Colonial Education refers to the education imparted to students during the colonial period. The effects of the colonial education system are still visible today and in some parts even practiced.
Generally, Colonial Education is said to be a form of education that was brought along with colonial settlers during the time they occupied different lands across the globe. The teaching staff was from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures. Some teachers and educators were flawless and tactful in educating the masses whereas others had a military style approach to imparting knowledge. People who were taught during this period still can recall occurrences of both types of styles of education.
Colonial Education is now in complete contract to what is being taught today to the students. Students are no longer handled harshly, as they were many years ago. It is to be noted that the stern and aggressive approach of the teachers towards the students is by no means a true reflection of how the entire colonial education system was operated.
Colonial education was not fully standardized across the board. The education was specific to communities, locations and the ethnic values of that particular area.
Among other forms of education, primary education in literacy and numeracy was easily available. However, this was largely available to whites living in the northern parts and in the middle colonies of the country. Literacy rates in these areas were considerably high. Educational opportunities were quite slim in the rural South. The scarcity of proper education facilitated home schooling. In many places, education was carried out in small makeshift locations. In fact, there were few families that sent their children to one particular set of people in their locality in order to get them educated. Therefore, community based education was one of the important forms of Colonial Education.
The small community set ups eventually grew into larger establishments over gradual passage of time. This was not the case for all community set ups. Many of the small sets up perished due to the teachers coming of age and no one being able to replace them.
Quality of content and curriculum was the main driving factor behind the survival of the education centers. With the passage of time, this was something that began to get an increasing amount of attention. This is with particular reference to education development institutions that focused on building on what was already established.
Evolution of Colonial Education
There are several factors that play a pivotal part in the evolution of the colonial education. It is said to have evolved through educated people who served as fundamental educators at a time when formal opportunities were hard to come by. Whether they worked as private tutors for individual families or they took on many students, they each contributed significantly to the earliest forms of institutional education in the new world. Colonial Education wherever it has been has left its mark and influenced regions considerably. The British form of education has been in place in Asia and Africa for centuries. These regions have been greatly influenced by the British system of education. In fact, many of the education institutes still exist today. Undoubtedly, these regions have each developed their unique methods of education, but they all recognize the fundamentals that played a role in establishing proper systems.
The objective of an education system is to develop the society and sustain growth of the economy and the society as a whole. An education system must build its curriculum in accordance with what its people are capable of. This allows greater scope when there is consideration for new ideas to be introduced in the system. Apparently, Colonial education has led to the fundamentals being formed in various regions. In fact, there is a dense influence of British education throughout the world.
Regardless of the woes associated with colonial rule, the major benefit of such dynasties has been the creation of small and even large educational centers that have taught the masses for centuries. This is not to undermine the developments in education that natives may have had prior to colonial occupation. In fact, a combination has been used in some countries that has only enhanced and enriched education. Without Colonial education, education systems globally might have been quite different compared to what we have today.