INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATION IN ASSAM

 

UNIT STRUCTURE

1. Learning Objectives
2. Introduction
3. Development of Education in Assam at Secondary Stage during the Pre – Independence period.
4. Development of Education in Assam at Secondary stage during the Post – Independence period.

1. Establishment of Gauhati University and its impact on the growth of Secondary Education in Assam.
2. Effect of the Recommendations of Secondary Education Commission on Secondary Education in Assam.
5. Effect of the Recommendations of the Kothari Commission on Secondary Education in Assam.
6. National Policy on Education (1986) and Secondary Education in Assam.
7. Problems of Secondary Education in Assam.
8. Let Us Sum Up
9. Answers to Check Your Progress
10. Possible Questions
11. References

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 
After going through this unit, you will be able to:
Explain the development of secondary education in Assam during Pre– Independence period.
State the major recommendations of Secondary Education Commission (1952 – 53) and its impact in the development of secondary education in Assam.
State the major recommendations of Kothari Commission (1964 – 66) and its impact on the development of secondary education in Assam.
Discuss the recent development in secondary education as per the National Policy on Education.
Discuss the problems of secondary education in Assam.

INTRODUCTION


Secondary education is a stage of education that is imparted after primary education and before higher education. It is that stage of education which helps children to become efficient members of a complex modern society. Secondary education is the connecting link between primary education and higher education. Both primary education and higher education are closely related to secondary education as it is a bridge between two.In fact it is the stepping stone to university education and other professional education. This unit will familiarise us with the development of secondary education in Assam since Pre – Independence period till the present day.
 

DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION IN ASSAM AT SECONDARY STAGE DURING PRE– INDEPENDENCE PERIOD



Prior to the British rule, there was no such formal system of secondary education in India. It was the minutes submitted by Lord Macaulay and subsequent resolutions passed by the Governor General Lord Willium Bentinck in 1835 that led to the establishment of schools teaching western literature and science. Gradually western education became more popular as educated Indians were offered high posts under the Government.

In Assam secondary education was started in the year 1835. (At that time administrative Headquarter of East India Company was Calcutta and Assam was a part of Bengal.) As per the recommendations of the General Committee of Public Instruction, the Commissioner of Assam, Captain Jenkins started an English school at Gauhati in 1835. This school was known as “Guwahati Seminari” which is the present Cotton Collegiate School in Panbazar. In 1841 another high school was established in Sibsagar which is presently known as “Sibsagar Govt. Higher Secondary school”.

In the history of Indian Education Wood’s Despatch holds a unique position. It has contributed much in organizing the present education system in India. As per the recommendation of Wood’s Despatch in 1854, Department of Education was created in each province. In Assam such a Department of Education was created in 1874 when Assam was separated from Bengal. A Director of Public Instruction was appointed. The environment for development of education in Assam was created only after the creation of a separate Department under the Director of Public Instruction.

In 1882 Hunter Commission made important recommendations on secondary education. The commission recommended that Government should gradually withdraw from secondary education leaving the responsibility to private enterprise. In each district there should be one Govt. high school as a model to the private schools. The Government should sanction grants – in – aid to private bodies for expansion of secondary education. In Assam these proposals could not be implemented, as the Government was not ready to sanction financial assistance to the private bodies. Consequently, the growth of secondary education was very slow. During 1899 – 1900, the total number of high schools in Assam was only 20.

Lord Curzon’s Policy in 1905 attached the administration of Assam with East Bengal. Secondary education in Assam received a great setback due to the policy of control adopted by Lord Curzon.

The Govt. of India Act of 1919 introduced the system of Diarchy in the administrative field. Under this system, State Governments were given freedom in matters of Education. This administrative reform helped in the expansion of secondary education in Assam. Secondary education in Assam made considerable progress during 1912 – 1947 when the number of Middle English schools and Middle Vernacular schools increased to 742 and the number of High schools increased to 191 till 1947.

The Secondary schools during the Pre – Independence period can be categorized as – Middle English Schools and Middle Vernacular Schools (class IV – VI) and High Schools (class VII – X). Matriculation examination was conducted by Calcutta University as the High schools in Assam were affiliated to Calcutta University.

