Learning from Indian Education’s Ancient Roots

In Ahmedabad’s Hemchandracharya Sanskrit Pathshala, the students go back to their roots. They learn the hard way here, directly from the ancient roots of Indian education.

What is it?

A school of learning without any examination system. Ahmedabad’s Hemchandracharya Sanskrit Pathshala is a school with a difference where everything is taught but starting from its primitive form.

How does it function?

The school in the Sabarmati area is hosting representatives from six countries who have come to the Gurukul to understand how it functions and how they can replicate the successful model.

Delegates from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan participated in the event on May 3 and 4 where they engaged with the teachers, curriculum designers, parents and other stakeholders. Seeds of the event had been planted during a national convention of gurukuls that took place at Ujjain in April.

Aims & Objective

Deepak Koirala, assistant-in-charge of the Gurukul Project, Bharatiya Shikshan Manch (BSM), and principal of the pathshala, said that Gujarat today has about 50 gurukuls out of 4000-odd in India. “Our aim is to revive the ancient system of ‘manushya gaurav’ rather than emphasis on the current education system, due to which we see news of highly qualified graduates vying for the job of a peon. Our focus is also on a model which is environmentally and socially sustainable,” he said.

The Principle Behind It

Aditya Khanal, who runs top management colleges in Nepal, said that he was attracted to the philosophy during one of his visits to the gurukul in Ahmedabad earlier. “Nepal has about 500 such institutions. Taking a cue from India, we have also formed Nepal Shikshan Parishad to promote the idea where the student is at the centre instead of the requirements of the system — providing a holistic opportunity for him or her to grow,” he said.

Government Recognition

Myanmar has the 50-year-old Rameshwar Sanskrit Gurukul. Acharya Vishnuvallabhanand, principal of the institution, said that they are in talks with the government of India to provide recognition to the courses run in gurukuls so that they can take higher education in centres such as Varanasi in India.

“Bhutan has century-old gurukuls, some of which are surviving today. We have asked the Indian counterparts to ascertain whether there is any recognized degree or certificate so that the students can join the conventional system if they wish to,” said Uday Narayan, a representative from Bhutan.

Source: Times of India