20 December 2016

The Hunter Commission 1882 on Secondary Education

As we have already said earlier, the Hunter Commission examined the condition of secondary and higher education as well, although it was appointed only for Primary Education. The commission gave the following three important suggestions for Secondary Education:
1.                  The government should entrust the responsibility of secondary education wholly to the Indians and should only give financial grant for removing certain difficulties.
2.                  The commission indirectly pleaded for English as the medium or, instruction and ignored the claim of the mother tongue for the same. For the middle schools the managers of schools were made responsible to organise education according to the local needs.
3.                  The secondary school curriculum should be divided into two parts. In the 1st part literary and science subjects should be grouped and in the 2nd part their should be such vocational subjects which might be useful to life.

Sir William Wilson Hunter

Training Graduate Teachers:
The commission emphasised the necessity of teacher’s training for rising the standard of secondary education. At the time of Hunter Commission there were only two training schools in the country, only at Lahore and the other at Madras. So there was a great dearth of teachers. The commission recommended that the duration of training of graduates should be shorter than those who are not graduates. The trainees should be examined both in theory and practice of teaching.

Grant-in-aid:   The Grant-in-aid system was started in (1865). This system was started in England also in 1861. There was no uniformity in this system in India. It was of different nature in various provinces. In Madras, it was based on teacher’s salary, in Bombay on provinces it was only for a fixed period. The commission urged that there should be uniformity in this system and the same policy would be followed through out the whole country.

Development of Secondary Education:  
Secondary Education was benefited by the recommendations of Hunter Commission and it developed further. The commission had recommended for total governmental withdrawal from the field of secondary education. But the education departments continued their control over secondary education. This situation helped the development of secondary education, because the education departments worked for its expansion in order to make their own position stronger. Previously, the departments had not taken so much interest in the development of secondary education. The financial position of government schools was quite sound and the standard of education in them, too, was better than in the aided schools. The aided schools were facing financial stringency.
The Hunter commission had recommended for diversification of the curriculum into two separate parts: (1) Literary and science and (2) vocational. The 1st was meant to prepare students for university classes and the 2nd was for imparting vocational education useful in practical affairs of life. The students those days were more interested in procuring services and they had little interest in vocational education. So, vocational education could not be encouraged, although some arrangements for vocational education were made after (1882).


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