the “Native”, Educating the Nation
Q40. What measures did the Company undertake to improve the
system of vernacular education?
How were the irregularities of pathshalas checked by the
Ans. Measures taken by the Company to improve the
system of vernacular education were:
It appointed a number of government
pandits, each in charge of looking after four to five schools. The task of the
pandit was to visit the pathshalas and try and improve the standard of
Each guru was asked to submit periodic
reports and take classes according to a regular timetable.
Teaching was now to be based on textbooks
and learning was to be tested through a system of annual examination.
Students were asked to pay a regular fee,
attend regular classes, sit on fixed seats, and obey the new rules of
Q41. What type of education did Mahatma Gandhi want in India?
Ans. Mahatma Gandhi’s views on education
Mahatma Gandhi wanted an education that
could help Indians recover their sense of dignity and self-respect.
Mahatma Gandhi strongly felt that Indian
languages ought to be the medium of teaching. Education in English crippled
Indians, distanced them from their own social surroundings, and made them
“strangers in their own lands”. Speaking a foreign tongue, despising local
culture, the English educated did not know how to relate to the masses.
He argued that education ought to develop a
person’s mind and soul. Literacy – or simply learning to read and write – by
itself did not count as education. People had to work with their hands, learn a
craft, and know how different things operated. This would develop their mind
and their capacity to understand.
Q42. What was the importance of Wood's despatch?
Ans. Importance of Wood's despatch
One of the practical uses the Despatch
pointed to was economic. European learning, it said, would enable Indians to
recognise the advantages that flow from the expansion of trade and commerce,
and make them see the importance of developing the resources of the country.
Introducing them to European ways of life, would change their tastes and
desires, and create a demand for British goods, for Indians would begin to
appreciate and buy things that were produced in Europe.
Wood’s Despatch also argued that European
learning would improve the moral character of Indians. It would make them
truthful and honest, and thus supply the Company with civil servants who could
be trusted and depended upon.
Q43. What was the report of William Adam about education in
Write a short note on the report of William Adam regarding
education system prevalent in India.
Ans. The report Adam produced is interesting.
Adam found that there were over 1 lakh
pathshalas in Bengal and Bihar. These were small institutions with no more than
20 students each. These institutions were set up by wealthy people, or the
local community. At times they were started by a teacher (guru).
The system of education was flexible. There
were no fixed fee, no printed books, no separate school building, no benches or
chairs, no blackboards, no system of separate classes, no rollcall registers,
no annual examinations, and no regular time-table. In some places classes were
held under a banyan tree, in other places in the corner of a village shop or
temple, or at the guru’s home.
Teaching was oral, and the guru decided
what to teach, in accordance with the needs of the students. Students were not
separated out into different classes: all of them sat together in one place.
The guru interacted separately with groups of children with different levels of
Adam discovered that this flexible system
was suited to local needs. For instance, classes were not held during harvest
time when rural children often worked in the fields.