Let us know
Secondary education in Assam started in 1835.
The first English High School was established in Gauhati by Captain Jenkins, the Commissioner of Assam in 1835. This school was known as “Guwahati Seminari”. Guwahati Seminari was the first school marking the beginning of secondary education in Assam.
Initially Assam was under the administrative control of Bengal. There was no separate Department of Education in Assam.
In 1874, when Assam was separated from Bengal, a Department of Education was created in Assam.
The recommendations of Hunter Commission in the field of secondary education could not be implemented, as the voluntary organizations were reluctant to establish high schools. As a result, the growth of secondary education was very slow.
Lord Curzon’s policy of control adversely affected the growth of secondary education in Assam.
It was only because of the introduction of administrative reform after the Government of India Act in 1919, secondary education in Assam received encouragement for its expansion.
Number of ME schools and MV schools increased to 742 and the number of High schools increased to 191 till 1947.

Check your progress

1.Fill in the blanks: —
a. “Guwahati Seminari” was started in ____________.
b. Total number of High Schools in Assam during 1899 – 1900 was _________.
c. Before Independence Matriculation examination for the High schools in Assam was conducted by ____________.


DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION IN ASSAM AT SECONDARY STAGE DURING POST– INDEPENDENCE PERIOD



Secondary education in Assam made remarkable progress after independence. The Government of Assam adopted several measures for the development of secondary education. Introduction of changes in administration, revision of curriculum, change in the evaluation system, establishment of different types of schools are some of the important measures adopted in the field of secondary education. The recommendations of the Mudaliar Commission (1952 – 53), the Kothari Commission (1964 – 66) appointed by the Govt. of India, the National Education Policy, 1986 made tremendous contributions to the development of secondary education in Assam
Let us now study the progress of secondary education in Assam after independence.


Establishment of Gauhati University and its effect in the growth of Secondary Education in Assam



After a long period of agitation by thousands of people of Assam, Gauhati University was established on 26th January 1948. As already discussed, the Matriculation examination was conducted by Calcutta University as the High schools in Assam were affiliated to Calcutta University before independence. In 1948, Gauhati University was established. Since then the responsibility to control the academic matters in secondary stage was entrusted to Gauhati University. The change of responsibility to control the Matriculation Examination from Calcutta University to Gauhati University resulted in the rapid growth of secondary education in Assam.


Effect of the Recommendations of Secondary Education Commission on development of Secondary Education in Assam


In 1952, the Government of India appointed the Secondary Education Commission (1952 – 53) to reform the secondary education. The Secondary Education Commission (1952 – 53) made recommendations on various aspects of educational reconstruction. The Commission recommended that aims of secondary education should be according to the needs of a democratic country. The Commission suggested three major reforms in secondary education.

  • Re organization of the educational pattern.
  • Diversification of secondary curriculum.
  • Reform in the examination system.
According to the recommendations of the Commission eleven-year school course was introduced in Assam. Schools were upgraded from 10 years High school pattern to 11 years of higher secondary pattern, converting some schools to multipurpose schools. A State Board of Secondary Education was constituted in 1962 in Assam according to the recommendation of Secondary Education Commission.
Prior to 1962 secondary education in Assam was controlled by Gauhati University and the Government of Assam. The University had control over academic matters while the Government had control over the administrative matters. This dual control created various problems in secondary education. Hence, the Govt. of Assam passed the Secondary Education Act in 1961.

The major provisions of the Secondary Education Act of Assam, 1961 are —

 
It extends to the whole of Assam.
The University or any Board will have no controlling authority over secondary schools recognized by the government.
A Board of Secondary Education will be constituted for administration, control and development of Secondary Education. The Director of Public Instruction will be the Chairman of the Board.
Duties and responsibilities of the Board will be —

  • Preparation of curriculum.
  • Conduct examination.
  • Awarding Certificates.
  • Selection of Textbooks.
  • Preparation of rules and regulations for recognition of school.
  • Determination of qualification of teachers etc.

