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transfer it into their own language. We trust that the number of such translations will multiply every year. As the superiority of European learning becomes more generally appreciated, the demand for them will no doubt increase, and we shall be able to encourage any good books which may be brought out in the native languages by adopting them extensively in our seminaries.
A teacher of the vernacular language of the province is already attached to several of our institutions, and we look to this plan soon becoming general. We have also endeavoured to secure the means of judging for ourselves of the degree of attention which is paid to this important branch of instruction, by requiring that the best translations for English into the vernacular language, and vice versa, should be sent to us after each annual examination, and if they seem to deserve it, a pecuniary prize is awarded by us to the authors of them.
The object of the Committee is to fill the minds of the liberally educated portion of the people with the knowledge of Europe, in order that they may interpret it in their own language to the rest of their countrymen. For this purpose, while on the one hand the pupils are encouraged to acquire the various kinds of information which English literature contains, and to form their taste after the best English models; on the other, every endeavour is used to give them the habit of writing with facility and elegance in their native language.
The Committee's first desire is to establish a seminary based on these principles at each zillah station. The large towns always take the lead in the march of improvement: the class of people whose circumstances give them leisure to study to good purpose, and influence to make their example followed, are congregated there in greater numbers than elsewhere. Even the proprietors residing on their estates in the district keep up à close connection with their provincial capitals, where they have generally town houses and resident agents. The subordinate officers of Government are selected and sent from thence to exercise their functions in the surrounding country. The European functionaries are present there to exercise a general superintendence over the seminaries, and to assist the teachers with their countenance and experience. By purifying the circulation through these vital organs, the whole system will be reinvigorated; the rich, the learned, the men of business will first be gained; a new class of teachers will be trained; books in the vernacular language will be multiplied; and with these accumulated means we shall in due time proceed to extend our
operations from town to country, from the few to the many, until every hamlet shall be provided with its elementary school. The poor man is not less the object of the Committee's solicitude than the rich; but, while the means at their disposal were extremely limited, there were millions of all classes to be educated. It was absolutely necessary to make a selection, and they therefore selected the upper and middle classes as the first object of their attention, because, by educating them first, they would soonest be able to extend the same advantages to the rest of the people. They will be our schoolmasters, translators, authors; none of which functions the poor man, with his scanty stock of knowledge, is able to perform. They are the leaders of the people. By adopting them first into our system we shall be able to proceed a few years hence with an abundant supply of proper books and instructors, and with all the wealth and influence of the country on our side, to establish a general system of education which shall afford to every person of every rank the means of acquiring that degree of knowledge which his leisure will permit.
With such a spirit animating the policy of the educational authorities it was only natural that the needs of the masses were overlooked at first. The filtration policy " can only succeed, if at all, after long and weary years of waiting. As far back as the year 1835 Mr. Adam, a missionary of great industry and knowledge of the people and their ways of life, approached Lord William Bentinck on the subject of vernacular education which was imparted by Indian agency. The portion of his report which is reproduced below shows only too clearly the miserable condition of these schools. The suggestions submitted by Mr. Adam for their improvement were considered "almost impracticable " and too expensive by the Council of Education whose members hoped that the improvement of education among the upper and middle classes would react favourably on the rural vernacular schools and would in time bring about the desired result. It was not until 1845 when Mr. Thomason, the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces, took up the question and issued the necessary orders to the district officials that any real progress was made in this direction.
A Vernacular Curriculum
Source.- Reports of Vernacular Education," by W. Adam.
The teachers depend entirely upon their scholars for subsistence, and being little respected and poorly rewarded, there is no encouragement for persons of character, talent, or learning to engage in the occupation. These schools are generally held in the houses of some of the most respectable native inhabitants or very near them. All the children of the family are educated in the vernacular language of the country, and in order to increase the emoluments of the teachers they are allowed to introduce, as pupils, as many respectable children as they can produce in the neighbourhood. The scholars begin with tracing the vowels and consonants with the finger on a sand-board and afterwards on the floor with a pencil; and this exercise is continued for eight or ten days. They are next instructed to write on the palm leaf with a reed pen held in the fist, not with the fingers, and with ink made of charcoal, which rubs out, joining vowels to the consonants, forming compound letters, syllables and words, and learning tables of numeration, money, weight and measure, and the correct mode of writing the distinctive names of persons, castes, and places. This is continued about a year. The scholars are next advanced to a study of arithmetic and the use of the plantain leaf in writing with ink made of lamp-black, which is continued about six months, during which they are taught addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, together with the modes of address proper in writing letters to different persons. It may be safely affirmed that in no instance whatever is the orthography of the language of the country acquired in these schools, for although in some of them two or three of the more advanced boys write out small portions of the most popular poetical compositions of the country, yet the manuscript copy itself is so inaccessible that they only become confirmed in the most vitiated manner of spelling, which the imperfect qualifications of the teacher do not enable him to correct.
