The monasteries or Buddha Vihars were the chief centres of learning and only the Budhist monks could be admitted to them for education. Thus there was no planned arrangement for mass education as such during the period. It form this position it would be wrong to construce that the Budhist monks were unkindful of the education of the people in general. So at the time of begging alms the monks used to remove the religious doubts of the people through their interesting conversation or short and alp lectures. Thus the people in general received moral and religious education from the monks.
Women education during the Budhist period was at its lowest ebb, as the women folk were despised in the sense that lord Buddha had regarded them as the source of all evils. So he had advised during his regarded them as the source of all evils. So he had advised during his life time not to admit women in monasteries. But after some time due to the insistence of his dear pupil Anand, Buddha had permitted about 500 women along with his stepmother for admission in vihars with many restriction and reservation.
Vocation education was not ignored during the budhist system of education. The monks of Vihar were taught spinning, weaving and sewing in order that they meet their clothing requirement. They were taught architecture as well. Education in architecture enabled them to build up new Vihars or repair the old ones. Similarly the householders following Buddhism but living outside Vihar were given training in different type of and also earn their livelihood.
Role of Teacher in Budhist system
Budhist philosophy admit the possible of attaining peace here and now, though, it start with a pessimistic note. Teacher, therefore, need not have any cry of despair. Bhikshus were the teacher. Budhist vihar as or monasteries have their methods of Imitation and training for the apprentices. The preceptor must give his disciple, all possible intellectual and spiritual help and guidance. There was mutual esteem between the teacher and the pupil. There relations were like father and son. The teacher was regarded as spiritual father or intellectual father of the student.
During Budhist period the place of teacher in the scheme of education was very important. There were the categories of teachers – Acharyas and Upadhayas. According to Sutras Literature Acharya may admit according to his unfettered discretion, a number of pupils, who would have to live with him at this house, for a minimum period of twelve years. He would not accept any fees from the pupils under this instruction. The progress shown by pupil was the only factor that determined the continence of his apprenticeship.
Student in Budhist system of education
The Budhist system like the Brahmanical, enjoins upon the pupil the duty of serving this preceptor as a part of education. The pupils is to rise early in morning from the bed and give his teacher teeth-cleanser and water to rinse his mouth with; then, preparing a seat for him, serve him rice- milk in rinse his mouth with; then, preparing as seat for him, serve him rice milk in rinsed jug, and after his drinking it, wash the vessel and sweep the place. Afterwards he is to equip him for his begging round by giving him fresh undergarments, girdle, his two upper garments, and his alms- bowl rinsed and filled with water and then is to dress and equip himself similarly if he wants to accompany his teacher but must not walk too far from or near wants to accompany his teacher but must not walk too far from or near wants to accompany his teacher but must not walk too far from or near him. He is not to interrupt his teacher in speaking, even if he makes a mistake. There were also rules for the expulsion of a pupil by his teacher. In five cases a Saddhiviharika ought to be turned away; when he does not feel great affection for his Upajjhaya, nor great inclination towards him, nor much shame, nor great reverence, nor great devotion.
The present education experiment like basic education, Vishwa Bharti ,Aurobindo Ashram, Gurukul Kangri and Banasthali Vidyapeeth,etc., are the glaring examples of our ancient system of education in the country. In the words of S.K.Mukerjee, “They were started with the object of reviving the ancient institution of Brahamacharya, of revitalizing ancient Indian philosophy and literature and of producing good citizens and preachers of Vedic religion.” While delivering his address in the Dada Bhai Naurozi lectures series L.S. Mudaliar, a renowned Indian educationist had said “Let our young Indian realize the heritage that is there. May the young generation imbibe the true spirit of India and follow it in all their endeavours.”