In India during the British period there were mainly two schools of thoughts. One is the orientalist who believed that education in India should take place in any of the different Indian languages at that point in time. These languages used to be Sanskrit, Persian and different other court languages of India. However there existed parallel yet another school of thought that believed that India has nothing to teach its population and therefore the best medium of instruction is the English.
Objectives of education by the British in India
There were mainly two objectives of education by the British in India during the colonial rule. They were firstly the British realized that they require a group of people who can act as the mediator between them and the locals. It was hard for the British to understand local culture at that point in time. So the British thought of creating an anglicised community commonly known as Babus who can understand the locals well as well as understand the English language. Through these babus the British used to establish communication with the local people and endeavoured so that these locals could comprehend the British policies of Governance.
Anglicised community and their significance
In order to create this anglicised community the British focussed on imparting primary as well as secondary education to the locals. And in order to do this infrastructure were put in place. Many English medium schools and colleges were established in the colonial rule. Universities were set so as to monitor the actions of the different schools and colleges under them. And most importantly in order to impart the basic education in the different educational institutions including the universities, teachers were recruited in large numbers.
Modern education by the British
With the British came the modern education. In fact even in the British period there existed a lot of diversity. However the education system at that time was so designed such that there existed unity in diversity. Moreover before the colonial rule the Brahmin community was very significant in imparting education. But with the inception of colonialism there has been a westernisation of education and people across different classes and sections of society, be it rich or the poor, elite or the not so elite, all began opting to study in English. Thus in short the Brahmin started to lose significance as teachers and academicians from then.
Spread of Christianity in India
Moreover British were pioneers in introducing academic programs among women who until now had remained much oppressed in the society. Another objective of education in India in the colonial era was to increase the influence of Christianity by spreading Christianity in different parts of India. In order to fulfil this objective the British during its rule in India has constructed a number of English missionary schools, colleges, churches and other institutions. And the objective was simple and it was to promote conversion from other religions to Christianity thus making the religion strong and influential. This tactics of the British was very much successful as many people who are basically from the oppressed class of the society adopted Christianity as their religion.