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retrograded; the old Hindoo school-masters have been discouraged, and the people have been reduced to ignorance and subjection. In Behar and other parts of Hindoostan the Persian character and a Persianised or Arabicised language introduced by foreign conquerors has been adopted by the literate classes, and a great gulf has been placed between them and the popular language and literature. In Bengal, the conversion to Mahomedanism of the mass of the agricultural people has further disrupted the old system of education "without supplying any other, for the Arabic and Persian literature are beyond the reach of simple cultivators. It has come to pass, then, that all the most populous and productive parts of these Provinces are extremely destitute of education; that in some of the most metropolitan districts the ignorance of the common people is most lamentable, (the percentage who can read and write being a mere fraction, some 2^ per cent); and that the great Mahomedan population of Bengal is especially without the means of instruction. The ordinary Bengalee Mahomedan is, however, by race, language, and habits a Bengalee pure and simple. These men of the ordinary agricultural ranks have no prejudices against the vulgar tongue or aspirations for something more polite. Their ignorance is only due to this, that no priestly or governing powers have prompted them to vernacular education or provided it for them, while they suffer in common with the Hindoos from the general decadence of the means of instruction. The race of village schoolmasters or gooroos is si ill not extinct, but hitherto they have had little encouragement. The Bengal Educational Department, founded on a foreign system, has not even condescended to recognise for statistical purposes the village gooroos and their schools. The Educational Officers had not thought them worthy to be called schools; and in returns professing to give not only Government schools, but also the unaided institutions of the country, the old fashioned village schools were ignored as nonexistent, and the country was made to appear even more destitute of education than it really was.
Several previous Governments have attempted to extend popular instruction, especially those of Lord Hardinge and Sir J. P. Grant, but these attempts have proved abortive; partly for want of funds, but more from the failure of the Educational Department to recognise as instruction anything that was not on their model. The consequence is that, till the last two years, the number of primary schools shown in the returns was ridiculously small; and of the few so shown as Government primary schools, most were not truly primary, but were in fact Government schools of a higher character.
The present Lieutenant-Governor by no means depreciates modern knowledge and improved methods, but he does think that it is right that the people should be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, at the same time that, superior instruction is given to the upper classes. He would attribute an even superior importance to the former object, seeing how much it has been neglected. The indigenous schoolmasters can, at any rate, teach the children to read and write in good substantial vernacular characters, and they teach them an arithmetic somewhat different from ours, but of which the inferiority is by no means clear. The so-called Arabic numerals are really Hindoo, not Arabic; the decimal notation is in its own home in India, and many a village lad can count and cipher with a rapidity and accuracy which would put to shame many a skilled European accountant. It appeared then to Sir George Campbell that if we could widely extend this much of education, we should do very well for a beginning, even if the schoolmasters we take under our protection are themselves as yet wholly ignorant of our English system and our new educational methods. The Lieutenant-Governor thought, moreover, that if these men were to some extent subsidised, they might not only be encouraged and their number increased, but they might be tested, directed, and gradually taught the simpler portions of our methods.
The above, then, is the plan which the present Lieutenant-Governor has adopted. Village communities and individuals are invited to set up schools with Government assistance. The plan is to grant to village schoolmasters who maintain tolerably efficient schools in the native fashion and submit to a certain amount of inspection and control, a subsidy or grant-in-aid far short of an adequate salary, but which, eked out by fees and customary emoluments, may enable them to live. The grant is usually no more than from 2 to 3 or 4 Rupees per month, say on an average 5, 6, or 7 shillings per month, or a capitation allowance amounting to about as much; and at this rate a little money goes a long way. A certain sum has been allotted to each district, which the Magistrates and local Committees distribute to deserving schoolmasters who set up and maintain schools on these principles.
This scheme haa succeeded beyond all expectation. Both the schoolmasters and the people have received it with a Bort of enthusiasm. The people in districts which were supposed to be Boeotian in respect of the absence not only of education, but of all desire for education, have suddenly shown an avidity for the instruction offered to them which could not have been anticipated. Decent schoolmasters are forthcoming in sufficient numbers to take up all the grants available, and the full number of schools of which our means admit have been already established in almost every district, or very nearly so. Both our Officers and the native public fully admit and appreciate the success of the scheme. The Educational Officers themselves, at first very little inclined to take a hopeful view of the plan, now admit that it has so far succeeded. The few objectors are only those who are wedded to the old system by which a few profited at the expense of the many. Here is a severe view on the opposition side of the question which the LieutenantGovernor takes to be really the greatest compliment to the new system which could be had. A native newspaper, the 1 Samaj DarparC or 'Mirror of Society] says:—
'* The teachers of the schools established by Bhudeb Baboo (Inspector of Schools) are meeting with disappointment, while those of the Gooroo patshalas are increasing their efforts to teach imperfect pronunciation and instil defective knowledge into the minds of the young, under the patronage of Government. In many places the Gooroos are becoming very troublesome. For fear they should lose the money allowed by Government, they go out and coax lads to come and sit down in their schools without any charge. There is no instruction imparted, while at the same time a stop is put to their looking after their fathers' cows or other agricultural duties. While such is the state of things, it would appear that Mr. Campbell has directed his endeavours towards putting a stop to agriculture."
