Chief features of Hindu system of Education in India during the medieval period

(1)   Lack of state support: With the advent of the Muslim rule, the state support for the Hindu system of education almost ended. Now it depended upon the rich people, scholars and village communities. Of course where there were no Muslim rulers, it received state support. Gradually there remained a few such areas.

(2)   Religion Oriented Education: The system of education, by and large was dominated by religion.

(3)   The ‘Pathshalas: Elementary education was imparted in ‘pathshalas’ which existed both in villages and towns.


(4)   Building of pathshalas: Usually pathshalas were held in the verandah of some house or under trees. There were also separate houses for pathshalas. Specific type of buildings for them did not exist. Premises of the temples were also used.

(5)   Fees: No regular fees were charges from the students. The parents gave presents to the teachers. Students were required to render personal service to the teachers. Sometimes teacher also engaged themselves in part time work to supplement their income.

(6)   Instructional Methods at the Elementary Stage: There were four stages of Instruction at the elementary stage. In the first stage writing letters of the alphabet on sand was taught to students. In the second stage, the teacher wrote on palm leaves and the students traced over them with red pen and charcoal ink .These cold be rubbed very easily.
In the third stage, the student wrote and pronounced compound components. Excessive practice was given to the students in this regard. Common names of persons were used for this purpose. At this stage also, the student was taught to use the words in the formation of sentences. He was also taught to make a distinction between written and colloquial languages. The students were taught to rules of arithmetic and multiplication tables repeated by the entire class. In the fourth stage, students were taught to use paper for writing .

(7) Curriculum at the elementary stage:
(i) Knowledge of weights and measures was considered essential therefore; arithmetic was a compulsory subject at the elementary stage. According to Dr. Krishnalal Ray,(1989),the elementary schools were mainly for giving instruction to these R’s and them practical application (such as composition of letters and business documents.).
(ii) Literature was included in the curriculum, real literature taste was not cultivated.
(iii) Moral and religious instruction also had a secondary place in these schools.
(iv)In some schools, salutation to Goddess Saraswati (the Goddess of learning) was learnt by heart by the students.
(v) Instruction in mythology and sacred love of the Hindus was also given in some schools.

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