A School is an institution for educating children. Otherwise, it is a place where the pursuit of education happens in a designated area and time, overseen by authoritative personals. The word SCHOOL has been derived from the Greek word scholē. The practice of grouping children with the sole purpose of augmenting learning has existed since the classical era.Formal schools have existed in ancient Rome, Greece, India, and China.One of the oldest school developed that still exists those of the Churches, commonly termed as Cathedral Schools.These types of schools were established in the initial stages of Middle Age. The Monastic schools came into existence by the beginning of 5th century. The Madarasas were constituted in the 9th century by the Islam culture to enforce learning. Initially, the responsibility of teaching and learning were taken over by the mosque itself, and the madrasas were a part of the mosque. Only in the ninth century, the madrasas started operating independently from the mosques.
Now let us review the various early schools that developed in different parts of the world:
Turkey – The Ottoman tribes of Turkey, were known for their emphasis on education.The towns of Bursa and Edirne were their primary centers of learning.The ottoman’s proposed “külliye” complex of buildings which had mosque in the centre and guided by a single institute, often based on the lines of waqf (charitable foundation) and composed of a madrasa, a Dar al-Shifa (“clinic”), kitchens, bakery, Turkish bath, other buildings for various charitable services for the community and further annexes.This made learning accessible to a wider public through its free meals, health care and sometimes free accommodation.
Europe – In Europe, universities came into existence during the 12th century; here, an important tool was scholasticism, and the academe were called as school men. The primary purpose of schools in the Middle Ages and Early modern ages was to teach the Latin Language.This gave rise to the terminology Grammar school, which means Primary school in the United States. While in England, it refers to a school that selects potential students by their aptitude or ability. The school curriculum steadily widened to include literature in the vernacular language as well as technical, scientific, artistic and practical subjects.
England – The history of education in England dates back to the Anglo-Saxons’ settlement of England. During the Middle Ages, learning Latin grammar was considered very important, and schools were started with the sole aim of teaching Latin. The schools were established for the sons belonging to the aristocrat society, to prepare them for the position of clergy and other such religious orders. The church was the authoritative body for preserving the learning and literacy during that period, and education and religion went hand in hand. Education was primarily to read the Bible. Two universities: the University of Oxford, followed by the University of Cambridge, both related closely to training for clergy were established in affiliation with the church. In the reign of Edward VI, a reformed system of “free grammar schools” was established.The oldest Independent school is King’s School, Canterbury, which was found in 597, was set up before the tenth century and has a long history in England. There were Many charity schools which later came to known as “Public School” indicated that they were open to the public irrespective of religion.In the 18th and 19th centuries, many charity schools were found by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge for poor students between the age group of the 7 to 11 years. These schools were the initial step in the evolution of the present-day conception of education at primary and secondary level. The Society also contributed to the teacher training program.Before the nineteenth century, the few schools that existed belonged to the church. The Church of England prevented any attempt for a secular education that the state provided.
National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church in England and Wales was established in the year 1811, which was termed as National Schools which are still integral part of schooling system, The nondenominational, Protestant nonconformist, or “British schools” were formulated by Society for Promoting the Lancasterian System that propagated Education of the Poor.
The compulsory and apprenticeships were abolished in 1814. Sunday Schools became popular and covered almost 25% of the population by 1831 in Great Britain. As these Sunday schools
were the first funded school, it is accepted as the predecessor of present day English education system.
India – Before the introduction of British education, Indigenous Education was given higher importance from early time to colonial era.Gurukuls were the Hindu residential school of learning which existed in ancient India. The residential schools were generally in the home of the Guru or a monastery. Mughals brought with them the concept of Madarasas to educate Muslim Children.Indigenous schools were widespread in the eighteenth century according to the British records.Each Temple, Mosque or a village in most of the regions had a school attached to them.The subjects taught included Arithmetic, Astronomy, Law, Metaphysics, Theology, Ethics, Medical Science, Religion, Reading, and Writing.During the British rule in India, Christian missionaries from various countries such as USA, England and various other nations established boarding schools
China-Many Chinese scholars believe the history of education in China can be traced back at as far as the 16th century BC. Throughout this period, Only the elites had the privilege to access education. The teachings of Confucianism during the Autumn and Spring were mainly based on The Five Classics and The Four Books and were the acknowledged subjects of the Confucian culture in the feudal society in ancient China.In 1978 Policy of reform and opening to the outside world was adopted by China.These changes saw great progress in primary education.In 1985, a new rule was laid that stated that local government was responsible for basic education.In 1986, China started a system of 9-year compulsory education.