What were the Recommendations of Secondary Education Commission (1952-53)?

The Commission has defined the aims of secondary education in the following manner:

1. To Produce Ideal Citizens

The Commission has realised that no nation can progress without a national feeling along with social feeling. Therefore, it has laid down that the aim of secondary education should be to produce such ideal citizens who imbued with strong national and social feeling are prepared to shoulder their responsibilities and duties and can easily offer any sacrifice for the sake of their nation.

Such citizens should have co-operative feeling directed towards universal brotherhood. While describing the national spirit the Commission has sub-divided it into three parts:

(a) In the first part the Commission has explained the concept of national feeling. Then it has urged that the students of the country should have faith in the greatness and importance of culture of their country and they should feel proud of the same

(b) In the second part the Commission suggests that the student should himself make a self-study and analyze his own positive and negative traits with a view to improve his character and personality.

(c) In the third part it has been emphasized by the Commission that one should be prepared to make any sacrifice for the nation.

2. To Develop Capacity for Earning Money

The Commission is of the view that after having received secondary education one should be able to earn enough for maintaining himself. For developing this capacity vocational subjects should be introduced in the curriculum.

3. Quality of Leadership

Secondary education should develop the quality of leadership in students. This quality is very necessary for the sake of democracy and for the development of the country as a whole.

4. To Develop Human Virtues

Man is a social animal. So he should have the spirit of co-operation, discipline, humility, love, kindness and the feeling of brotherhood. The curriculum must have such subjects which may inculcate these virtues in students. Science, literature, fine arts, humanities, music and dance are some of such subjects.

Duration of Secondary Education

The Commission has recommended that the secondary education should be for children between 11 to 17 years of age. It has divided this seven years' education into two parts-(1) Junior High School stage for three years and (2) High School for four years.

The Commission has recommended the introduction of three years' degree course. For this secondary education should continue up to the eleventh class and the twelfth class should be added to the first degree course (B.A., B.Sc. or B.Com.) of the university. Thus the Commission has suggested the abolition of intermediate colleges existing in some parts of the country.

The Commission has suggested the following changes in the secondary school curriculum:

1. To open multi-purpose schools according to the varying interests of students.

2. The multi-purpose schools should be opened near the industrial institutions. The students of these two types of institutions should learn from each other.

3. Agriculture should be made a compulsory subject for schools in villages.

4. In big cities 'technical area' should be established on the demands of the local public.

5. Home science should be made compulsory for girls and other subjects should be common for both boys and girls.

Medium of Instruction

The mother tongue or the State language should be made the medium of instruction in this connection; the Commission expressed the following ideas also:

1. The students should be taught at least two languages at the junior high school stage.

2. The Commission has suggested that at the secondary stage a student should learn at least three languages, the national language, the mother tongue or the regional language and a foreign language.

Curriculum

The Commission has emphasized the necessity of reorganizing the secondary school curriculum in order that the aims of education may be realised. In this connection the Commission wants that:

1. The curriculum should be recognized according to the interests of the students.

2. It should be determined for meeting the social aspirations.

3. It should be reorganized keeping in view the demands of the times and those of the country.

4. It should be so organized that the student's time and leisure may not be wasted.

Subjects of Lower Secondary Education

The Commission has suggested mathematics, general science, languages, social studies, physical education, art, handicraft and music etc., for this stage.

Subjects for Secondary Education

For this stage the Commissionhas suggested seven groups of subjects as below:

1. Humanities.

2. Sciences.

3. Agriculture.

4. Fine Arts.

5. Industrial subjects.

6. Commercial subjects.

7. Home Science.

Selection of Text Books

The Commission has opened that text-books should be selected on the basis of their merits and utility. For this purpose the Commission has recommended the appointment of a High Power Committee which will select books for all the classes.

The standard of production, printing and paper used and pictures and illustrations incorporated and suitable content will be the basis of selection. In the opinion of the Commission the following persons will constitute the High Power Committee for selection of text-books:

1. A High Court Judge.

2. A Principal of some government educational institution.

3. A member of the Public Service Commission.

4. A Vice-Chancellor of a university.

5. Two eminent educationalists and the Director of Education of the State.

The Commission has further suggested that the text-book once chosen should not be changed soon.

In addition to text-books each school should have some such books which may impart general knowledge to students.

The teachers should also be provided with new literature and books in order to keep up their interests alive.

Character Formation

Character formation is an important aim of secondary education. This is useful not only for the individual but also for the nation. In fact the character of the nation is reflected by the character of its citizens. Therefore, for raising the character of the nation the character of the students should be well formed.

Health Education

All the students should be medically examined at least twice a year. Full medical facilities should be available for ailing students. They should be given knowledge of health principles also.

Teaching Method

For improving the standard of teaching the Commission has suggested that the Central Government should appoint a Committee of Experts which should make research for finding out ways and means for improving the teaching methods.

