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The liberality of His Highness the Maharajah of Vizianagram _ . .„ , has placed at the disposal of the Gov
Scientinc and technical scholarships. L i -rt u' i -n t ann
ernment oi Bengal the sum 01 Ks. 1,800 a year to be spent on scholarships for the encouragement of physical or practical science, and this grant has, with the Maharajah's consent, been devoted to the establishment of ten annual scholarships of Es. 7-8 a month each for proficiency in physical science or surveying. The measures that have been adopted to encourage practical science by making it a necessary subject at the different scholarship examinations have already been described.
In the body of the present annual report it is explained that _ .. _ . , annual examinations have been insti
Civil Service classes. , , , . , j>
tuted at which young men of education may prove their fitness for executive and other appointments in the native civil service. The regular preliminary course of instruction which is now insisted on and comes into force with the new year is also described. Civil service classes have been opened at the Hooghly and Presidency, Patna and Dacca Colleges.
"With a view of inducing Bengali students to cultivate their
physical powers, gymnasia have been
Gymnasia and physical teaching. j j_ 1 T_ i j n
opened at several schools and colleges in Bengal, especially in the colleges which maintain a civil service class, and gymnastics, riding, and walking, are actively practised by the students with fair success. The natives of Bengal have been found to distinguish themselves especially in gymnastic exercises, and it is confidently hoped that the result of judicious encouragement in this direction will do much to remove from Bengali students the reproach of unmanliness which has sometimes been cast against them, and counteract the effect which excessive and unremitting study certainly produces. At present it may be said that a very satisfactory progress has been made in this direction.
The rules under which grants are made to private persons
and bodies in aid of the schools they Gbast-is-aid Bdles. may establish are a very important
feature in the Bengal system of education. Most of the middle schools, and a great many of the higher schools in Bengal Proper, are maintained under this system; a few colleges also, established by different Missionary bodies, are largely aided with Government funds under these rules. As yet the aided school system has not flourished in Behar, Orissa, Assam, or the outlying parts of Bengal, and the system has moreover been found practically inapplicable to the extension of primary schools.
The grant-in-aid system is worked thus: Whatever sum of money the Government can afford (at present the amount is Rs. 5,20,000 a year) is distributed to the different districts of Bengal, with reference to their population, their educational advancement, and the number of aided schools already existing within their limits. This allotment is at the disposal of the District Committee, who make it go as far as they can by making small grants to schools which come within the rules. A normal school, or a technical school, or a girls' school, may receive a special grant amounting to more than the total of its private income; but no other school can have a grant-in-aid exceeding the amount of its private income from fees, subscriptions, and endowments. A middle school may, on its first establishment, have a grant equal to its private income; while a higher school grant may amount to two-thirds of its private income. Each grant holds good for five years, and is open to revision, reduction or withdrawal at the close of that period. Aided schools are obliged to render accounts every second month, to levy some small school fee, to permit inspection by Government officers, to pay their teachers regularly, and generally to conform to such simple rules as may from time to time be issued. Any failure to comply with the rules, or any diminution of the private income, renders an aided school liable to a reduction (temporary or permanent) of its grant. In the more advanced districts near Calcutta and Dacca, the full grant-in-aid allowed by the rules is rarely given; and on the completion of the five years for which a grant is made, it is usual to renew the Government aid at a lower rate, and thus to set free funds for the aid of new schools in the same neighbourhood. As yet (1873) schools which used to be aided can flourish without Government support only in Calcutta, Howrah, Dacca, parts of Hooghly, Kishnaghur, and such like centres of the educated population. But it is hoped that in the course of years higher and middle schools in all the more advanced districts may become independent of Government aid, that municipal funds will do what may be necessary to help new schools in the larger towns, and that the grant-in-aid allotment (which, though larger than it ever was before, is unhappily very insufficient for the great population of Bengal) may be available for promoting new schools in backward parts of the country.
