Sargent Plan of Education

Sargent Plan of Education 1944

For the development of education under the British Indian government, some steps were taken such as Governent of India resolution of 1913, Sadler Commission report of 1917, and Hartog Committee report in 1929. However, these initiatives proved ineffective for development of education in India. In 1937, Wardha scheme of education was proposed by Mahatma Gandhi. But it was not implemented due to resignation of Congress Ministries in 1939. The situation of education was deteriorating in India and British government realised that it can no longer remain detached from the problems of education in India. When British became hopeful of its victory in the world war, it gave attention to the education system in India. The Sargent plan of education came after Sir John Sargent was given the task to prepare a comprehensive scheme of education for India in 1944.

Formation of a committee to prepare Sargent plan of education 1944

British Indian government had set up a committee with 22 members to prepare a comprehensive report on education. The report was submitted to the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) in 1944. The report was accepted by CABE, and it recommended for its implementation. This scheme of education came to be known as sargent plan of education 1944.

The Sargent plan of education came in 1944, and it was the first attempt to develop a national system of education in India. It had 12 chapters which covered education from pre-primary to university level. The report pointed out each and every problem and had given solutions to solve these problems in the education system.

Main proposals of Sargent report 1944

Sargent report 1944 had given several recommendations with an ultimate aim to make the standard of education in India equivalent to that of England in next 40 years. The main recommendations of sargent report 1944 can be outlined as follows:

Sargent plan of education 1944 for pre-primary education

  • Sargent plan of education 1944, recommended for promotion of Pre primary education in the form of nursery schools.
  • The nursery schools aimed to target children of age group 3 to 6 years for pre-primary education.
  • The main aim of nursery schools ways to promote social experience and education for improving the general behaviour.
  • The pre primary education was to be provided for free.

Recommendations of Sargent Plan of Education on primary education

  • Gandhiji's basic education had impacted some of the schemes of Sergeant Plan of Education. The basic schools were to be divided into two groups- junior basic schools, and senior basic schools.
  • The Junior basic stage was intended to be compulsory for all in the age group 6 to 11 years. In these schools, the teacher-student ratio was to be maintained at a ratio of 1:30.
  • Senior basic schools were to target the children between the age group 11 to 14. These schools had the provision of one teacher for every 25 students.
  • The education was to be given in the mother tongue. English was not the part of junior basic schools, but the provincial governments had the power to take the final decision for the provision of English at the senior basic stage.
  • There was the provision of internal examinations instead of external examinations.
  • sargent report 1944 recommended for a standing committee of the Central advisory board of education, to look after the implementation of the new education scheme in the provinces.

Recommendations of the Sargent commission on high school education

  • The secondary schools were intended to provide education to students who had above average ability and exceptional aptitude for higher studies.
  • The secondary schools were for 6 years and targeted the age group 11 to 16.
  • The high school education was not free, but 50% of students where to be provided with free studentship.
  • The high schools were intended to be of two types- academic and technical. The academic schools were intended to import education in arts, pure science etc. The technical schools had the provision for Industrial and commercial subjects.
  • Sargent commission recommended for Mother tongue to be made the medium of instruction. However, English was made a compulsory second language.

Recommendations of Sargent Plan of Education on University education

  • The degree course of University education was to be made for 3 years. The Sergeant Plan of Education recommended to abolish the intermediate course.
  • The Sargent Plan of Education recommended to raise the standard of education in universities and allow only capable students to take University education.
  • The Sargent Plan of Education recommended for the appointment of competent and well trained teachers. It recommended to establish higher standard in post graduate courses and in the pure applied research.
  • To promote cooperation among the universities there was a proposal to set up all India organisation similar to the University Grants committee of England.

Recommendations of sargent report 1944 on vocational and Technical Education

  • To improve the quality of workers for Industrial and vocational fields the sargent report 1944, recommended for provision of preliminary Training in Technical High Schools and then in technological department of universities or technical institutes.
  • For the lower category workers, the committee recommended for the provision of Training and Technical High schools for the diploma or certificate courses.
  • The sargent report 1944, had provisions for skilled craftsman and Semi skilled or unskilled workers.

Other important suggestions of sargent education report

  • Adult education: the Sargent education report intended to provide adult education for the people above 10 years of age and upto the age of 40. It had provisions for general education as well as technical or vocational education.
  • Trained teachers: Sargent education report recommended for training colleges, and training Institutions to provide well trained teachers.
  • To ensure sound health of school children, the sargent education report recommended for medical checkups of every average student and had the provision of minor treatment in school clinics.
  • Employment bureaus where to be set up to provide employment opportunities to the students.

  • To implement the new scheme of education, Department of Education was to be set up at the Central level.

Evaluation of Sargent Report

Merits of sargent report

  • Sargent report was the first scheme of national education that covered all aspects of education- pre primary level, primary level, high school education, University education and Technical Education.
  • The Sargent report had given proper importance for teacher training and promotion of teaching as profession.
  • The Sargent report aimed to provide education to make the students self dependent to eradicate the problem of unemployment in India.
  • The Sargent education report for the first time had given attention for the education of handicapped.

Shortcomings of sargent education report

  • The Sargent education report had given the time limit of 40 years for proper educational development in India. This was criticized for being too long as many educationists wanted a shorter range of time of not more than 15 years.
  • The sargent plan of education 1944 has been criticized for being a copy of the pattern of education practiced in England. It was criticized as being not suitable for Indian conditions.
  • The provision of selective admissions in schools, colleges, and Universities was criticized as being undemocratic.

Implementation of Sargent commission recommendations

  • The government established an education department in 1945. A provision was made to give 40 crore rupees to the provincial governments to implement sargent plan of education 1944.
  • The time limit for the implementation of sargent plan of education 1944 was reduced to 16 years from 40 years. the provision of free education at the primary level was accepted by the government.
  • The University Grants committee was constituted in 1945. In 1956, it became the university grant Commission.
  • All India Technical Education committee and a committee of Polytechnic School came into existence in Delhi.

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