We have already discussed the structure of the committee and a broad outline of its policy decisions regarding the different aspects of education. Now we will discuss the suggestions of the committee one by one.
Pre Primary Education
For the first time in India, official attention was given towards the pre-primary stage of education. The major suggestions of the report in this regard may be summarised below—
Provision should be made for pre-primary education in the form of nursery schools for the success of National Scheme of Education.
Children from 3—6 years of age should be admitted in these schools.
The basic aim of these schools should be to impart social experience and education of general behaviour rather than giving formal education.
The nursery schools may be attached to junior basic schools in the rural areas.
In the urban areas where there are sufficient numbers of children, nursery schools should have separate existence.
Pre-primary education should be free.
It was estimated that the pre-primary education will require annually Rs. 3, 18, 40,000/- for ten lakh people.
Basic or Primary Education
The report has adopted the scheme of basic education with some modifications, which gave theofficial recognition to Gandhiji’s Basic Education. The principle of education through craft was advocated but it did not agree with the idea that the things manufactured by the students should meet the expenses of the education. Regarding primary education the scheme contains the following suggestions—
Basic schools should be divided into two categories— Junior Basic Schools and Senior Basic Schools.
Junior basic stage should be from 6—11 years of age and education in these schools should be compulsory for all.
Senior basic schools should be for children of 11—14 years of age. Only such student should be sent to senior basic school who cannot continue their studies for high schools.
In the junior basic schools, there should be one teacher for every 30 students. In senior basic schools there should be one teacher for every 25 students.
Teaching of English has not been given any place in junior basic schools. But in the senior basic stage the provincial Governments were authorised to take final decision in this regard.
Instead of external examination, there should be internal examinations. Certificates should be issued after the completion of the studies.
Provision should be made for physical education and organised game for children.
The medium of instruction should be the mother tongue of the pupils.
No teacher should receive less than Rs. 20/- per month.
Basic schools should be started only when suitable trained teachers are available
Suitable courses for girls such as, cookery, laundry work, needle work, handicraft, child care and first aid should be introduced.
A standing committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education should be appointed to watch the new education experiments carried on in the provinces.
A Central Agency should be established in each province for the disposal of marketable articles produced in schools.
High School Education
Let us discuss the view of the Committee in respect of High school education.
In the opinion of the Sargent Committee, high school education should not be considered simply as a preliminary to university education but as a stage complete in itself. The suggestions of the committee regarding high school education may be summarised below—
Only those students, who are well above the average ability and have exceptional aptitude for higher studies, should be sent for secondary schools.
The duration of high school education should be six years and the age group is 11—16 years.
Students below the age of 11 should not be allowed to enter these schools. Their abilities, aptitudes and interests should be borne in mind while giving them admission.
Students have to study at least upto the age of 14 years. In these schools they should not be allowed to leave schools before this age.
Fee shall be charged from the students for receiving education of this age but 50% of the pupils will be provided with free studentship.
It has also been recommended to give scholarships to the poor students so that they may not be deprived of this stage of education.
The high school should be of two types— Academic and Technical and curriculum should be prepared accordingly.
The Academic high schools will impart instruction in the Arts and pure sciences, while the Technical high school will provide the training the applied sciences and Industrial and Commercial subjects.
Art and Music should form an integral part of the curriculum in both and all girls should take a course in Domestic Science.
lThe curriculum should be diversified as far as practicable in order to provide a wide range of choices.
The medium of instruction in all high schools should be the mother tongue of the pupils. English should be a compulsory second language.
The aim of education should be to make the boys self dependent and able to stand on their legs.
We are already familiar with the suggestions given by the committee regarding pre-primary, primary and high school education; let us discuss what suggestion it has offered for university education. The Sargent Committee pointed out the defects of university education in the following way—
University education has failed to relate their activities to the practical needs of the community as a whole. There is no systematic attempt to adjust the output to the capacity of the employment market to absorb it.
A great deal of importance is attached to examinations.
In the absence of suitable selection machinery, a large number of incapable students get entry into the universities.
Probably nowhere among the universities of the world is there so large a proportion of failures in examinations as in Indian universities.
Indian universities do not fully satisfy the requirements of a national system of education.
The Committee has offered the following suggestions for the improvement of university education—
The duration of degree course should be of 3 years.
The present intermediate course should be abolished. The first year of the course should be transferred to high school and the second year to the universities.
The standard of university education must be raised. The condition of admission must be revised so that capable students can take the advantage of the university course.
Competent teachers should be appointed in the university and steps should be taken to improve the conditions of service including remuneration.
The tutorial system should be widely extended for closer personal contacts between teachers and students.
Adequate financial assistance must be provided for poor students.
Emphasis should be given on establishing a high standard in post-graduate studies and in pure applied research.
For coordination in the activities of the different universities an All India Organisation like University Grants Committee of England should be set up
Technical and Vocational Education
Sargent Committee laid a good deal of stress on technical and vocational education. It suggested for the full time and part time instructions in order to fulfil the requirement of all the different categories of the skilled hands. The report divides the workers into four categories—
Higher Category of Workers :
According to the Sargent Report there was a need for higher category of workers for the industrial and vocational fields. They will have their preliminary training in a Technical high school and then will pass from Technological Department of some university or from full time Technological Institute and will serve as Chief Executive, Research Workers etc.
Lower Category of Workers :
This category includes foreman, charge-hand and other ordinary executive and administrative officers. They should be given training in the Technical high school for Diploma or Certificate Course.
Skilled craftsman are very much needed for successful execution of industrial and occupational schemes. Students should have passed Technical high school course or Senior basic or Junior Technical or Industrial school course. Semi skilled or unskilled workers :
Students who have studied in Senior basic middle schools with some basic craft, shall be admitted to this category of workers. These persons should get facilities both for continuing their general education and for improving their skill.