In ancient times, the Gurukula system of education was prevalent in India. When the eagerness for studying arose in anyone’s mind, he requested the teacher (Guru) to teach him. He went to stay at the Guru’s house after his request for studying was accepted and helped in the household work besides taking education. From Sanskrit to the Holy Scriptures and from Mathematics to Metaphysics, everything was taught to the child by the Guru. When the Guru felt he had taught everything, the student took leave from the Guru’s house. In the 1830s, Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay brought the modern school system in India including the English Language. At that time, subjects like metaphysics and philosophy were considered unnecessary and science and mathematics were given importance. The relation between the teacher and student was not easy and the link with nature was broken as teaching was confined to classrooms.
The present education system
In the present days, the form of education followed by English medium schools in Kolkata like Bodhi Bhavans is different from that of the past. The first Board was set up in India in the year 1921. This was the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education with jurisdiction over Rajputana, Central India and Gwalior. The Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Rajputana, was established in 1929. In some of the states, boards were established at a later period. Central Board of Secondary Education was the name given to the board after its constitution was amended in 1952. National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which is a national organization, plays a key role in developing policies and programmes. State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) is its counterpart in each state. The school system in India is divided into four levels such as lower primary, upper primary, high and higher secondary. The two boards of school education in India are the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). A famous CBSE school in South Kolkata is Bodhi Bhavans. For the children of central government employees who are periodically transferred and may have to move to any place in the country were those for whom the CBSE board was originally meant. In order to replace the overseas Cambridge School Certificate Examination by an All India Examination, ICSE board was started. Foreign curriculum such as the so-called Senior Cambridge is followed by a small number of schools.