In 1929, the Hartog Committee submitted its report. This Committee was appointed to survey the growth of education in British India. It “devoted far more attention to mass education than Secondary and University Education”. The committee was not satisfied with the scanty growth of literacy in the country and highlighted the problem of ‘Wastage’ and ‘Stagnation’ at the primary level.
It mentioned that the great waste of money and efforts which resulted because of the pupils leaving their schools before completing the particular stage of education. Its conclusion was that “out of every 100 pupils (boys and girls) who were in class I in 1922-23, only 18 were reading in class IV in 1925-26. So, it suggested the following important measures for the improvement of primary education.
- Adoption of the policy of consolidation in place of multiplication of schools.
- Fixation of the duration of primary course to four years.
- Improvement in the quality, training, status, pay, service condition of teachers.
- Relating the curricula and methods of teaching to the conditions of villages in which children live and read.
- Adjustment of school hours and holidays to seasonal and local requirements.
- Increasing the number of Government inspection staff.
Wardha Scheme of Basic Education, 1937
The Wardha Scheme of Education was the outcome of sound thinking of Gandhiji, who initiated and strengthened several constructive programmes for the economic, educational and social development of the people. He considered education as an effective instrument of national reconstruction.
At the Round Table Conference in London (1931), Gandhi pointed out the ineffectiveness of the system of primary education in India and the alarming low percentage of literacy among Indian people. He held the policy of the British Government responsible for this painful situation in the field of mass education.
After the end of the Second World War, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) in India published a comprehensive report on the “Post-War Educational Development in India” in the country.
This was the first systematic and national level attempt to review the problems of education as a whole. It is also known as Sargent Plan after John Sargent, the then Educational Advisor to the Government of India.
The object of the Plan was to create in India, in a period of not less than forty years, the same standard of educational attainments as had already been admitted in England. It is worth mentioning here that this plan was proposed by the British Government in order to counter the attempts made by leaders of the freedom movement to evolve a National System of Education (such as the Wardha Scheme).