CBSE Class 8 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 7

Class 8 History Chapter 7 Notes

CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 7 Notes – Civilising the Native, Educating the Nation

The lives of Indian people were greatly impacted by the British presence in India. The British not only desired to rule the country but also felt it was their responsibility to change tribal traditions. Their main goals were to have control over revenue, territorial expansion, and cultural domination. Among the many that were affected by British Rule, it was the Rajas, Nawabs, workers, peasants, and tribals who were affected the most. The British also attempted to culturally dominate and “civilise” the native Indian population by changing their values and costumes.

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Civilising the Native, Educating the Nation Class 8 History Chapter 7 Notes

Access CBSE Class 8 Social Science Chapter 7 – Civilising The Native, Educating The Nation Notes

Views of the British on Indian Education

  • In Calcutta, William Jones was appointed as a junior judge of the Supreme Court in 1783. He was also a linguist who learned many diverse languages such as Greek, Latin, French, English, Arabic, and Persian. He also learned Sanskrit from the Pandits of Calcutta.
  • Jones had an interest in Indian texts on law, religion, politics, morality, and other lucrative subjects. He found out that more British officials shared the same interest.
  • Two Englishmen named Henry Thomas Colebrooke and Nathaniel Halhed were also interested in learning about ancient Indian heritage. Along with them, Jones founded an “Asiatic Society of Bengal” and started a journal called Asiatick Researches.
  • Jones and his peers had a great deal of respect for Indian and western ancient cultures. They noticed that the Indian civilization’s glory was declining subsequently. So they started to unravel the ancient Indian manuscripts.
  • They started to promote Indian culture to improve the governance and gain the trust and support of the native people.
  • To encourage the study of Arabic, Persian and Islamic law, an educational system (Madrasa) was built in Calcutta in 1781. Meanwhile, in 1791, a Hindu College was set up in Benaras.

“Grave Errors of the East”

  • From the early nineteenth century, a few British officials criticised the orientalist system of learning.
  • There were many oppositions and the study of ancient Indian scriptures was discouraged.
  • James Mill considered the knowledge of the east to be delusional, non-serious, and light-hearted, and considered Arabic and Sanskrit literature a waste of time.
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay saw India as an uncivilised country and emphasised the study of the English language to make it civilised which would further bring changes in the cultures, tastes, and values of people. It was propagated all over the country.
  • According to Macaulay’s minutes, the English Education Act was passed in 1835.
  • The main objective of the act was to make English the primary medium of instruction for higher education and to stop the promotion of study in the Calcutta Madrasa and the Benaras Sanskrit College.

Education for Commerce: The Famous Wood’s Despatch

  • The Court of Directors of the East India Company sent an educational despatch known as Wood’s Despatch to the Governor-General which was issued by Charles Wood, the president of the board of control of the company.
  • Wood’s Despatch emphasised the efficient use of the country’s resources and was focused on practical learning and the expansion of trade and commerce.
  • It was established mainly to change the desires and tastes of people and increase the demand for British goods in the market.
  • The primary goal of Wood’s Despatch was to create a dependable and “yes sir” sort of civil servant on the theory that European training will enhance the moral character of Indians.
  • The education system was taken over by the government educational sector.

Impact on Local Schools

  • It was found that there were over 1 lakh pathshalas in the regions of Bengal and Bihar.
  • In these pathshalas, each class consisted of 20 students. In total, around 20 lakh students were taught.
  • As per this education system, the school’s rules were quite flexible. The pathshala did not have a fixed fee structure, printed literature, a separate school building, benches and chairs, blackboards, separate classes, roll call registers, and annual examinations.
  • The nation’s educational system adapted to the demands of the local population.
  • The main purpose of the new system was to inflict routines, set up new standards, and organise frequent inspections inside the existing educational system.
  • The Company assigned government pandits to look after the education system followed by the schools. Each pandit supervised the working of four to five pathshalas. The Company’s laws and regulations were imposed by the government pandits.
  • The new system had a fixed set of rules and regulations that had to be followed by everyone. Low-income families were required to send their children to school during the harvest season, and failure to do so was viewed as indiscipline.