As a result of this Act, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam was established in 1962. Since 1962 the Board has taken charge of controlling and reorganizing secondary education in Assam. The Act was amended in 1972 when it was laid down that the Board is to prepare and publish textbooks and supplementary books through Assam Text Book Production and Publication Corporation. Second amendment of the Act was made in 1973, which provided for the appointment of a full – time Chairman. In 1974 a full time Chairman has been appointed in the Secondary Education Board, Assam.
These measures helped in the growth and development of secondary education in Assam. Total number of Higher Secondary and Multipurpose schools in Assam was 70 and total number of High schools in Assam was 1200 during 1969 – 70.


Let us know

Till now we understand that after independence the secondary education in Assam made considerable progress.

  • After the establishment of Gauhati University in 1948, the responsibility of controlling academic matters was transferred from Calcutta University to Gauhati University.
  • In 1952, Government of India appointed the Secondary Education Commission to reform secondary education. This commission submitted its report in 1953.
  • Government of Assam adopted various measures in the field of secondary education as per the recommendations of the commission.
  • A number of High schools were upgraded to higher secondary pattern and some of the schools were converted to multipurpose schools.
  • In 1961 the Secondary Education Act, Assam was passed.
  • As per the provision of the Act, in 1962 the Board of Secondary Education, Assam was constituted to control and reorganize secondary education.


    Check your progress

    2. In which year was Gauhati University established?
    ............................................................................................................
    3. In which year was the Secondary Education Act, Assam passed?
    ............................................................................................................
    4. In which year was the Board of Secondary Education, Assam constituted?
    ............................................................................................................
    5. In which year was appointed a full time Chairman in the Board of Secondary Education Assam?
    ............................................................................................................
    ............................................................................................................

Effect of the recommendations of kothari Commission(1964-66) on the Development of Secondary Education in Assam.



The Government of India appointed the Kothari Commission in 1964 and it submitted its report in 1966. The commission made recommendations on different aspects of secondary education as–

  • Educational structure.

  • Establishment of a link between education and productivity through work experience.

  • Vocationalisation of education.

  • Improvement of scientific and technological education.

  • Establishment of common school to meet the needs of average parents etc.


    The commission recommended the 10+2+3 educational structure which should consists of

  • A pre – school stage consisting of one to three years.

  • A primary stage of seven or eight years divided into two sub stage - a lower primary stage of four or five years and a upper primary stage of three years.

  • A lower secondary or high school stage of three or two years in general education or of one to three years in vocational education.

  • A higher secondary stage of two years of general education or one to three years of vocational education.

  • A higher education course of three years for first degree.
As per the recommendation of the Kothari Commission, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam introduced the new 10+2+3 pattern and adopted the new curriculum and syllabus from the academic session 1973 – 74. The Board of Secondary Education, Assam continued both the 10 years of secondary and 12 years of higher secondary course. The affiliated colleges under Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University started 2 years of higher secondary course as it was not possible to upgrade all secondary schools to higher secondary pattern. Recently privately managed Junior Colleges are grown up in different parts of Assam introducing 2 years of higher secondary course.


Let us know

  • To make a uniform educational structure throughout the country, Kothari Commission recommended the 10+2+3 pattern.

  • The new 10+2+3 pattern of education has been introduced in Assam in 1973 by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam.

  • To introduce +2 stage, the high schools were upgraded to higher secondary schools.

  • Since it was not possible to upgrade all the secondary schools to higher secondary schools, the affiliated colleges under Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University introduced the 2 year higher secondary course to fulfil the demand for higher secondary education.

  • Recently privately managed Junior Colleges have been established in different parts of Assam introducing 2 years of higher secondary course.


    As per the recommendations of the Kothari Commission “The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council” was constituted in 1984. Now the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council is entrusted with the responsibility to control Higher Secondary education. Major functions of the Council are –

  • To sanction permission for establishment, recognition of the school.
  • Preparation of curriculum
  • Selection of Text books
  • Conduct of examination.
  • Award of certificates

    Science and Mathematics are incorporated as compulsory subjects and Work Experience has been assigned a place of importance.
    The Govt. of Assam provincialised all the High Schools and Higher Secondary schools which enjoyed deficit grant from the Govt. from 1st October 1977. Besides the provincialised school there are schools managed by private bodies receiving no grants from the Government. There are Central School under Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Govt. of India conducting examination at two levels – class X and class XII, in consultation with the Central Board of Secondary Education.There is a Sainik School at Goalpara.

