Meaning of Education
Systematic instruction for the development of character and of mental powers is called education.
Life-long Learning and Education
An ability to learn is not limited to any particular phase of life. Every experience in a life can teach something which can be utilised.
Formal and Non-formal Education
Current system of school education in which a person goes to school and teacher imparts education is called formal education.
The education which is imparted by other means such as distance education, Through TV telecasts etc is called Non-formal education.
Historical Development of the Educational System in India
If we look briefly at the beginnings of education we find that in India its history can be traced to the guru-shishya parampara or tradition of a personalised teaching by the guru. While much of this interaction was based on the rich oral tradition, it later became based on the understanding and interpretation of text which discussed anything from the techniques of warfare to personal ethics. Necessarily such an education was limited to a tiny minority, usually young men from the upper castes and privileged social groups. Sparing a child for a life of prolonged education was possible only among the more affluent. Access to literacy was a closely-guarded secret, and the owners of this privileged knowledge, usually Brahmins among the Hindus, were held in great esteem and treated with reverence. By the end of the eighteenth century, the situation started changing gradually. With the growth of urban areas, newer occupations and groups learning became more wide spread. This was the basis for the
indigenous primary school or pathshala which soon came into being in a number of homes. In the early nineteenth century the British rulers turned their attention to the education of Indians: expanding trade, commerce, business as well as the bureaucracy required local participation, at least at the lower levels. Prior to the-introduction of the Western-style schools, a well-knit network of pathshalas existed in large parts of the country. These primary schools were established by the landed and trading elite's with the specific purpose of training the next generation for definite roles and functions. Each pathshala had a male teacher and the average number of students was a little less than 10. Boys normally began their education when they were about 8 years old, and continued for four to six years. That teaching in thepathshala was structured according to very specific rules of pedagogy and discipline. This is evident from a number of descriptions available in the writings of this time.