Dr. Harmander Singh
India has had a rich tradition of Libraries, schools and higher learning institutions from thousands of years. In the early years of Buddhism; about 5 centuries before Christ, E.I., 2500 years ago, there existed great institutions like Nalanda, Takshila and thousands of other known schools and universities in all parts.

From very early years of Christianity, India had very small Christian communities, especially in Kerala state, but their history records are not quite clear nor evident. Most Christian churches had a convent to cater to the locals.

(Probably one of the main reasons Kerala is one of the most educated state of India and almost at par with Cuba - as THE NO 1 state of most educated people)

But the REAL and notable convents came into existence when the English speaking Scotts, Welsh and Irish came to India in service of British Crown and to "administer" India; which they had started familiarizing through the public limited - East India Co. - which actually was nothing but a post to loot India - by manipulation which later became "COLONIAL imperialism" when British Royals joined the East India Co. as their patrons.

MOST convent schools were established in major Military cantonment areas of India by these new "administrators" for their families in 1850s.

After 1947, we should have closed all these institutions as legacy of foreign imperialism - BUT our "intellectuals" and earlier leaders of business and politics - used these convents to educate their kids - (they considered themselves as continuation of white "sahibs") - in English - and to get a BRITISH education in India.

Many of the brighter kids of these "exclusive" schools were to go to foreign for further studies to come back and "administer" India.
The truth is that this spirit of "elitism" still exists in our poorly and sickly infected "upper" class who are convinced that a "foreign" education is the best.

In 1950s and 60s, the seats to get into the convents became scarce as more and more bureaucrats "richer babus after milking bribes" and "members of elected bodies" in Delhi and our state capitals wanted to send their "bright" kids to these "exclusive" schools. So they invented a new system of PUBLIC schools. Doon school, Delhi's public schools are some examples.

In other words, these new public schools became "exclusive" educational institutions - the NEW Gurukuls for the rich and more-bribe-more-exclusive of Indian society.

My Personal Opinion: We notice that the most of the Ancient Culture is alive because Western People have kept it alive otherwise our modern education system would have put almost everything confined to the library and the Asharama.

For example, the Scouting is practiced worldwide and its an Indian concept of Gurukul, the Ashrama. Sir Baden Powell learned it from Haridwara and introduced to the modern civilization.

We may seem to blame the Convent Schools, but they do in India and abroad is nothing but Ashram System of Education in which Lord Rama and Krishna learned. Most of us may feel to be proud of being a student of a convent school, but laugh at the Ashrama that brought it as modern education. Why we Indians do not learn it is because we are highly influenced by Imperialistic Education System of British India Company.

However, as you are a learned person you can easily understand why we are having some problems as yet to be resolved in our education in general.

We can resolve these together not just as East Meeting West, but also Past Meeting Present. Thanks for sharing very frank and honest observation. Sri Aurovindo and Mother has been great and rest depends upon the future generations. Amen!

With thanks from the source: http://hindustan.net/discus/messages/64/126.html