In Mesopotamia, the early logographic system of cuneiform script took many years to master. Only royal offspring and sons of the rich and professionals such as scribes, physicians, and temple administrators, were schooled. Most boys were taught their father’s trade or were apprenticed to learn a trade.
Ashurbanipal a king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, collected cuneiform texts from all over Mesopotamia, and especially Babylonia, in the library in Nineveh, the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East.
Literacy remains an elusive subject for ancient Egypt. Literacy is a regular feature of 19th and 20th-century medieval societies.
In ancient Israel, the Torah (the fundamental religious text) includes commands to read, learn, teach and write the Torah. In 64 AD the high priest caused schools to be opened. Emphasis was placed on developing good memory skills in addition to comprehension and oral repetition.
Muslims started schooling in 622 in Medina, which is now a city in Saudi Arabia. The Quran encourages Muslims to be educated.
The main aim of education in ancient India was to develop a person’s character, master the art of self-control, bring about social awareness, and conserve and take forward ancient culture.
In the Vedic system of study, students were taught the four Vedas. They were also taught the six Vedangas – ritualistic knowledge, metrics, exegetics, and grammar.
The first education system was created in the Xia dynasty (2076–1600 BC) Government built schools to educate aristocrats about rituals, literature, and archery.
In Athens, during the 5th and 4th century BC, aside from two years of military training, the state played little part in schooling. Parents could choose a school offering the subjects they wanted their children to learn, at a monthly fee they could afford.
At the age of seven, boys were taken away from their homes to live in school dormitories or military barracks. There they were taught sports, endurance and fighting, and little else, with harsh discipline. Most of the population was illiterate.
The first schools in Ancient Rome arose by the middle of the 4th century BC. They were concerned with the basic socialization and rudimentary education of young Roman children. The literacy rate in the 3rd century BC has been estimated as around one percent to two percent.
The word school applies to a variety of educational organizations in the Middle Ages. During the late medieval period, students attending town schools were usually between the ages of seven and 14.
Charlemagne’s chancery made use of a script currently known as Carolingian minuscule. The return of this Latin proficiency to the kingdom of the Franks is regarded as an important step in the development of medieval Latin.
Charlemagne attempted to establish a free elementary education by parish priests for youth in a capitulary of 797.
The University of al-Qarawiyyin located in Fes, Morocco is the oldest existing, continually operating, first degree-awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO.
The House of Wisdom in Baghdad was a library, translation, and educational center from the 9th to 13th centuries. The House was an unrivaled center for the study of humanities and for sciences, including mathematics, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, and geography.