The Need for National Education

Many thinkers from distinct parts of India started to discuss the necessity for the expansion of education in the early 19th century. Several Indians considered that the Indian education system could be enhanced by western education. They, therefore, urged the British to establish more schools and colleges. They also prompted them to invest more funds to enhance the education system. However, some Indians were against the establishment of western education in India. Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore pointed out the prominent reasons and negative factors of why western education was not effective for Indian students.

  • According to Mahatma Gandhi, the western education system had infused a sense of inferiority in the minds of Indian students and made them see western society as superior.
  • Gandhiji believed that western education was turning Indians into slaves and weakening their sense of cultural pride.
  • While the national movement was going on, he urged the students to abandon British institutions as a sign of revolt.
  • Mahatma Gandhi believed that educational institutions should be using the Indian vernacular languages as the medium of teaching, and the British could not relate to the masses as they chose to use English as a medium of teaching. The Indian protest had erupted in the country and British education was boycotted by Indian students.
  • Indian students boycotted all the changes made to the education system by the British during the national movement.

Change of Education Policy

A new system of education was planned and created. This strategy was entirely distinct from the British policy and was named Uniform National Education Policy.

  • In 1901, Visva Bharati University was established by Rabindranath Tagore in Shantiniketan, as an outcome of the National Education Policy.
  • The main reason for setting up the school was to strengthen national education.
  • Over time, various institutions were established to enlarge the National Education Policy, and major campaigns were conducted to encourage women’s education. Major cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Pune, and other cities across India had established educational institutes.

Important Questions and Answers 

  1. How did education help civilise a country?

Ans. There was no widespread public education prior to the adoption of the Education Act in 1870. The majority of children were unable to attend school because of the lack of availability of many schools. It was common to find children compelled to work. This led some British philosophers, including Thomas Arnold, to acknowledge the significance of discipline in education. The value of discipline was ingrained in the minds of the young students. In this way, education was a tool employed to civilise a nation.

  1. What motivated the demand for moral education?

Ans. The development of practical education was fiercely resisted by Christian missionaries in India. Christian missionaries in India believed that moral teaching was far more important than practical training. They believed that Christian education was the only means of enhancing moral character. The British East India Company was a vocal opponent of missionary education in the past. The primary reasons for protesting were the worry that the locals would respond negatively and the possibility that they would develop a mistrust of the British East India Company.

  1. What were the Macaulay minutes?

Ans. The following are excerpts from Macaulay’s minutes on India’s educational policy.

  1. a) An excellent educational technique
  2. b) A succinct justification of the value of education
  3. d) A plan to start English-language schools
  4. d) Supports the use of English as a teaching language
  5. g) The Filtration Theory was endorsed.
  6. f) Arabic Madrasas and Sanskrit Pathshalas were to be shut down.
  7. g) The use of slang was disregarded.
  8. What were the recommendations made by  Wood’s Despatch?

Ans:  The recommendations made by Wood’s Despatch were as follows.

  • Setting up a Department of Education managed by the government
  • Appointing English to be the only medium of instruction
  • Initiating examinations and strict educational rules
  • Education reaching the masses
  • Education to be taken seriously by following all the rules and regulations
  1. What were the main goals of Wood’s Despatch?

Ans. The primary objectives of Wood’s Despatch are as follows.

  • To make Indians realise the benefits that go along with the development of trade and commerce, and ensure that they witness the significance of enhancing the resources of the country.
  • As per the Despatch, they wanted Indians to be introduced to the European manner of life, and shift their tastes and desires so that they can generate a market for the demand for British goods.
  • They asserted that the moral character of Indians could be enhanced by European learning.
  • The Company wanted to mould Indians into truthful and honest civil servants who can be trusted and depended upon.
  1. What were Aurobindo Ghose’s views on national education?

