The true aim of education is to prepare a person to play his part well as an enlightened member of society. Education means integrated development of personality. It should impart training to head, hand and heart. The system of education introduced by the British government in India was absolutely unsuited to the needs of our country; It was designed to produce a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, ideas and outlook. It aimed at fostering loyalty to the British rule among the educated class and through them among the masses. Its purpose was to secure cheap clerks and such other persons as could help in carrying on the British administration in India.
Under the British rule in India, education was imparted through the medium of English. It not only deprived the people of the knowledge of their own language and literature, but also wasted the precious time of the youth in cramming the rules of grammar of a foreign language. The pattern of education developed in India during the British rule was unplanned.
As the system of education under the Iteitish rule was quite unsuited to the needs of India, the leaders of our country thought it necessary to introduce changes in the system of education when India achieved her independence. During-the last thirty years of the post-independence period, many attempts have been made to solve the manifold problems of education and to effect changes in the system. But it is a huge and complex problem and it will take much time before all the problems of education are solved in a satisfactory manner.
In 1949 a University Education Commission was appoin ted under the chairmanship of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan to study the problems of university education and to recommend remedial measures. The Commission did a fine job and sub mitted a valuable report. According to one of the recommendations of this Commission, the University Grants Commis sion was set up to look after university education in the country.
To study the problems of secondary education in the country and to make recommendations for changes to be introduced therein, a Secondary Education Commission was set up under the Chairmanship of Dr. Lakshman Swami Mudaliar. This Commission submitted its report in 1953 after undertaking a thorough study of the various aspects of secondary education in the country. The Commission made valuable recommendations regarding the objectives of educa tion, reorganisation of teaching institutions, medium of instruction and the system of examinations.
In 1964 the Government of India appointed an Education Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr D.S. Kothari to advise the government on the policy of education. The Commission submitted its report in 1966. The report indicated the guidelines for formulation of a national policy on educa tion. In July 1968 the Government of India declared its National Policy on Education.
On the basis of the recommendations contained in the reports of these Commissions, the Government took steps to introduce certain much needed changes in our system of education.
Till recently India had a three tier system of education. Primary education
covered schooling for five years. Secondary Education covered another seven
years, thus making it a twelve year school education. Thereafter started the university
education. There were certain technical and professional courses open to students after the completion of Secondary Education. From the academic session 1975-76, a new scheme of education, called
10+2+3 was introduced, in a phased manner. Under this scheme the first eight
years of schooling from classes I to VIII is to be known as Elementary stage.
The Secondary stage consists of 2 years of schooling for classes IX and X. The
third stage comprises classes XI and XII; it is called Higher Secondary stage.
The university stage is of 3 years duration. This new scheme envisages-
revolutionary changes in the content of education. It is calculated to make
education purposeful, by laying emphasis on productivity and manual work. There has been rapid and large scale expansion of educational facilities in the
country. The literacy rate in India went up from 16.6 percent in 1951 to 29’45
percent in ,1971. Primary education is now free in all the states and
compulsory in most of the states. Efforts are being made to make it
compulsory wherever it is not. The number of primary schools is about
4,50,000 and the number of students in these schools is about 6,14,00,000.
In these schools the students are taught reading, writing and simple arithmetic.
The medium of instruction is the mother tongue of students.
students to meet the requirements of all round development in the country. Vocational and technical education is provided at schools and higher levels.
and higher secondary institutions provide training in
agriculture, commerce, engineering, forestry, arts and crafts.
The five Indian Institutes of Technology at Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur,
New Delhi provide facilities for education and reasearch in engineering and
technology. Female education also has recorded a marked expansion.
A large number of girls’ schools and women’s colleges have been started.
The number ofstudents in these institutions has increased manifold.
A large number of adult schools and night schools are also being run
by the government.
The government have decided to achieve the goal of universal elementary
education for all children up to 14 years of age according to a time-bound
programme. It is estimated that to achieve this goal, 453 lakhs of additional
non-enrolled children in the age-group 6-14 will have to be covered.
The target during the next five years is to cover an additional 320 lakhs of
children and to cover the remaining 132 lakhs in another two years by
1984-85. A vast majority of non-enrolled children are from the weaker
sections of the community, like scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and
landless agricultural labourers. Such children constitute the hard core of
the problem. They do not attend formal schools. Even if they do, they drop
out soon after joining school. Vocationalisation of education at the 1012 stage under the reorganised
pattern of school education is considered an important step for enriching
education and making it more meaningful and attuned to the realisation
of the national goal. Comprehensive syllabi and courses have been prepared.
They have two broad streams, viz. academic and vocational. The major thrust
in the scheme of studies has been towards diversified and vocational education.
In the academic stream, the stress has been laid on indepth study of different
disciplines and opening out to the students a wider horizon of thinking.
It is an effort to link education with productivity.
The courses have been designed to impart necessary
practical skills and knowledge suited to a vocation with a
view to making the students better employable. Adult education has been accorded high priority in our educational planning. The National Adult Education Programme is to be
formally launched on October 2, 1978. A substantial stepping up of the
coverage under the programme has been planned. A National Board of Adult
Education has been set up to look after the coordination and implementation of
the programme of adult education. Despite the rapid expansion of education, the educational record of the
post-independence period does not present a satisfactory picture. The ills
of growing indiscipline in educational institutions and continuous deterioration
in the standards of education are signals of alarm. Effective measures should be
adopted to arrest these dangerous tendencies, because any delay in this regard
will bring disaster to the whole country.