Improvement of Teachers status

1. Trained teachers should be appointed to teach higher classes.

2. The policy of same pay for the same work and ability should be adopted.

3. Teachers should be given handsome salary in order that the society may respect them.

4. Teachers should be given pension, provident fund and life insurance benefits in order to give then some economic security. The Government should provide these facilities.

5. The children of teachers should be given free education.

6. Teachers and their dependents should be given free medical service.

7. Separate committees should be appointed for removing the difficulties of teachers.

8. The retirement age for teachers should be 60 years.

9. The teachers should not be permitted to take up tuition of students.

Training and Qualifications of Teachers

The Commission has suggested that for junior classes at least higher secondary school and for senior classes at least graduate teachers should be appointed. These teachers should be given two years training.

Management and Administration of Secondary Schools

The Commission has given the following suggestions in this respect:

1. The post of Education Director should be equivalent to the Joint Secretary of the secretariat and he should advise the minister in this capacity.

2. Central and State Committees should be organised for giving advice on secondary education.

3. The District Inspector of Schools should not only find faults with teachers but should also assist them in performance of their duties. They should solve their problems arising from time to time and should acquaint them with latest developments in the field of education.

4. The Secondary Education Board should be organised under the chairmanship of Education Director who should arrange for secondary education in his State.

5. A Board for teachers' training should be established.

6. New schools should be recognised only when they fulfill all conditions.

7. The State Government should organise a Committee for management and administration of schools. This Committee should be responsible for the management and administration of schools, but it must not interfere with the work of the Principal.

Finance

For this the Commission has given the following suggestions:

1. The Government should be responsible for providing vocational education.

2. Industrial education should be levied for the development of vocational and technical education.

3. The Centre should give financial aid to States for education.

4. No octopi and toll tax should be levied on goods purchased for education institutions.

Duration of Session and Leave

1. The school should be opened at least for 200 days a year.

2. The schools in rural areas should be closed at least for 7 days at the time of sowing and harvesting in order that the students may help their family in agricultural pursuits.

3. The number of holidays is reduced.

4. At least 35 hours should be devoted for teaching per week.

5. The principal should be empowered to decide, about local holidays and school hours.

6. The student should get at least 10 to 15 days' leave during a session. The summer vacation should be for two months.

Arrangement of Buildings

1. School buildings should be away from the hubbub and noise of cities. They should be situated in peaceful atmosphere.

2. The school building should be adequately ventilated.

3. A class should not consist of more than 40 students.

4. There should be proper desks and chairs in the schools.

5. Each school should have a big hall where all the students may assemble for some group programme. This hall should be decorated with pictures of great national leaders of different walks of life.

6. There should be a well equipped reading room in each school where the students should get newspapers, periodicals, magazines and other literatures of general knowledge.

Defects in Secondary Education

The defects of secondary education have been pointed out by a number of commissions. It does not prepare adolescent boys and girls for the pursuit of higher education adequately because, among those who take admission in the university, there is a great incidence of failure in the first year of the first degree course.

The Secondary education is too academic and far removed from the problems of life and therefore it is incapable of fulfilling its second objective of equipping boys and girls to enter life confidently and earn their living. The defects in the school education as highlighted by the Mudaliar Commission are given below.

1. An Emphasis on Book Learning

The school education does not inculcate in the student the habit of thinking and clear expression. He is unable to reason and sole problems. His expression is weak. Neither can he neither speak nor write.

The instruction is bookish. Answers are crammed. Examinations are passed. But no ability is produced for creative thinking and expression.

2. Neglect of Co curricular Activities

The emphasis on book learning is so great that all students are supposed to be equally interested in studies. Co curricular activities are neglected. Facilities for organising such activities in secondary schools are limited.

There is paucity of funds. Curricular load is so heavy that teachers and students find time to engage themselves in group games, recreational activities, games and sports, debates and dramas.

3. Education One-sided

The school education is one-sided. It trains the intellect and leaves other aspects of personality undeveloped. It aims only at mental growth and development. Little attention is given to the social or emotional development of the child and the youth.

It does not cultivate a sense of moral and social responsibility. It does not emphasize character-building.

No efforts are made to cultivate interests, attitudes and values for a socialistic society. No arrangements exist for imparting moral instruction. Study of religious is lost sight of.

4. Education Unilateral

The school education is unilateral. Secondary schools are one-track schools. They prepare students only for the university. There is little scope for diversification of studies. Individual differences in needs, interests, aptitudes and mental abilities are ignored and all have to pass through the same strait jackets.

5. Teaching Methods Defective

The teaching methods are defective. In no secondary school you will find dynamic methods of teaching being followed. Though great efforts have been expended during the last two decades on familiarizing school teachers with right techniques and activity methods through workshops, seminars and refresher courses, yet classroom teaching shows little improvement.

