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Educational Policy


Evolution of Educational Policy in Madras Presidency

At the behest of Sir Thomas Munro, a Committee of Public Instruction was formed in 1826. In 1836, the duties of the committee were taken over by a Committee of Native Education. The plans drawn up by the Committee did not commend themselves to the Governor of Madras, Lord Elphinstone, who in turn proposed nineteen resolutions which were passed unanimously. The proposals of “The Committee of Native Education” to draw up a plan for advancement of education in the Madras Presidency did not commend themselves to the Governor Lord Elphinstone hence he embodied the following proposals.

1. That it is expedient that a central collegiate institution of university should be established at Madras.

2. The Madras University to consist of two principal departments: a college for the higher branches of Literature, Philosophy and Science and a High school for the cultivation of vernacular languages of India, and the elementary departments of Philosophy and Science.

3. The Governing Body to be denominated by the President and Governors.

4. The college departments to be placed under a Principal and Professors and High School under a Headmaster and Tutors.

These proposals were later known as the Fundamental Rules which were approved by the members of Council and received the sanction of the Government in January 1840. The Governor and the Company (1840) while recommending the formation of Presidency College addressed the President and Governors appointed for this purpose... “Education is to train and to qualify the native for the higher duties of life in an enlightened nation... Education is the means by which they (the people) will qualify themselves for those privileges whichever legislative has shown...In short, by which they can best serve the interest of their children and their country. When societies grow large and more complex and the technology on which they depend grows more scientific, the process of formal education becomes more important and more expensive. If the society is to consist of responsible human being capable of using their ability and creativity constructively, there must be a solid base for general education”.