Viceroy Lord Ripon appointed the Hunter Education Commission with the mandate to look into complaints regarding the non-implementation of the Wood's Despatch of 1854, assess the state of elementary education in the British overseas territories, and make recommendations for its expansion and improvement. In 1882, the commission's final report headed by Sir William Wilson Hunter was delivered.
Objectives of The Hunter Education Commission
• To evaluate India's educational system, with an emphasis on basic education, and to offer suggestions for reform.
• To assess religious missionaries' contributions to education.
• Request information regarding the application of Wood's Despatch of 1854 and the utilization of its grants-in-aid, and offer reform recommendations.
• To determine whether or not the government should be permitted to keep providing its people with education.
• The major objective of the Hunter commission is to look into the situation of primary education in India, but the committee also chose to look into secondary and higher education.
• The situation of governmental institutions and the position of missionary institutions in general were to be studied.
Recommendations From The Hunter Education Commission
• A commission headed by W.W. Hunter was established by the government in 1882 to assess the nation's educational advancement since the Despatch of 1854. The suggestions made by the Hunter Commission mostly addressed elementary and secondary education.
• Emphasized the need for the state to take extra attention in expanding and improving elementary education, and that primary education should be taught in the local language.
• It was suggested that newly established district and municipal bodies take over management of basic education.
• Drew attention to the lack of facilities for female education, especially outside of presidency towns, and provided suggestions for their extension.
• For lower-level government positions, literate candidates were given precedence, and primary schools in impoverished areas were enlarged.
• District and municipal boards were given control over primary education under the Local Self Government Act. To stop monies intended for rural schools from being plundered by urban schools, the funding were split into rural and urban zones.
• Secondary schools were to be founded by private parties using government funding. Model public schools were to be built in each district to serve as a model for these private institutions.
• The secondary school curricula were also altered, and different branches were created for both academic and vocational courses.
• The Raj prohibited the use of missionary schools and promoted Indian enrollment in the private educational system.
• The growth of girls' and women's education was meant to get special consideration.
About William Wilson Hunter
• William Wilson Hunter was a member of the Indian Civil Service as well as a statistician and compiler.
• He didn't start gathering regional customs and records until he was appointed a Magistrate in the Bengal Presidency in 1862.
• His most well-known work, "The Imperial Gazetteer of India," which he started in 1869, is more well-known than "The Annals of Rural Bengal" and "A Comparative Dictionary of the Non-Aryan Languages of India."
• He was given this project by Lord Mayo, and it was published in 9 volumes in 1881.
• Later on, he progressed to become the Royal Asiatic Society's vice president.
• In 1882, while serving on the Governor General's Council, he was chosen to be the chairman of the Commission on Education. In 1886, he was chosen to serve as Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.
• In India's educational history, the Hunter Commission report is seen as a turning point.
• The majority of its suggestions were adopted by the British government, which led to the devolution of elementary education.
• As a result, elementary school students studied British subjects for a much shorter period of time.
• In 1882, the Punjab University was established, relieving some of the pressure on Calcutta University.
• There was a notable increase in the number of pupils enrolled in primary and secondary schools between 1882 and 1901.
Analysis By The Hunter Education Commission
• After 1857, it was the first India Education Commission established by the British.
• The commission correctly noted that primary education has stalled and must thus be given more attention.
• The commission's recommendations were adopted, and the educational system underwent a number of modifications.
The Wood's Despatch of 1854 was not implemented, the current state of elementary education in the British territories, and possible extensions and improvements were the focus of the historic Hunter Education Commission, which Viceroy Lord Ripon