Main Recommendations

The Commission had its sittings in Calcutta for seven weeks. It then toured over the country for the next 8 months, examined witnesses and collected material. Finally, in 1883, it submitted its report running into more than 600 pages and covering 222 resolutions. Its main recommendations are as under:

1. Policy

The Commission observed that in North-West Frontier Province and in Madras, the policy of 1854 stood revised and in many other provinces like Bombay, Punjab, Berar and Coorg the policy had not been given fair trial while in Bengal, Assam and Central Provinces, the policy was at a stand still point The Commission suggested that the Government should withdraw from the field of education and private enterprise should be encouraged. The private institutions enjoy the same status as the government institutions.

2. Indigenous Education

It was recommended by the Commission that the indigenous education should be helped. Training of teachers for such schools should be encouraged.

3. Primary Education

The Commission made sweeping recommendations regarding primary education in the country. It wanted the government to withdraw from the field of secondary education and concentrate only on primary education. It recommended:

  • Primary education should include teaching of all subjects that would enable the students to stand on their own legs and would also be helpful to them in practical life.
  • The medium of primary education should be vernacular.
  • Primarily education should be better administered.

4. Finance

The Hunter Commission recommended that local bodies should earmark certain amount for the promotion of education. State government should also finance education. It also said that local funds in no case should be spent on secondary education or on higher education. Rather funds should be spent on primary education.

5. Normal schools for training of teachers should be opened.

6. Secondary Education

There were two approaches as far as secondary education was concerned. First, secondary education should be improved and secondly, the Curriculum of secondary education should be split into two parts. There should be two types of curriculum: Type A and Type B. Curriculum ‘A’ was to have those subjects that were to be useful for higher subjects and Curriculum ‘B’ was to have vocational, occupational and practical subjects. In fact, the foundations of vocationalisation of secondary education were laid here. It also said that English was to be the medium of instruction at the secondary level.

7. Higher Education

The Hunter Commission recommended:

  • Grant-in-aid to colleges should be given properly and carefully. We must take into consideration the number of teachers, expenditure of the college, efficiency and local needs.
  • It also recommended that a university should be established in the North-West Frontier Province.
  • The curricula in the colleges should be vast and varied.
  • Only a limited number of students should be given free education in the colleges.
  • In the matter of appointment of teachers in the Colleges, such Indians should be preferred as have a degree from a European University.

8. Women’s Education

The Hunter Commission stressed that the government should especially emphasise women’s education and for this, liberal grants should be given to private girls’ schools. However, lady teachers were not available. Syllabus for girls in primary classes should be simple.

9. Religious Education

In the matter of religious education, the government should remain neutral.

10. Miscellaneous

It was the duty of the D.P.I, to see that the standards of education were not lowered. Private management may charge fee favourably comparable to that charged in government colleges.

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