British Education Policy In Colonial India Simplified

British Education Policy In Colonial India Simplified

In colonial India, British education policies aimed at creating a class of Indians who were culturally Indian but embraced English tastes and affiliations.

Agents of Modern Education:

  • The British government (East India Company)
  • Christian missionaries
  • Indian intellectuals and reformers

Role of Christian Missionary Education:

  • Missionaries aimed to make schools spiritual and religious centers, promoting Western education and Christianizing natives.
  • Their primary motive was to eradicate native practices considered uncivilized, such as idol worship and polytheism.

East India Company’s Educational Initiatives:

  • Warren Hastings established Calcutta Madrassa in 1781 and Sanskrit College in 1791 to understand local customs and laws.
  • The company sought educated Indians to assist in administration and bridge cultural gaps.

Influence of Indian Intellectuals:

  • Ram Mohan Roy advocated for modern education to spread rational thinking and scientific principles.
  • He supported the use of English language and Western learning to advance Indian education.

British Education Policy Evolution:

  • The Charter Act of 1813 marked the government’s commitment to education, but confusion persisted over the type and language of instruction.
  • The General Committee of Public Instruction decided in 1823 to impart oriental education, but in 1835, Lord William Bentinck’s government shifted towards Western sciences and literature through English medium.
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay, appointed by Bentinck, proposed English education over traditional Indian learning, aiming to create a class of Indians with English tastes and affiliations.
  • Macaulay’s vision led to the establishment of Elphinstone College (Bombay) and Calcutta Medical College in 1835.

Conclusion: British education policies in colonial India, shaped by government initiatives, missionary efforts, and Indian intellectuals’ influence, aimed to foster a class of Indians with English cultural affiliations, leading to the establishment of institutions promoting Western education and values.

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