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The aided normal schools are maintained by missionary bodies, with a view of training up teachers for their rural schools. At some of , . , these institutions youths of aboriginal
Missionary normal schools. , Tcr 1 r» Tt-c •
'races, such as Koles, Uoraons, Khasis,
and Sonthals, are trained for village schoolmasterships among people of their own race and tongue. These normal schools are very economically managed, and without them successful village schools among aboriginal races would be a very difficult matter.
Government female normal schools were established at Calcutta , , , and at Dacca. They were very costly,
Female normal schools. Jj-j x j • Ll j.
and did not succeed m attracting many pupils of a class which would make efficient schoolmistresses. It was, therefore, after very full experiment and careful consideration, decided to close these Government female normal schools, and to devote such funds as were available to aiding normal schools under a native management. In this way two considerable grants of Rs. 2,000 each per annum have already been made in aid of female normal schools in Calcutta. A grant of Rs. 3,000 a year had been promised some years ago to a female normal school in Rajshahye, to which Rs. 1,500 a year are contributed by the Rajah of Nattore of the Rajshahye district. An English schoolmistress has charge of the school, which as yet has very few pupils, and is not in a very flourishing condition. The private normal schools for women in Calcutta have not been long in existence. The great majority of girls' schools are in the Central and Western Girls' schools districts of Bengal Proper, and especi
'ally in the town of Calcutta. There
are a few girls' schools in the Dacca district, but over the rest of the country there are hardly any girls' schools at all. Very many of the aided girls' schools are maintained by different missionary bodies. The education imparted in most girls' schools is of the simplest possible kind. Educated Bengalees of the upper and middle classes are now beginning to educate their daughters, and to seek for educated girls as brides for their sons. But for girls of this class, home or zenana teaching seems to be preferred to girls' schools. Home teaching of girls is to some extent practised outside Calcutta, but if Calcutta and a few large towns in Bengal be excepted, nearly all the efficient girls' schools are in the hands of the missionaries. A few little girls often attend the village patshalas and sit at the gooroomahashoy's (village dominie's) just to learn a little reading and writing with their brothers; but as a general rule it may be said that outside Calcutta, Dacca, and some few other towns in Central and Western Bengal, there are no girls' schools, and there is at present no demand for the education of girls or of women.
There are eleven Government colleges in Bengal for general
education, five aided colleges, and two Olleoeb. unaided colleges. Some of these are
called "High Schools," but for purposes of classification any institution which educates boys after they have become undergraduates of the Calcutta University is here reckoned as a college. The aided colleges are all kept up by missionary societies. Some colleges are first class, teaching up to the degree of Bachelor of Arts; others are second, teaching only up to the First Arts Examination. The following is a list of the colleges, &c, in Bengal, with the numbor of students according to the latest returns :—
At each first class college there are four professors, besides professors of special subjects ; at the second class colleges there are two professors.
The tuition fee payable at colleges is Rs. 12 a month at the Presidency College, and Rs 5 at colleges in the interior of Bengal. The policy of Government during the last two years has been to increase considerably the staff of professors and teachers competent to give instruction in natural and physical science, and to promote, by special scholarships, the study of these branches of learning. Already these measures are bearing fruit in a large increase to the number of students electing for the scienoe course at the University Examinations.
Of the schools spread all over the country, the higher class English Higher Schools Schools are those which educate up to
the standard of the University Entrance Examination. They are attended for the most part by the sons of comparatively well-to-do people, who can afford to pay monthly fees ranging from Re. 1 to Rs. 2-8 per month, and reaching even to Rs. 4 or 5 in some of the Calcutta schools. Most of the boys at these higher schools intend, if their parents can afford it, to prosecute their English studies until they become fit for Government employment, for the Medical College, or for the profession of advocate, pleader, or law agent. English, the Vernacular, and one of the older oriental languages, usually Sanskrit, are taught at all the higher schools. There is one Government school of this class at the head-quarters of each district, and one attached to every college.
* Opeued on the 1st April 1873.
Among "middle schools" are ranked all the English schools which
,. „„ do not train up to the University
Middle Schools. -,, . . , * , , . »
Entrance standard, and a certain number of vernacular schools which teach more subjects than are included in the primary school course. The "middle schools" include all, or nearly all, the Anglo-vernacular schools established and managed by native committees. In about one-third of these Government middle schools English as well as the vernacular is taught. Of all schools in Bengal these middle schools receive most support from the people themselves. The great majority of the middle schools are in the Western, Central, and Eastern districts.
The Government of Bengal first directed its attention to primary
education eleven or twelve years ago,
Primary instruction. , , , » < ... jP'
and a system was begun of instituting or aiding village patshalas at a cost of Es. 15 for each patshala. A second system of what were called circle schools was also tried, whereby four patshalas were formed into one circle, over which was placed a trained teacher, whose business it was to visit and teach at each patshala in turn, and to direct the teaching of the indigenous schoolmasters. Recently, however, the scheme has been much modified and extended. A plan for systematically establishing Government primary schools into all districts, and of localizing their administration, has been framed, and a total Government grant amounting to Us. 5,30,000 a year is now allotted for primary education.