The directing and inspecting agency of the Educational Depart,» , . ment consists of a Director, six In
pectors, and a large number of Deputy Inspectors; the cost of this organization used to be about Rs. 3,00,000 per annum; but with the extension of primary schools the subordinate inspecting agency has been increased. The Inspectors of Schools and their subordinates are allowed to devote their time completely to the work of inspecting schools, while the local administration of the educational funds, the establishment of new schools, the appointment of masters, and the extension of education generally, is in the hands of District Officers and District Committees, assisted and advised by the departmental officers.
The following re-arrangement of the educational circles has recently been carried into effect:—
i Deputy Inspector is attached to each district, except the of Assam, including Goalparah and the Garo and Khasi
Hills. Special arrangements Tiave also been made for the Sonthal Pergunnahs, for the Chittagong Hill Tracts, for Singbhoom, and for any other wild and peculiarly situated districts. The subordinate Deputy Inspectors are posted to sub-divisions, when this oan be done conveniently. A class of Sub-Deputy Inspectors, men on Rs. 30 or Rs. 40 per mensem, has been appointed to circulate among and inspect the patshalas; one suoh Deputy Inspector is attaohed to every considerable sub-division of a district.
The Deputy Inspectors of each district are under the authority . of the Magistrate and Collector.
D»tnct Comnutte* In each district a district school com
mittee of residents in all parts of the district has been appointed. The Commissioner exercises a general supervision and control over the committees, and, if present, presides at the meetings of the committee. The Magistrate and Collector is Vice-President, and takes the chair when the Commissioner is not present, delegating this duty to any other member acceptable to the committee generally when he is not present himself. The Inspector of the circle is cx-officio a member of all committees. The Vice-President is the active head of the Committee, and carries on the duties through the Deputy Inspectors and the Secretary, subject to the resolutions of the committee. The head-master of the Government school or other educational officer selected is Secretary to the committee. The Deputy or Sub-Deputy Inspectors of sub-divisions are placed under the sub-divisional officers.
All ordinary Government schools are under the management and
_ . , - supervision of the committee. The
Their functions. n *■ , n . . .
Ixovernment allot a certain sum for grants-in-aid to each district, distinguishing the allotment for middle and higher education and that for primary education. Grants for aided schools of the former class are made on the recommendation of the committee, the opinion of the Inspector being required in each case; while the sums devoted to primary education are allotted by the Magistrate and Collector with the advice of the committee. In regard, however, to the higher and middle schools classed as aided, the district committees having assigned the grants have no authority to interfere with the local committees or other managers of these schools. The inspecting officer sees that the conditions of the grants are complied with, but subject to these conditions the local management of aided schools is as unfettered as possible.
In all districts of the Bengal province, where aided schools of the higher and middle classes abound, the inspection and control of any or all such schools may, with the Commissioner's consent, be left in the hands of the Circle Inspector. The training or normal schools are under the Magistrate, acting with the advice of the committee. All colleges educating up to the B.A. standard are independent of the District Committees.
The Inspectors in the Education Department now occupy towards the local authorities much the same position that Government Inspectors of Education, Police, and other departments occupy in England. They axe the agents of the Government, to whom the Government looks to see that the local authorities fulfil the conditions on which grants are made to them; that the schoolmasters are efficient; that schools are well managed; that pupils are well taught; that the accounts are reliable and correct; that instruction is conducted in accordance with the general rules laid down; and that scholarships and rewards are fairly given.
The Director-General of Public Instruction is the medium of communication between the local and inspecting authorities and the Government, the adviser of the Government in educational matters, the condenser and compiler of statistical information, and the organ of the views of Government.
The primary school system recently instituted is so important that a more full account of it has been reserved and will now be given.
