(Last Updated on : 28-06-2019)
The Woods Despatch is the educational reforms introduced during the tenure of the British governor general Lord Dalhousie
. It was Sir Charles Wood, the President of the Board of Control, who sent a despatch in 1854 called the Sir Charles Woods Despatch. In this despatch, varied points were raised like the importance of learning English
and female education in India
It proposed the setting up of primary schools that would adopt vernacular languages at the lowest level and the high schools must adopt Anglo
. And in the college level, education must be provided in English medium. Based on these was the main concept of Woods Despatch.
In accordance with the Woods Despatch, Education Departments were established in every province and universities were opened at Calcutta
in 1857 on the model of the London University. Later more universities were opened in Punjab
in 1882 and at Allahabad
Recommendations of Woods Despatch
The Wood's Despatch proposed several recommendations in order to improve the system of education. According to the recommendations, it was declared that the aim of Government's policy was the promotion of the western education. In his Despatch he emphasised on the education of art
of Europe. In short, the propagation of the European knowledge was the motto of the Wood's Despatch.
According to the despatch, for the higher education, the chief medium of instruction would be English. However, the significance of the vernacular language was no less emphasised as Wood believed that through the mediums of vernacular language, European knowledge could reach to the masses. Wood's Despatch also proposed the setting up of several vernacular primary schools
in the villages
at the lowest stage. Moreover, there should be Anglo-Vernacular high schools and an affiliated college
in the district level.
Wood's Despatch recommended a system of grants-in-aid to encourage and foster the private enterprise in the field of education. The grants-in-aid were conditional on the institution employing qualified teachers and maintaining proper standards of teaching.
The primary objective of the Woods Despatch was to educate Indian people in order to create a class of civil servants. It started a new era in Indian education system by clearly defining objectives of education. The Woods Despatch was recognized as the Magna Carta of Indian Education.
Impacts of Woods Despatch
The Woods Despatch was a sincere initiative by the government but the various suggestions and recommendations were not implemented properly. The Despatch failed to manage the education system and the concept of mass education could not come to fruition. The Woods Despatch did not sincerely promote universal literacy and instead pushed forward the idea of Western education and culture. The grant-in-aid system did not work well as there was paucity of funds and irregularity of the release of funds. Empowering women
with education continued to be neglected and the vocational education that was required was postponed indefinitely.
During this period India witnessed a period of complete westernisation of the educational system. The Western system of education gradually replaced the indigenous methods of education and learning. Most of the educational institutions during this time were run by the European teachers, who were the part of the Education Department of the Government of India
. The Missionary institutions played its own part and managed a number of institutions. Gradually private Indian effort appeared in the field of education.