Indigenous schools are of two kinds, namely, patshalas or ordinary
village schools, where the vernacular of Indigenous Schools. S. , . , '■, • , i -i-, ,
the district, whether it be Bengalee,
Ilindee, Ooriya, or Assamese, is taught; and muktabs or Mahomedan village schools, where the Koran is taught. In one or two Bengal districts there exist a certain number of Sanskrit schools called "tols," in each of which a few men are trained in Sanskrit and in the sacred writings of the Hindoos. In patshalas, and in a few muktabs, reading and writing the running hand of the country, elementary arithmetic, and bazaar account-keeping, are taught. The teacher of these indigenous village schools is generally a villager who knows nothing beyond reading, writing, and ciphering; but he teaches these to the school-boys well enough after the native fashion. Sometimes a village school is nothing more than a group of five or six boys, who collect for two or three hours a day at the village shop, and get a little elementary instruction from the half-educated shopkeeper. Muktabs, or Mahomedan schools, are often held in mosques or in the house of some comparatively wealthy Mahomedan villager, who can afford to keep a moulvie and to let his neighbours' sons come and learn with his children. The master of a village school gets what fees he can in money or in rice from the little boys and girls who attend his school; rich parents may pay three or four annas a month, or even more: but an ordinary village schoolmaster probably does not earn more than lis. 5 a month. The number of boys attending a village school varies of course with the size of the village: in a small village the patshala may contain 10 or 12 boys and girls, while in large towns indigenous patshalas of the same type may have about 50 or 60 boys on their rolls. The attendance at patehalas is not very regular, but still the boys at these village schools do undoubtedly acquire enough knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic to be very useful to them in the ordinary affairs of their lives. Perhaps 15 to 20 boys would be a full average attendance for indigenous village schools all over the country.
Revised scholarship rules have recently been issued, whereby— 410 primary school scholarships of Es. 3 a month, tenable for two
years, are allotted to the several districts of Bengal; Es. 60,000 have been distributed to the different districts, to be devoted, as the District Committees may decide, to constituting either minor scholarships of Es. 5 a month, tenable for two years for English schools, or vernacular scholarships of Es. 4 a month, tenable for four years, for vernacular schools;
160 junior scholarships are allotted to the several divisions (Commissionerships);
50 senior scholarships are allotted to the several divisions and districts which contain colleges.
For the encouragement of physical and practical science it has been provided that papers in physical geography, botany, physical science and surveying, should be set at the vernacular and minor scholarship examinations; that not less than one-half the junior scholarships of each district must be held by boys who had qualified at a previous examination in physical geography, drawing, and surveying; and that not less than half the senior scholarship-holders must choose the alternative science course instead of the arts course laid down by the University for candidates for the degree of B.A.
The total cost of all these scholarships is—
Primary scholarships .. .. 29,520
Minor and vernacular scholarships .. .. 60,000
Junior scholarships 46,800
Total .. 1,61,520
Hitherto there had been no scholarships for the lowest class of schools. Scholarships have now been assigned to encourage the primary schools and to enable a few selected boys to prosecute their studies in schools of the next higher grade or middle class schools. The minor and vernacular scholarships are tenable for two or four years. Two years have been allowed for boys who have received an English education and take the scholarships to qualify for the Entrance standard, while for boys coming from purely vernacular schools four years are allowed. For the higher schools the junior college scholarships are given in large numbers. These are tenable for two years, and enable clever youths from the schools established in every part of the country to follow the various courses in literature, science, art, and
special Civil Service subjects or to 'the First Arts examination, or to corresponding standard in other subjects. Finally, for the successful students up to this latter point, the senior scholarships provide the means of prosecuting higher studies for two years more, and attaining the highest acquirements and degrees. There are also a number of special scholarships for students of medicine, engineering, art, Sanskrit, and Arabic, and a few privately-endowed scholarships.
Much attention has recently been paid to physical science and _ . 1.. ,. physical teaching in Bengal. The
Scientific and technical teaching. 1 ± T • A A n •
B present JLieutenant-Governor is con
vinced that there is too much instruction in languages and too little teaching of practical arts and sciences imparted under the old educational system, and in this view has effected arrangements under which what is called technical education has been to a considerable extent carried out. It was felt that the study of literature and mental philosophy at our schools and colleges had, if anything, been overdone, and that it was absolutely necessary to provide for the rising generation of students some training in more practical subjects. In these provinces, for instance, where so large a proportion of the population is directly interested in land or agriculture, it was obvious that the urgent need of men duly qualified in land surveying, both for the public service and their own private work, should not be allowed to remain unsatisfied. The study of physical geography—comprehending in this term an elementary and popular knowledge of the globe and of the things that grow or creatures that live upon it, such as is now taught under this designation in many European schools—was also completely non-existent, and the Lieutenant-Governor has thought it very desirable to introduce physical geography in this wide sense into our schools generally, as a first instalment of popular science.
At the same time the University has recently adopted an alternative course of study, which to a certain extent substitutes physical geography, applied mathematics, chemistry, and natural science, for classical languages, mental philosophy, and the higher branches of pure mathematics, and it was desirable that Government should keep up with the University measures and provide facilities for learning the course which might be laid down for the subjects of physical and practical science.
Under these circumstances Sir George Campbell has succeeded in securing from England, through the Secretary of State, the services of two accomplished Professors, the one a professor of vegetable physiology and botany, and the other of agricultural chemistry, and these gentlemen have entered on their duties in the Educational Department during the course of the past year. Teachers of chemistry and other sciences have been supplied to several of the colleges. Arrangements have also been completed for attaching teachers of drawing, physical geography, and the use of engineering materials, and surveying, to many of the principal Government schools which had previously confined themselves to a course of training principally linguistic. Special rewards have been offered to induce masters at district schools to qualify as survey and science teachers.