How Modern Education differs from good old Traditional Education?

How Modern Education differs from good old Traditional Education?

Education is always defined to be about lectures, notes, and homework. But it is now all about creativity, connectivity and critical thinking. Education is the process wherein young generation train themselves or with the help of teachers and get ready for future. Education is a process where knowledge and required skills are provided.

1. Indian Education system

India has a unique education system designed to uphold its nation’s culture, history, values and customs. Education is the major factor in the economic growth and development of our country. Indian education system has undergone many evolution to compete with developed countries. Now we are in par with many countries’ education status. This is not a single day achievement, but a long journey.

2. Ancient Education

It all started with the residential schooling system known as Gurukul. The Gurukulam system is practiced in ancient times and guru-shisya tradition is a sacred one in Hinduism which is also found in Jainism and Buddhism.

Gurukulam system is similar to the residential schooling system. ‘Guru’ meaning teacher and ‘kula’ meaning family or home. The main focus of Gurukulas was on imparting learning to the students in a natural surrounding where the shisyas (students) lived with each other with brotherhood, humanity, love, and discipline. The essential teachings of subjects like language, science, mathematics were through group discussions, self-learning etc.

The Gurukul system was broadly categorized into Vedic and Buddhist. The language used in Vedic Gurukul was Sanskrit and the language used in Buddhist Gurukul was Pali. The sishyas were taught vedas, brahmanas, upanishads and Dharmasutras. The main focus was to prospect humility, truthfulness, discipline, self-reliance and respect to elders.

Curriculum plays an essential role in the education system. The curriculum followed in Gurukul system had four Vedas, six vedangas and puranas. The curriculum also incorporated yoga, vedanta, algebra, geometry, grammar. They were also focused on warfare, military, politics, and religion. The curriculum of Buddhist system mainly consists of medicine. Apart from medicine, Vedas were also given importance. The curriculum covers all-round development of students.

The methods used in this ancient education system was through oral discussions and debates. The students used to deep dive into the concepts taught by their teachers. The environment and their living supported this concept.

In the Gurukul system, the students were supposed to live along with the teachers in their home which is commonly called as Gurukulam. It is a place where teachers teach students the morals and values to support their future. Gurukulam is usually present in the middle of the forest, far away and in clean pleasant environment. Present far away from usual residential area, students had to stay far away from their parents which also induces independency and self awareness in them.

This ancient education system is more practical than theoretical. Exams would be conducted annually to check student’s ability to survive. There would be absolutely no pressure on students. The government will not interfere with the formation of curriculum. In fact, Kings at that time period helped in the development of education. They provide their wealth to develop education system.

The major disadvantage lies where, some communities and women are not allowed to attend Gurukul and gain knowledge. The caste discrimination dominates in India and hence only a certain people are taught fighting skills and some are taught only vedas and medicine.

3. Medieval period

During the Medieval Age, education system had their own remarkable change. Due to the arrival of Islamic and Mughal system there came some new cultures and traditions in India. The main objective of Education during the medieval period was the spread of knowledge and the propagation of Islam especially to make people more religious minded.

The system changed into teacher-centric education system. The student-teacher relationship hasn’t changed much during medieval period, only that students didn’t live in teacher’s house. At that time teachers were used to teach students individually. While books were not there, the students were taught to write on taktis. The teachers started their teaching with alphabets and then words. Calligraphy and grammar were the most important subjects taught during those days.

The recitation of the Quran was made compulsory and the students learned Arabic and Persian. There were two types of Education during Medieval times like secular and religious education. While religious education consists of the study of Quran and Islamic laws and Islamic history, the secular education consists of the study of Arabic literature, grammar, philosophy, history, geography, economics, politics, mathematics, agriculture and also Greek language.

Just like the ancient education system, the discussions were done and debates were conducted in order to teach lessons. Emperor Akbar emphasized the students to focus more on reading and writing. Though, when the knowledge of alphabets, words and then sentence formations dominated, the students were evaluated based on practical situations of life and no annual examinations were conducted.

Practical education was given importance and students were taught from the very basics. The teachings and curriculum mainly focus on leadership qualities for ruling the country. The rulers supported the development of education.

4. Modern education

When the British invaded India, the modern education was introduced. The main aim of the modern education was to spread Christianity, the subjects and the curriculum were limited to some extent.


After several years, the modern education has a different objective now, and that is, to inculcate values in students such as equality, secularism, education for all and Environmental Protection, etc. The government has now interfered with the education system. Women are advised to start gaining knowledge by attending schools and also higher universities. To understand the cultures and traditions of our country, every student must be provided with minimum level of education and government has put forth a number of projects to make sure of that.

Now that the technology has grown worldwide, education system has also been effected. The internet has become a teacher itself and helps us with skills that are needed in future. Teachers have now become just a human aid to guide the students through the technological world. The system has changed into student centered education. 

Unlike other education systems, the examinations are not conducted annually, but term wise, and entrance exams are encouraged to admit students into schools and colleges. Similar to ancient education, the modern education curriculum also covers all-round development of students. Modern education supports and encourages students to participate and gain extracurricular activities and knowledge about sports.

5. Traditional education vs modern education

The ancient system of education such as Gurukulam and also system during the medieval period was collectively called as traditional method of education. It focuses on learning skills that are essential to survive in the future. But the modern education teaches the students on how to develop their future.

  • In the traditional education methods, the students learn through memorization techniques, whereas in the modern education system, the students learn through interactions between people and environment.
  • The usage of technology has brought up much advancement in the learning methods.
  • The teacher centric method of education has been changed into student centric method of education. The purpose has been updated to help students swim through and beyond.
  • Teachers were the main source of knowledge in the traditional education. But now with technological advances, students could find more sources.
  • Students were being provided with known facts and knowledge in traditional education, but whereas the critical thinking and problem solving abilities has been introduced to make them research and reach greater heights in modern education.
  • The student-teacher relationship has undergone quite a lot of changes too. Unlike in ancient period, the bond is not very tight in modern education period.

6. Conclusion

Even after much advancements in modern education, only with the help of Gurukul and former traditional education system, we have stepped on and are competing in par with other countries.

Everything has advantages and disadvantages. That applies to every domain, be it traditional, ancient or modern. We have evolved and we have achieved a lot.

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