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Educational practice in India and its foundations in Indian heritage: a synthesis of the East and West?

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The paper examines education practice in India in terms of the division between indigenous cultures on the one hand, and the formal culture of learning and knowledge systems inherited from colonial times on the other. These ‘two Indias’ are still reflected in the modern educational system in India, seen in the vast differences between the formal school system, whose benefits reach only a minority of the population, and the millions of crafts-persons working in India's informal sector, many without education or training. The paper looks at reasons for these divisions within the culture and history of India's formal, non-formal and informal systems of education and training. The paper also throws light on the aspirations to unite these divided cultures of learning by looking at some of the writings of J.P. Naik, the famous educationist and secretary of the first Report of the Education Commission (1964–66) after India's independence. The analysis needs to be seen against the background of international educational thought which is improving the value, relevance and quality of non-formal and informal learning, as key pillars for building lifelong learning systems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, Hamburg, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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