Uncovering India's Educational Legacy: Insights from Sahana Singh - In this insightful interview, author Sahana Singh discusses the remarkable education system of pre-colonial India. She describes how Andrew Bell was impressed by the efficient 'Madras Method,' where children learned to read and write on beaches without blackboards, under a mentorship system. Charles Trevelyan's colonial intentions to replace Indian languages with English to diminish cultural pride are also explored. Singh contrasts literacy rates in 1820s India and England, debunking myths about Indian education being backward. She touches upon the historical gurukuls like Nalanda, their decline under Islamic rule, and how British policies led to a decline in India's educational and economic prosperity. A revealing look at India's rich educational heritage and its transformation under colonial rule."
The historical background highlights India's rich educational legacy, best represented by the native "Madras Method," which Andrew Bell witnessed and which placed a strong emphasis on mentoring and hands-on learning. Charles Trevelyan observed that British colonial policies, in sharp contrast, promoted English education with the intention of undermining native culture. This tactical change brought to light the intricacies in India's academic development and profoundly changed the country's educational and cultural environment.