    LET US KNOW

  • The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council was constituted in 1984.
  • The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council is entrusted with the responsibility to control Higher Secondary Education in Assam since 1984.
  • From October 1977, the Govt. of Assam provincialised all the High Schools and Higher Secondary Schools which enjoyed deficit grant from the Government.
  • Besides the provincialised schools, there are privately managed secondary schools imparting secondary education in Assam.
  • There are Central Schools under Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Govt. of India.


    CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

    6. Fill in the Blanks: -


  • New (10 + 2 + 3) pattern of education was introduced in Assam from the academic session __________ .
  • Government of Assam provincialised all the high schools and higher secondary schools in _________
  • The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council was constituted in _________
  • The 10 + 2 + 3 educational structure was recommended by _______.
  • The Sainik School is situated at __________


National Policy on Education, 1986 and present Status of Secondary Education in Assam


A variety of new challenges and social needs made it imperative for the Government to formulate and implement a New Education Policy for the country in 1986. To raise the standard of school education and to raise the competence of boys and girls in life situation, the National Policy on Education proposed to set up pace – setting (Navodaya) schools. Pace – setting schools are intended to provide quality education to those children with special talent or aptitude, irrespective of their capacity to pay for it. As per the proposal in the National Policy on Education, arrangement has been made for establishment of Navodaya schools to help the poor but talented children. At present there are one Navodaya School in each district in Assam.

The National Policy on Education, 1986 proposed a well-planned and systematic programme of vocational education at +2 stage. Vocational courses should not only be limited to engineering and technical vocation but should include health, agriculture, home science, para medical services, marketing, social services etc. It was proposed that Vocational courses cover 10 percent of higher secondary students by 1990 and 25 percent by 1995.


LET US KNOW

  • The New Education Policy was formulated by the Government of India in 1986.
  • The National Policy on Education proposed to set up Navodaya Schools for the poor and talented children.
  • The National policy on education proposed a well-planned and systematic programme of vocational education at +2 stage.

    The present status of secondary education in Assam can be observed from the following tables

    Table No. 1
    No. of Schools in Assam during (1995 – 2005)


    Source : Statistical Handbook, Assam, 2006.

    We can also observe the performance of students at the High School Leaving Certificate examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam from the following table

    Table No. 2
    Performance during 1999 - 2008



    Source: Board of Secondary Education, Assam

    The table shows that from 2001 there is gradual improvement in the performance of the students in the HSLC examination. This is because of the changes introduced in the curriculum and in the examination system.

    From the following table we can observe the performance of students in Higher Secondary Examination conducted by Assam Higher Secondary Education Council in Arts, Science and Commerce streams from 2004 to 2008.

    Table No. 3



    Source: Assam Higher Secondary Education Council

    The table shows that the number of candidates appearing in Arts stream is increasing more than in Science and Commerce streams. Performance of students in Science stream shows better results during these five years in comparison to Arts and Commerce stream.

    LET US KNOW

    1. Number of High Schools in Assam increased to 4629 in 2004 – 2005.
    2.Number of Higher Secondary Schools increased to 620 in 2004 – 2005.
    3.Pass percentage of students in HSLC Examination increased from 32.13% in 1999 to 58.68% in 2008.
    4.Pass percentage of students in Higher Secondary Examination in Arts stream increased from 53.79% in 2004 to 65.33% in 2008.
    5.Pass percentage of students in Higher Secondary Examination in Science stream increased from 66.79% in 2004 to 80.73% in 2008.
    6.Pass percentage of students in Higher Secondary Examination in Commerce stream increased from 64.70% in 2004 to 69.96% in 2008.

    ACTIVITY

    Prepare a table showing the pass percentage of students in the HSLC examination from 2004 to 2008.



PROBLEM OF SECONDARY EDUCATION IN ASSAM



From the above discussion we know that secondary education in Assam made remarkable progress since independence. Changes have been introduced in the curriculum, examination system as well as in the organizational pattern as per the recommendations of Secondary Education Commission and Kothari Commission. Government of Assam undertook various measures for the upliftment of the secondary schools in Assam. In spite of all these efforts it has been observed that secondary education in Assam has failed in fulfilling its aim of securing all round development of the students.