Audio-visual aids, the radio and the T.V. have been provided to some schools generously, but their effect is insignificant. The average teacher suffers from a lack of professional preparation.

Educational research on teaching methods suited to Indian needs is nowhere conducted. The existing educational system is rigid and does not encourage initiative, creativity and experimentation the administrative machinery is not at all concerned with diffusing and dynamic methods of teaching.

6. Class Sizes Big

The number of pupils in each class in most of the secondary schools is too great. There is no teacher-pupil relationship, and hence no personal contact is possible.

No improvement in methods of teaching is possible when a teacher is required to teach very large class every day and in every period allotted to him. Class sizes in schools where extension of buildings is not possible have grown formidably great.

7. Quality of Text-books Defective

The quality of text-books, teachers' guides and teaching materials is not satisfactory; probably there has been no serious effort either on the Central or on the state level to produce good quality text-books.

The top ranking scholars do not like the job. There are malpractices in the selection and prescription. The publishers who are interested in profits do to produce teachers' guides to accompany text-books.

8. Examination System Improper

The evils of examination system are known to everybody. These defects have been pointed out, time and again, by committees and commissions. The Secondary Education Commission (1952-53) devoted a whole chapter to surveying the limitations of the present examination system and suggesting ways of improvement.

The movement of examination reform that started after the publication of the report does not seem to have the desired impact on objectives, learning experiences and evaluation procedures in school education.

9. Guidance and Counseling Facilities Inadequate

Little has been done in the matter of guidance services to secondary school pupils. To supply a trained guidance worker to every school is difficult. It would be unrealistic to think of providing qualified counselors to all schools.

Yet resources could have been mobilised during the 20 years that have elapsed since the setting up of a Central Bureau of Educational and Vocational Guidance in 1954

The report of the Education Commission (1964-66)

A national system of education is one which is established firmly on the basic values and traditions which a nation normally clings to. It tends to support national goal and tries to meet the national objectives.

The system of education that existed in the country prior to 1937 had been a foreign plant forced to grow on Indian soil. It was transplanted in India by British rulers and we had to cling to it for more than a century 'because it happened to be in tune with the traditional hierarchical structure of our society'. Else, it had no right to exist.

The English people did try to improve the system from time to time but failed to evolve a system that could satisfy people's aspirations.

Many commissions and committees were appointed to suggest improvements in the system of education prior to 1947. But problems studied by them were specific in nature. They examined the issues one by one. The entire field was not surveyed and viewed.

The significant role that education could play in the economic and social development of the country, in the building of a truly democratic society, in the promotion of national unity could not be realised before 1960, because the conditions were different.

The Education Commission 1964-66 was charged with the responsibilities of examining the entire field of educational development and of advising the Government on the national policies of a fresh educational reconstruction. The Report that the Commission submitted on June 28, 1966 has been the most comprehensive piece of work on education published so far.

The First Service Attempt to Review all Aspects of Education

It contains recommendations on all aspects of education. It covers education at all levels from the pre-primary through the secondary to the higher. It highlights not only the existing defects in the system at each level, but also offers practical suggestion for eradicating them.

The width of scope covered can be gauged through a review of the sections of the report itself. The Report is divided into three parts. The first part deals with general problems of Indian education.

Some of these are: How can a national system of education contribute to national development? What should be national pattern of education- How can teacher's socio-economic status be raised? How can qualitative improvement of education be achieved? How can social justice be achieved in the field of education?

The second part of the Report covers different stages and sectors of education. Stages are related to school and universe education and sectors are concerned with agricultural, technical and vocational education.

The aspects of school education covered are the problems of expansion, curriculum, teaching methods, text-books, guidance, evaluation, administration and supervision.

Some of the problems relating to higher education are those that are connected with the establishment of major universities, programmes of qualitative improvement, enrolment and university governance.

The second part deals with problems of agricultural, vocational, technical and engineering education, and those of science education and research and of adult education.

The last part of the Report deals with the problems of implementation, namely, educational planning and administration and educational finance.

It is the first serious attempt to examine all aspects of education (at all levels). Shri M.C. Chhagla did not exaggerate when he remarked that the Report is 'a unique document'. It provides realistic and categorical answers to questions in education.

Controversial problems have been examined from all possible angles and definite solutions have been suggested. For example, the Report gives an exact answer to the language question for the first time. The answer has satisfied all.

It says that by 1975 Regional languages should become the media of instruction at all stages including the university stage, that English may continue to be the link language of the intellectual people for some time, that it may be replaced by Hindi (the language of the Centre) sooner or later, and that Hindi should not be a compulsory subject in non-Hindi speaking areas.

The Report is a serious attempt, because whatever suggestions °r recommendations it presents are practical and can be implemented. When the Report was published, doubts were raised and the following questions were asked:

'Is the game worth the candle?"

"Is it not going to meet the same fate as its predecessors?"

"Will it not be devaluated in course of time?"