In past times the village school was probably one of the institu_ ,. _, , , ,tions of every large village or rural
Indigenous village schools ot the past. !<. "D "T> 1
seli-governuig commune in Bengal. But for many years, perhaps for centuries, this village school (or patshala as it is called) has received scanty support from the people, and none at all from the Government. Mr. Adams framed, many years ago, an estimate of the number of indigenous village schools he thought there might be in Bengal; but from Mr. Adams' time down to 1872 no attempt was made, so far as we can trace, to ascertain the number or the calibre of the indigenous schools of Bengal. At the census some 13,500 indigenous schools were returned as actually counted; for some districts the return of schools was not made, and subsequent inquiries have induced the Lieutenant-Governor
And of recent times *° De^eve *Qa* there are probably at
'° rutnt least 18,000 indigenous schools in the
provinces of Bengal. Primary schools under missionary organization are mostly confined to the highland and aboriginal tribes, among whom Christian Missionaries have laboured with much zeal and success.
Indigenous schools are most abundant in the secluded and, in some respects, backward province of Orissa, where there is more than one patshala to every three villages or townships; they are fairly numerous in Western and Central Bengal, but village sohools are rare in Behar and Eastern Bengal, and the returns show only one school to every fifty or sixty villages in some districts. Some officers who know the country best believe that there are in Bengal many more places for teaching children than the census returns show. But so far as we have been able to effect a census of the people who could read and write in the town and suburbs of Calcutta and of tracts in the metropolitan districts, the educational destitution of the country is most lamentable. In a large tract near Calcutta only 2 J per cent, of the population could read and write. The need for rural schools in Bengal attracted the attention of the , . _ . , Home authorities, and in their educa
Orders of the Court of Wore. ^ Qf ^ ^ Hon'ble
Court of Directors wrote: "Very little has hitherto been done in Bengal for the education of the mass of the people • • * •
the attention of the Government of Bengal should he seriously directed to the consideration of some plan for the encouragement of indigenous Bchools and for the education of the lower classes." This injunction has since been frequently repeated by the Government of India and by successive Secretaries of State. ■
In the Bengal Government the matter was first taken up by Lord _ , , , Hardinge, and again it was revived by
PatshaU scheme of I860. rj- TV. n IP n L J
©it John (irants fcrovernment, and a scheme was framed for aiding existing village schools with money grants, and for bringing such schools under regular inspection and supervision.
The plans on which were prepared these village schools were good; they were to be improved village schools of the old indigenous type; they were to teach village boys to read and write and cipher; and their teachers were to be villagers who would be content to be rural schoolmasters and nothing else to their lives' end. But funds were scanty, and perhaps the Educational Department did not enter so heartily into the scheme as it did into arrangements for colleges and high schools: at any rate, while increased grants were made to higher education, the total grant for primary schools was very small. Such as it was, it was principally devoted to schools which, though so called, were not really primary, being rather middle class schools. Even after the grant of some additional funds for primary education by the present Lieutenant-Governor at the end of 1871, the so-called primary school grant was only Es. 1,30,000 a year at the end of 1871, and the total number of Government schools called primary was only 1,900, or about one to 39,500 souls.
t . ., . Even these schools were very unequally
Limited effect given thereto. ,. , , , - _-A J . S
distributed; about 1,000 were situate m some twelve districts of Western and Central Bengal, so that the primary school system, such as it was, had hardly been extended at all to Eastern Bengal, Assam, Behar, and Orissa.
"The consideration of providing primary education for the general
body of the population" had been spe
Grv7rDor?8bef0retbepreSentLieUtenant' cia% commended by Her Majesty's
Secretary of State to the present Lieutenant-Governor. When Sir George Campbell came to review the position, he found that the two great questions were, (1) whence should money be found for the extension of primary schools, and (2) what was the best means of effecting such extension.
Bengal alone of all the provinces of India has never been aided in any way by grants for local and municipal funds; there was no local _ , rating for education in Bengal, and for
Ways and means. D , . , , i ° , . ,
reasons which are elsewhere explained no such rating has been possible. If the present Lieutenant-Governor was to make a beginning of primary education, it behoved him then to do so with such funds as he could make available. It so happened that the Bengal provincial funds, which had been made over to the local Government just at the time of Sir George Campbell's appointment to Bengal, had, during the first eighteen months of (what has been called) the decentralization system, been carefully husbanded. Accordingly the Lieutenant-Governor found himself able during 1872 further