Let us now analyse the main problems of secondary education in Assam:

i) Undue importance on examination.

ii) Non-availability of trained teachers in special subjects.

iii) Irregularity in appointment of teachers.

iv) Absence of regular supervision of the schools by the authority.

v) Non-availability of text books in time due to delay in publication.

vi) Lack of adequate infrastructure in most of the schools

vii) Lack of vocational courses.

viii) Failure of ‘Work Experience’ as a compulsory subject.

ix) Disturbances created by frequent agitational programmes by different organization.

x) Problems created by natural calamities like flood.

xi) Lack of parent – teacher co-operation.

xii) Lack of proper educational guidance facility.

xiii) Lack of facilities for personality development of the students.

xiv) Lack of periodic health checkup facility in the schools.

xv) Lack of research on the problems in secondary education.

ACTIVITY

1. Make a list of the problems of secondary education in Assam

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

7.

  • New Education Policy (1986) proposed the establishment of ___________ schools for poor and talented children.
  • Number of High Schools in Assam in 2004 - 05 are _______
  • The pass percentage of Higher Secondary Examination in Science stream in 2008 is __________
  • The pass percentage of HSLC Examination in 2008 is __________
 

LET US SUM UP


 
From the above discussions and explanations on trend of Secondary education particularly in Assam, the following are the basic ideas that we have found from this unit:
  • In Assam, the Secondary Education was started in 1835.

  • The Commissioner of Assam, Captain Jenkins started an English School at Gauhati in 1835 known as “ Guwahati Seminari”.

  • Assam was separated from Bengal and a Department of Education was created in Assam in 1874.

  • Creation of a separate department of education in Assam under a Director of Public Instruction helped the development of education in the State.

  • It was because of the introduction of administrative reform after the Govt. of India Act in 1919, the secondary education in Assam received encouragement for expansion.

  • After the establishment of Gauhati University in 1948, the responsibility of controlling academic matters of secondary schools was transferred from Calcutta University to Gauhati University.

  • The Govt. of Assam adopted various measures in the field of secondary education as per the recommendations of Secondary Education Commission (1952-53).

  • In 1961, the Secondary Education Act, Assam was passed.

  • In 1962, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam was constituted.

  • As per the recommendation of Kothari Commission (1964-66), the Board of Secondary Education, Assam introduced the (10+2+3) pattern from the academic session 1973-74.

  • From October 1977, the Government of Assam provincialised all the High Schools and Higher Secondary Schools which enjoyed deficit grant from Government

  • The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council was constituted in 1984.

  • Since it was not possible to upgrade all secondary schools to higher secondary pattern, the affiliated colleges under Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University introduced 2 year higher secondary courses.

  • Recently privately managed junior colleges have sprung up in Assam introducing 2years higher secondary courses.

  • The National policy on Education, 1986 proposed to setup Navodaya schools for the poor and talented children.

ANSWERS TO CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


1 a. 1835
b. 20
c. Calcutta University
2 1948
3 1961
4. 1962
5 1974
6.
  • 1973-74
  • 1st October 1977
  • 1984
  • Kothari Commission (1964-66)
  • Goalpara
7.
  • Navodaya
  • 4629.
  • 80.73%
  • 58.68%

POSSIBLE QUESTIONS



 
  • Discuss briefly the development of secondary education in Assam during pre-independence period.
  • “Secondary education is the key to improve both primary and higher education” – Explain.
  • Discuss the measures adopted in the field of secondary education in Assam after the recommendation of Secondary Education Commission (1952-53)
  • Find out the major problems of secondary education in Assam for all round development of the students.

REFERENCES

  • Dr. Siddeswar Saikia: History of Education in India.
  • Dr. Lakshahira Das: Education in Assam.
  • Jatin Barua and Bharatar Siksha – Itihasar Adhyayan.
  • Results of High School Leaving Certificate Examination, 2008 Board of Secondary Education, Assam
  • Results of Higher Secondary Examination Assam Higher Secondary Education Council.