It proposed the setting up of primary schools that would adopt vernacular languages at the lowest level and the high schools must adopt Anglo vernacular languages. And in the college level, education must be provided in English medium. Based on these was the main concept of Wood’s Despatch.
In accordance with the Wood’s Despatch, Education Departments were established in every province and universities were opened at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1857 on the model of the London University. Later more universities were opened in Punjab in 1882 and at Allahabad in 1887.
Recommendations of Wood’s 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, science, philosophy and literature 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 Wood’s 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 Wood’s Despatch was recognized as the Magna Carta of Indian Education.
Impacts of Wood’s Despatch
The Wood’s 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 Wood’s 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.
(Last Updated on : 28-06-2019)
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