Ans: In 1908, Aurobindo Ghose mentioned that the main objective of national education was to revive patriotism among the students. This needed an evaluation of the heroic deeds of our predecessors. He considered that the vernacular medium of teaching would reach the masses. Aurobindo Ghose urged students to take maximum benefits of modern scientific discoveries and western experiments in the prominent administration. Moreover, students should also learn some useful crafts so that they could be able to find some moderately remunerative employment after leaving their schools.

  1. Why was practical education criticised by Christian missionaries?

Ans: The Christian Missionaries in India firmly opposed the advancement of practical education. According to Christian missionaries in India, the moral character of people should be improved and that was only possible by practising Christian education. The British East India Company feared that the activities of the Christian missionaries would instigate a reaction from the local public and create suspicion of the British presence in India. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British government was hesitant to encourage missionary education as they felt that it might affect the opinions and beliefs of the native Indian population.

The British Way of Education: Orientalism

William Jones, a British citizen who was a Junior Judge of the Supreme Court appointed by the Company along with Englishmen Henry Thomas Colebrooke and Nathaniel Halhed had grave respect for the ancient culture and traditions of India. They believed that the study of religious and cultural texts could be the way forward to the development of India and hence propagated the oriental form of education.

In the late eighteenth century, a Madrasa was established in Calcutta to propagate the study of Persian, Arabic, and more knowledge about Islamic laws.

In the year 1791,  a Hindu college was set up to teach ancient Sanskrit which was used for administration purposes.

“Grave Errors of the East”

The British Officials criticised the Orientalist versions of education. They questioned the Eastern method of collecting knowledge.  Macaulay was a British official that considered the knowledge in the East to be light-hearted and non-serious. He was the most prominent critic of the Orientalist method of education. He stated that India was an uncivilised country and it was essential to civilise it by introducing English as the only medium of education. After Macaulay’s minutes, the English Education Act was introduced in the year 1835.

The Fate of Local Schools

The East India Company sent a Scottish missionary, William Adam, to make a report on the progress of vernacular medium schools in Bihar and Bengal in the 1830s.

His report stated that the education system in those schools was very flexible. Those schools were called “pathshalas”. The students also didn’t have separate school buildings, no fixed fees, and the fees depended on the parent’s income. They had to study in an open space with no chairs or benches. The teachings were mostly oral, and gurus decided what to teach as per the level of understanding of the students. Adam noticed that the education system was suited to the local needs of the people.

The Establishment of New Education Rules

Until 1850, the East India Company only focused on higher education. The changes were implemented after 1854. They started to suggest that there would be an improvement in the system of vernacular schools. So, a few orders were introduced with the addition of more routines, rules, and some regular inspections.

There were numerous government pandits appointed who would look after about 4-5 different schools. The gurus and students had to follow certain rules. The pandits had to regularly visit pathshalas and their primary objective was to improve the standard of teaching and ensure that discipline is maintained in the schools.

The majority of learning tools and textbooks were developed to broaden the subject matter and improve teaching. To continue their study and regularly attend some general classes, students were also required to pay a specific amount of money.

The Importance of National Education

Many Indians were impressed with the colonial education that was made for modernising India in the best way. However, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi had contradicting views about Western Education, as discussed above.

The Introduction of Shantiniketan: The Abode of Peace by Tagore

As a child, Tagore did not like the idea of studying in an enclosed room. He felt suffocated and considered school to be a prison. This experience shaped the idea of creating a space that meant “an abode of peace” where children can feel free, happy, and creative. As a result, Rabindranath Tagore established Shantiniketan in 1901, a school 100 kilometres from Calcutta. More importance was given to teaching subjects such as science and technology including art, music, and dance.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. When was the English Education Act adopted?

The English Education Act was adopted in 1935.

2. Who is the founder of Shantiniketan and what was the objective of starting it?

Rabindranath Tagore founded a school named Shantiniketan in 1901. He wanted to create a space where children can feel free, happy, and creative while not being bound to an enclosed classroom.

3. Who is a Munshi?

It is a Persian word used for an individual who can read, write, and teach Persian.