The present system of education in India has
failed to meet the vital needs of national life; it is
hopelessly out of touch with social and economic realities and
envisions no creative and inspiring ideal. Far-reaching reforms,
therefore, will have to be introduced under the swaraj
Constitution. The following are a few key points:1
a. Basic education shall be free and
compulsory. It shall be imparted to all boys and girls up to
the age of 14, through a productive craft like spinning,
weaving and agriculture. Such education would serve a treble
purpose in a poor country like India, namely, (1) It would
impart sound knowledge to students; (2) It would meet most or
part of the cost of education; (3) It would make students
generally fit for a vocation in life.
b. There shall be absolutely no corporal
punishment in educational institutions.
c. The medium of instruction at all stages
of education shall be the mother tongue. The imposition of the
English medium of instruction has, indeed, been one of the
major educational tragedies in this country. "It has
sapped the energy of the nation, it has shortened the lives of
the pupils. It has estranged them from the masses; it has made
education unnecessarily expensive. If this process is still
persisted in, it bids fair to rob the nation of its
d. The village panchayats shall try to
liquidate illiteracy as early as possible. Adult education,
however, shall not be confined to the knowledge of the three R’s.
Adults shall be imparted general education in health, hygiene,
sanitation, agricultural efficiency, cooperatives and civic
rights. Hereto, the basis will be a craft.
e. University education shall be confined
mostly to higher technical training and research.
f. It shall be incumbent on a graduate to render free social
service for one year before receiving his or her degree.
The subject ‘Education’ should be
primarily under local jurisdiction. Grassroots governments
should manage state primary education. The district or city
government should regulate private primary education and manage
state higher secondary education. State governments should
regulate higher secondary education and manage state
universities. Private universities, subject to regulation by
autonomous professional councils, should be self-regulated.
There should be three types of educational
institutions, namely, (1) state owned providing subsidised
education to the needy, (2) private trusts providing free
infrastructure and charging fees to cover operating costs, and
(3) limited companies providing skill based education at profit
and giving dividends to investors. The first promotes equity,
the second excellence, and the third relevance. The fees of
state institutions should be determined on actual operating cost
and scholarship given to the needy. This will prevent wastage
and ensure that the wealthy do not benefit from the subsidy.
Private trusts should be allowed to charge any fee they
pre-notify and use the surplus to subsidise the needy, improve
infrastructure and expand. To facilitate innovation and
experimentation, state instead of national councils should
accredit standards of technical education.
Summer vacation is a colonial concept
designed by our foreign rulers to vacation in hills or in their
country during the warm tropical summer months. In the tropics,
vacation should be in the festive winter months to enable the
youth to partake in active sports and travel near and far to
absorb culture and environment. Deprived of such education, our
youth are presently less informed about cultural and
environmental issues than those in the west. The hostels, then
vacant in winter months, can be converted into low budget
tourist accommodation and will earn huge revenues for the
educational institutions while providing a useful facility. The
colonial practice of courts closing for summer vacation should
be discontinued as it increases litigation costs, delays and
harassment to citizens.
—- PEOPLE FIRST