Convent Education: Some Historical Analysis

By Raushan Rajput

Do you know who is India’s largest non-agricultural landowner?

Indian rail, absolutely not.

It’s the churches and their convent schools that own the largest share of India’s non-agriculture land. Most of this land had been forcefully acquired from Hindu temples in colonial times. Over 25000 schools, colleges and universities are run by different churches. Catholic Church alone is believed to have earned thousands of crores, 7000 crores according to an estimate which may go well beyond over 50000 crores. British, in education, found a cunningly way to subdue the Indians.

To quote Macaulay Speech in 1830s “I don’t suppose we might ever conquer this country, unless we tend to break the terrible backbone of this nation, that is her Spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we tend to replace her previous and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians suppose that everyone that’s foreign and English is good”. Subsequently, British destroyed over one lakh gram schools in Bihar & Bengal presidency and over one lakh eighty thousand in Madras presidency. These Indian schools were wholly supported Values and Ethical Education.

In current state of affairs, private and convent schools are charging high Tuition fee as well as the maintenance, miscellaneous, sports, etc. and in the name of Education what are they giving us? A Principal shot by 11th class student in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana at a parent’s-teacher meet, class 1st student stabbed by the 11-year-old girl in Lucknow, Ryan college dead case etc.

Convent institutions have not only destroyed our education system but also our cultural and classical academic ways. Dances like Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi are not available in schools, colleges now. In 1910, missionaries banned the custom of classical dance in Hindu temples. On October 8th, 2015 Doveton’s girls school of Chennai, a girl student was fined Rs. 500 because of Mehndi on her hand. The system of convent schools are useless and idle, it does not give in depth information about subject, decreasing our intellectual power.

To quote Swami Vivekananda “It isn’t a man creating education, it’s simply and completely a negative education”. In convent schools one is not allowed to speak in the other languages, except English. Sanskrit, Hindi and regional languages are discouraged on a daily basis. These schools are preparing students for jobs not learning. They are always concerned about school reputation, not student reputation. According to a report in 2016 over 44000 plus primary schools and 98000 plus secondary schools are run and fully funded by churches.

India should revive its education system where motto should be to learn and explore life process. In the year 2016, a 14 year student from the gurukul based school of Bharat Shikshan Mandal, participated in International Math Olympiad and came on top by beating students from 18 countries. Ekal Sansthan of India started a revolution where more than 54000 individual schools (mostly in tribal and rural areas) known as “Ekal Vidyalay” have local teachers who teach in regional language using various innovative ways. Currently, Bhoomi College and Swaraj University Rajasthan are implementing participative, holistic, sensible and practical learning methodologies.

We want a lot of Indic based institutions to come back into the mainstream and to eliminate convent system from India. Education is not the quantity of knowledge that’s placed into your brain to run riots there, undigested, all your life but it is a continuous process.

About the Author: Raushan Rajput is a graduate of Sri Aurobindo College, Delhi University and is currently pursuing Masters from University of Lucknow. His area of Interest are Education and Public Policy, he has worked in organizations like Vision India Foundation, Ekal Foundation and ‘The India Iris’ Org. 

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