India – Country with a population of 1,325,248(i.e. 132 crores) and median age of 26.9 years which means that half of the population is below 27 years of age when compared to other countries in Top 5, China(37), US(38), Indonesia(28) and Brazil(31) as per http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/ . This clearly indicates that for a country like India to prosper there should be proper Education system in place for young generation to hone their skills.
And yes there is a system in place but then the question arises how did it originate and what were the recommendations.
All the queries will be answered in the following article but before we began, a very interesting fact for all my readers: “India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and the United States”- World Bank Report
Few Facts to Begin with:
- Lord Ripon the then Governor-General of India appointed the first Indian Education Commission on February 3, 1882 under the Chairmanship of Sir William Hunter, a member of the Executive Council of Viceroy.
- So this Commission is popularly known as Hunter Commission.
- The Government desired that “the commission should specially bear in mind the great importance which the Government attaches to the subject of primary education”.
So does this mean that before 1882, Government did not think of Primary Education??
Yes they did, read on further on what happened 🙂
Before renewing the charter in 1853, British Parliament wanted to enquire into the progress of Education in India and hence constituted a Selection Committee. The suggestions were issued as a Charter of Education on July 19, 1854. Charles Wood was the president and hence was known as Wood’s Despatch of 1854.
Wood’s Despatch of 1854(Magna Carta of Indian Education)
Wood’s Despatch is a long document of 100 paragraphs and deals with the various aspects of great educational importance and hence just to give you guys a gist of it, I will incorporate few pointers:
The main objective of the Wood’s Despatch was to
- Educate Indian people for creating class of civil servants
- Provide Western knowledge and information about Western Culture to the Indian people.
- Recommended creation of Department of Education in Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Punjab and the North Western Provinces.
- Recommended the promotion of mass education by establishing schools
- Recommended the establishment of three universities in the Presidency towns of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras on the model of the London University.
- Wanted to promote the study of English as well as Indian regional languages and classical languages like Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit.
- Supported women education & grant aid-system.
- Recommended the establishment of teacher training institutes. It also suggested the improvement of working condition and salaries of teachers.
There were many benefits but why we are reading this article is to know the purpose of Hunter Commission which can be evaluated only when we know the demerits of the Wood’s Despatch committee. So here are some quick pointers: 🙂
Demerits of the Wood Despatch
- Mass education did not become a reality.
- The grant-in-aid system failed as there was lack of fund.
- Women education continued to be ignored.
- The Despatch produced a Cass of clerks and accountants but did not develop leadership skills among students. Because of the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, all recommendations could not be implemented.
Hunter Commission Contd…will be updated at 4 pm on 3rd june 2016