Chandragupta Maurya was surprised that his mentor Chanakya wanted him to allocate so much money from treasury towards education of young.
‘Gurudev, our education system is robust and working”. he remonstrated. “We already have a private Gurukul system for teaching students the holy texts and sacred rituals. We also have the martial training academy in the royal palace of Patliputra which trains elite warriors. On the vocational side craftsmen and artists take young men as their apprentice and train them on their vocation”.
“Once these major disciplines are covered why do we need so much tax revenue towards teaching the young. What else are we going to teach them”.
Chanakya was listening in to Kings questions with his usual concentration. He smiled and that smile Chandragupta knew well. Gurudev was seeing beyond the here and now.
“Chandra do you want to be a king with the biggest empire that Bharatvarsha has ever seen. Are you ambitious enough”.
“Yes of course Gurudev. I will be a Chakravarti Samrat. I want to build myself a huge land footprint”.
“Conquering territory requires force, soldiers and strategy however no King becomes big in History without learning to manage the won territory. Look at that Greek Alexander. He did land up on Banks of Indus however his entire empire disintegrated immediately upon his death. So if you want to build something you will need not only to conquer the land but also special skills people to manage it”.
“What kind of people, O esteemed one”.
“You will need a core of civil servants. People who are trained in efficient revenue management, adept in carrying out developmental construction works, settling disputes fairly between people and so on. In other words my King you will need another army though an internal one to assimilate the conquered territory into a seamless and well run kingdom. These people will need to be the best that can be selected and trained from the general population. It is for setting up of this army that I am asking for substantial funds”.
The light dawned on Chadraguptas face. His mentor was definitely far sighted and he was thinking of setting up the administrative funnel even when the kingdom was still in the making.
“However my King, to get these people we will have train them from a very young age into one special skill. To that end we will have catch them at ages of 5-6 and school them. So every village will have to have a state sponsored school for meritorious students. It is only then we will build a grassroots catchment area which will constantly feed our administrative funnel.
Also my King do know that every society has a school to prison pipeline. More schools you open, less prisons you will have to run. Secondly no kingdom whether now or in future can become great if it’s people are not trained. The return on capital is maximum for a state when it invests in upgrading its people”.
“However what will we teach these students in state run schools”.
“We will inspire them with your vision for this land first and then in terms of teaching we will just give them one core skill ‘ how to think on their feat’ because real education is not what you think but how you think about it”. The ever wise Chankaya explained.