Education thus is an essential prerequisite of modernization. It enables people to know the world beyond their own surroundings and transforms them to become rationalist and humanist in outlook and world view. However, it has to be kept in mind that the education has got modernized and in turn is contributing to the process of modernization of the Indian society.
The traditional education system of India was quite different from the contemporary one. In traditional Indian society, the number of educational institutions was too small and the content of education was esoteric and essentially related with religion, philosophy, metaphysics and scriptural subjects.
The education was confined to the ‘twice-born’ castes and the upper classes. The organizational structure was ascriptive and hereditary. The lower castes, particularly the scheduled castes, were denied education. Even today, the Madrassah education among Muslims is largely based on religion, philosophy and scriptural messages. Shishu Mandirs also have religion and tradition as parts of curriculum.
Modern education is exoteric, open and liberal. The world-view is scientific-rational; the theme consists of freedom, equality, humanism and denial of faith in dogma and superstitions. The course contents are rationalistic and in tune with the needs of the present-day society.
Science and technology, grammar and literature, social philosophy, history and culture, geography and ecology, agriculture and horticulture comprise the vast range of subjects which are taught in schools, colleges and universities.