Discipline in a Vernacular School
Source.-Calcutta Review. Vol. IV., p. 334.
Methods of Punishment.-A boy is made to bend forward with his face towards the ground; a heavy brick is then placed on his back, and another on his neck; and should he
let either of them fall, within the prescribed period of half an hour, he is punished with the cane.
A boy is condemned to stand for half an hour on one foot; and, should he shake or quiver or let down the uplifted leg before the time, he is severely punished.
A boy is made to hang for a few minutes with his head downwards, from the branch of a neighbouring tree.
Nettles, dipped in water, are applied to the body, which becomes irritated and swollen; the pain is excruciating and often lasts a whole day; but, however great the itching and the pain, the sufferer is not allowed to rub or touch the skin for relief, under the dread of a flagellation in addition.
A boy is put up in a sack along with some nettles, or a cat, or some other noisome creature, and then rolled along the ground. A boy is constrained to pull his own ears; and if he fail to extend them sufficiently, he is visited with a sorer chastisement.
Tricks played on the Schoolmaster.
In preparing his hookah, it is a common trick for the boys. to mix the tobacco with chillies and other pungent ingredients; so that when he smokes he is made to cough violently, while the whole school is convulsed with laughter; or, beneath the mat on which he sits, may be strewn thorns and sharp prickles, which soon display their effects in the contortions of the crestfallen and discomfited master; or, at night he is waylaid by his pupils, who pelt him with pebbles, bricks, or stones; or they rehearse doggerel songs, in which they implore the gods, and more particularly Karli, to remove him by death, vowing, in the event of their prayer being heard, to present offerings of sugar and cocoanut.
The educational policy of the last sixty years was laid down in the famous despatch of 1854, which was submitted through Sir Charles Wood,1 then President of the Board of Control, to the Government in India. The object of the despatch was to extend European knowledge throughout all classes of the people, by means of the English language in the higher branches of instruction, and by that of the vernacular languages of India to the great mass of the people. This instruction was to be administered by Departments of Public Instruction. Universities were to be established for the encouragment of higher learning. And by the grant-in-aid system private exertions and private
1 Afterwards Lord Halifax.
liberality were to be utilised to the fullest extent. The Directors fully realised the necessity of increased expenditure, but were confident that any expense incurred would be amply repaid by the improvement of the country; for the general diffusion of knowledge is inseparably followed by more orderly habits, by increasing industry, by a taste for the comforts of life, by exertion to acquire them, and by the growing prosperity of the people.”
A Statement of Educational Policy
Source.-Despatch from the Court of Directors to the GovernorGeneral in Council. 1854. Selections from the Records of the Government of India." (Government Press, Calcutta.)
§ 9. Oriental Languages.-We are not unaware of the success of many distinguished Oriental scholars in their praiseworthy endeavours to ingraft upon portions of Hindu philosophy the germs of sounder morals and of more advanced science; and we are far from underrating the good effect which has thus been produced upon the learned classes of India in their different spheres of life. To attain this end it is necessary, for the reasons which we have given above, that they should be made familiar with the works of European authors, and with the results of the thought and labour of Europeans on the subjects of every description upon which knowledge is to be imparted to them; and to extend the means of imparting this knowledge must be the object of any general system of education.
§ 13. Medium of Instruction-The Vernaculars.-It is neither our aim nor desire to substitute the English language for the vernacular dialects of the country. We have always been most sensible of the importance of the use of the languages which alone are understood by the great mass of the population. These languages, and not English, have been put by us in the place of Persian in the administration of justice and in the intercourse between the officers of Government and the people. It is indispensable, therefore, that in any general system of education, the study of them should be assiduously attended to, and any acquaintance with improved European knowledge which is to be communicated to the great mass of the people can only be conveyed to them through one or other of these vernacular languages.
§§ 17 and 18.-Educational Administration. We have determined to create an Educational Department as a portion of the machinery of our Governments in the several presidencies