21 December 2016

LORD CURZON'S EDUCATION POLICY ON SECONDARY EDUCATION


POLICY ON SECONDARY EDUCATION


We have already discussed the Primary Education Policy of Lord Curzon. Let us now turn our attention towards the Secondary Education Policy and see how he wanted to improve it.


Curzon’s Secondary Education Policy can be divided into two parts—
(i) Policy of control and
(ii)  Policy of improvement. First we will discuss the Policy of control.

LORD CURZON'S EDUCATION POLICY

(I)       
Policy of control :

The Hunter Commission of 1882 suggested that the Government should withdraw from the field of secondary education and its expansion should be left to the private bodies which were to be given liberal grant in aid. As a result the number of private schools increased. Although the Government fixed certain rules and regulations for the Government aided schools there was no such regulation for the privately managed schools, most of which were inefficiently and poorly staffed and poorly equipped.
In the Government Resolution on Education of 1904, it is stated that whether these schools are managed by public authority or by private persons and whether they have received public funds or not, the Government is bound in the interest of the community to see that education provided to them are sound. The Government at that time tried to control the private schools in the following way :

The managing committee of the school should be properly constituted.

  • The financial condition of the school should be stable.
  • The school must make provision for the health and recreation of its pupils.
  • The number of teachers should be suitable and properly qualified.
  • For establishing secondary schools in a particular area the necessity of the school will be assessed.
  • Every secondary school whether Government aided or privately managed must receive recognition from the Director of Public Instruction of the concerned state.
  • In addition to the recognition from the Education Department, it must obtain recognition from a University also if it wants to present students at the Matriculation examination conducted by the University.
  • Recognised schools will be eligible to receive Government grant-in-aid and pupils to receive scholarships.
  • Transfer of students from an unrecognised school to a recognised school was prohibited .


(II)      
Policy of Improvement:

Curzon realised that Government control alone cannot improve the conditions of secondary schools. For qualitative improvement he adopted the following measures:

Provincial Governments should sanction more financial grants to improve the condition of secondary school.
Government secondary schools should serve as a model for private secondary schools.
Grants should be provided to private schools also to make them equal to standard schools like the public schools.
The number of teacher training centres should be increased and teachers should be encouraged to receive training.
The inspectorate was to be made more efficient for effecting rigorous control over secondary education and the number of inspectors should be increased.
Curriculum of the secondary schools should be modified by including practical and vocational subjects. Physical education should be included as a subject inthe curriculum.
The medium of instruction should be mother tongue upto middle school level. But the study of English must not be neglected.
Importance should be given to improving discipline among students and teachers.

Assessment of Curzon’s Secondary Education Policy


Now we must make a critical assessment of Lord Curzon’s Secondary Education Policy.

As a whole, we may term his secondary education policy as ‘successful’ because it raised the quality of secondary education. His policy to make the secondary schools receive recognition from the Government as well as from the university helped in improving its quality of education. Many private secondary schools had to close down for the failure to get recognition because of which many nationalist Indians criticised Lord Curzon for his policy and expressed that he wanted to crush nationalistic upsurge. But his strict policy helped to improve not only the quality of education but also the quality of administration of secondary schools also.

Secondly, as the schools had to take recognition from the University, they had to give importance on teacher training and raising the academic standard in order to send their students for matriculation examination.

Thirdly, it is worth mentioning that it was Lord Curzon who insisted that mother tongue should be the medium of instruction up to middle level. For this measures many poor students were able to receive education through their own languages. This paved the way for introducing mother tongue as a medium of instruction in secondary schools in later stages.

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