A very satisfactory feature of the new scheme is that the Mahomedans take to it just as kindly as the Hindoos. For instance, we find that of 36,997 pupils in the primary schools of the Rajshahye Division, regarding whom returns have been received, there are 18,380 Mahomedans to 18,613 Hindoos. The higher education of the upper classes of Mahomedans in Bengal is a subject beset with very great difficulties, but there seems to be no special difficulty regarding the education of the Mahomedan masses.
Arrangements have been made to establish in each
Normal Schools for Primary School district a Normal School for
teachers- the Primary School teachers.
While the Lieutenant-Governor is by no means clear that our modes of teaching are better than theirs (so far as they go), it is well that an opportunity should be taken of ascertaining their qualifications, accustoming them to our ways, and showing them something of our methods. With this object they are invited as far as possible to take in rotation a short period of training or observation in the Normal Schools, and to the younger men at any rate something may be taught. It is necessary, too, to increase the number of competent teachers, in the hope that the Primary School system will eventually be much extended, and these Normal Schools serve as nurseries for the production of schoolmasters. In truth the 13,000 schools or thereabouts which our present funds have enabled us to establish (the number was above 11,000 sometime back, and it is believed that the full number is almost completed by this time) are, among so vast a population, but a drop in the ocean of ignorance, and by no means likely "to put a stop to agriculture," as the Mirror of Society apprehends. We have not funds to do more at present, or we should like to do very much more as soon as we can get the money and the machinery. But
no school rate has been possible; Education fun<h f°r Primary while there has been no addition
to the imperial grant for the purpose of extending primary instruction. In order to make this experiment,the Lieutenant-Governor has been able to provide in the present year about £50,000,derived from economies in other services, and he has money in hand which, if not absorbed by famine requirements, would suffice to carry on the schools for a year or two longer. Beyond that we can only trust that somehow the means will be found. An account of the situation of the educational finance question will be found in Chapter XXII (Provincial and Local Financed, page 360, under the head of Education Cesses.
With respect to English and higher education, Sir
George Campbell has sometimes high^du:iL:egardtoCollege8and been represented as hostile. In
truth it is not so. He has sought to increase the means of primary instruction without detracting from those devoted to higher instruction. Anxious to promote higher instruction also, he has hoped that as it progresses and the well established institutions become more and more self-supporting, the funds set free will become available for further extensions. He has not diminished by a farthing the allotments for higher instruction. Whatever changes he has made have only been in the direction of reallotment and readjustment. He has sought to save something in the large sums devoted to the teaching of Metaphysics, Philosophy, and such subjects, by substituting very competent but less highly paid Native Professors for expensive European Professors, but the money saved has been devoted to obtaining Professors of Science including Agriculture and some special subjects. If he has diminished the strength of some Colleges where he thought first-class Colleges were too many, he has much increased the strength, and he hopes the efficiency, of others, especially of the Presidency College (which he has for the first time provided with a very extensive and commodious building,) and the Hooghly College. This latter he seeks to make a Civil Service and special College for Agricultural and Practical Arts as well as a place of general education. In the two great Provincial centres of Patna and Dacca he is also trying to render the Colleges as complete and efficient as possible. We have succeeded in directing more attention to the specially useful arts of engineering and medicine, and have diverted to these subjects some of the youthful native talent hitherto too much devoted to law. The Engineering College at the Presidency has of late been much extended. A new vernacular school of medicine, with several hundred pupils, has just been opened to relieve the* overcrowded Medical College (said to be the largest medical school in the world), while arrangements have been made for similar schools at Patna and Dacca.
Details regarding the scientific and other teaching which _. . ,. . has been undertaken will be
Scientific practical instruction. r ■. . .
found in the proper chapter. It may suffice to say here "that arrangements for teaching the subjects of the alternative semi-scientific course which the University has now prescribed for degrees have been made at all the first-class colleges; while special chairs for teaching higher branches of chemistry, botany, and agriculture, have been instituted at the Presidency and Hooghly Colleges, carefully selected professors having been obtained from England by the kind aid of very eminent scientific men, to whom this Government is under the greatest obligation for their assistance.