200 years ago, Mumbai was a barren land with probably no infrastructure and no proper educational facilities. The maximum you can see back then was a Gurukool consisting of a small room or a guru teaching kids in an open area below a tree.
But it in the 1870’s the first boom of education scene arrived when Wilson College was opened. Wilson College was the 1st college of Mumbai and still holds a lot of prominence for its quality education. The first professional teachers were mostly Europeans who even made text books themselves. The first proper examination was conducted in1834 under the chairmanship of Jaganath Shankar which comprised of 50 students out of which 37 were hindus, 9 were parsis and 4 muslims. It was also the wife of John Wilson, Margaret Wilson who started the first women’s school in 1829 as she believed that women also require a formal education in the society. That was a very huge movement in itself as women were not respected during that time.
It was in accordance to the “wood’s dispatch” by sir Charles Wood in the year of 1857, the University of Mumbai was established mainly by the Britishers to certify the educational institutions in terms of quality of education, subjects to be taught, curriculum to be maintained and how examinations should be conducted. The university was modeled mainly on how the universities functioned in the United Kingdom. The Mumbai University brought formal education into the Mumbai scene as they developed formal rules and regulations, procedures, certifications and proper degrees which promoted mainstream education. Now it has three main campuses in Churchgate, Kalina & Thane Sub Campus). Elphinstone college was the first Mumbai University accredited college to roll out education in Arts while some of the big names which are revered even today are Jai Hind College, St. Xaviers amongst other which were the 1st 10 accredited colleges before hundreds of colleges popped up today i.e 21st century.
By Haineel Shah