the topic. The new education policy has started to implement drastic changes in the education system in India. Because of the new NEP, the distinction of stages is clear, and learning begins at an early age. It has become more innovative and skill-oriented. The literacy ratio of India for adults is 69.8 per cent. In the next ten years, India’s higher education system is expected to have more than 15 universities among the global top 100 universities.