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THE national life of a people is embodied in the manner of its education. The schooling and apprenticeship which it evolves for the training and discipline of its youth are a mirror reflecting national ideals and aspirations, national aims and beliefs. By looking to the system of learning under which a student grows from childhood to maturity we discover the material from which his thought is fed, the purposes and relative values which his mind is trained to accept. The ideal education is a continuous development, building-up the firm chain of succession, establishing harmoniously the sense of causation and sequence, the strength of united purpose and action, and the value and importance of combination. Where national life is normal and consistent, we find educational methods correspondingly continuous and natural, expressing, as well as forming, the temper of the people. Accepting this view of education as a national function, we recognise that the principles of education must be constantly challenged, its practice constantly revised, according to the changing demands of the times. The lessons of recent experience have emphasised this necessity for vigilance; and the problems of education must be faced with equal regard for the needs of individual self-development, of vocational efficiency and of national service.

The need of wisdom and foresight in inaugurating revised educational methods in India is proportionately more urgent than with us, as the difficulties to be met are more intricate and complex. The system of school and college education which has the authority of official sanction, and constitutes the direct approach to public life and office, has hitherto been built up on English models. Hence the tendency, among those to whom the task of educational administration in British India is entrusted, has been to discuss its problems on lines almost parallel with those of modern England, to assume similar difficulties and no others, and to search for similar solutions to those difficulties. Here, in England, the educational questions of the moment may seem to be debated almost exclusively with a view to school curricula and university courses, but it must be remembered

that the years of 'nursery' and 'kindergarten' training, when imagination is most vigorous, observation most acute, memory most retentive, are provided for by an inherited discipline which political problems have never touched, and by a development which our national reawakening, combined with the more scientific methods of the modern teaching art, has splendidly enriched. The policy of education in India, which has accepted an exotic and arbitrary scheme as the basis of school and collegiate learning, of necessity precludes any continuity of mental training between the stages of childhood and student life; and the preliminary period of child development has been, as a result, almost entirely neglected. Now, this period is manifestly of the highest importance for all subsequent growth, since, during these early years, the faculties of sense must be awakened and disciplined, perceptions and powers of discrimination developed, direction given to mental habits which will determine the course they take during adolescent and adult life. What the preparing of the soil is in horticulture-and without it all later effort may be in great measure unproductive-that is the training of the child, at home and in the class-room, in lesson and in game, in the higher culture of human development.

Experience and observation of the particular needs of child training have led, in practically every country of the West, to similar conclusions. Lessons of obedience can begin with infancy; and a wise mother or trained nurse can encourage in the infant, even before it can speak, rudimentary instincts of regularity, method and self-control, as well as intelligent response to certain outside influences and impressions. Recognition of the rights of others can be implanted in babyhood; system may be observed in games as well as in the daily routine of living. In the next stage the child's restless mental and bodily activity is regulated and developed by occupations that interest and hold the attention. The most recent cultivation of music as an active experience-a rediscovery of the true and original purposes of the musical art-is now becoming recognised as an æsthetic discipline and culture of the widest influence. Eye and ear are further trained in drawing and nature-study; and manual dexterity is acquired in many practical Vol. 229.-No. 155.

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branches of handicraft. The vast literature of childhood, ranging from the simpler stories and rhymes of legend or fancy, through epic tales of valour and romance, to the striving, suffering and accomplishment of saints or heroes, peoples the child-mind with ideas of permanent value, gives understanding of human nature and conduct, and implants the conception of honour and self-sacrifice. So trained, the child of, say, from seven to nine years of age, who may, perhaps, have learned no actual lessons, has progressed far in culture and education, has acquired a standard (though not yet conscious) in art, literature, and conduct, and is truly prepared, in the coming years of school-life, not merely to learn but to discriminate, select, and use his individual judgment. These are critical years of infant and child life, not merely in the houses of the wealthy but, more or less, in every representative class of life. The teacher may be mother, nurse, governess, or school-mistress, but the lessons are of the same kind.

Now, what is the provision made for the corresponding years of childhood in India? The course and routine of childhood is necessarily determined by the conditions of home-life; and the life of the Indian home is distracted at the present day by a tremendous unsettlement. There exists no uniformity in upbringing, no accepted standard, no common aim scientifically pursued. With few exceptions, the only children trained systematically in infancy and earlier childhood (apart from the scattered units who attend Christian missionary institutions in their earliest years) are those who are brought under the influence of certain reforming bodies of recent growth, which wisely seek to disseminate their propaganda through a social and religious training along national lines. Until recently there existed a very definite idea of home-education, more adapted, perhaps, to developing the qualities of reverence, dignity, patience, kindness-the time-honoured virtues of Indian culture-than to training individual powers, or imparting knowledge, other than the traditional lore of the ancient epics. But this tradition has become less and less operative as the home has come to be, within the last generation or so, increasingly out of sympathy with the aims and methods of scholastic training along Western lines, and with all the factors that determine success or prosperity in modern

active life. At the present day, the best representative traditions of the home have been largely undermined by bewilderment and indifference-the failure of the past to deal adequately with its own problems, and the apathy of the present, where security imposed from without has robbed the people of all incentive towards national growth and progress. Among the poorer agricultural classesthe vast majority of India's population-whom state education has hardly touched, and upon whom their own traditional culture is fast losing its hold, the child grows up in utter ignorance, neglected in body and mind, unreasoning and unthinking, influenced mainly by the cruder superstitions of past ages, the bonds of caste, and the baneful customs of ancient and tyrannous convention.

The old Sanskrit and Koranic learning, which formed the guiding principle of thought and the source of mind-culture, which inspired the ideals and moulded the manners of every age and class, was an influence of more consistent and universal appeal than anything which our briefer and more chequered history has enabled us to develop. The advent of new ideas from the West would not, by themselves, have dispossessed this ancient education, even though its vitality had sunk to a low ebb; but the new orientation which an English government of necessity brought with it, introducing new purposes, new methods, new values, into every department of human life, meant a hopeless break-up of the old régime. Moreover, the experiment of modern Western education, imposed upon certain sections of the male population, between certain stages of their development, introduced, as it was, partially, arbitrarily, and with little reference to the events and surroundings of daily life, was bound to lead to the present chaos and confusion. Thus the home continues to reproduce the life of a bygone age pathetically robbed of purpose and meaning, because unrelated to the needs of to-day, while education widens the gulf, by imparting to the schoolboy lessons of which the subjects lack that harmony of sequence and method which could give them a living meaning, imparting them, moreover, in a foreign tongue, which he but seldom wholly masters. The language of his infancy remains to him, therefore, more often than not, a mere patois for domestic needs; and the language

which he acquires in school-days, and for public life, may be no more than a pedagogic speech adapting itself but clumsily to the expression of his thoughts. In such surroundings the Indian child of the present day can have few of the benefits of modern system, of scientific or psychological experience in its early up-bringing, while the old-fashioned discipline of traditional culture may scarcely be regarded as an active or a living influence.

In no country in the world, perhaps, except India, do we find this strange anomaly of the Old and the New continuing side by side within the same house, the same family, often the same individual (for early influence is strong), separate, unreconciled, in perpetual silent warfare one with another. Moreover, conflict and antagonism between the affairs of the outer world of work and business, and the administration of the home, with its ceremonies of religion, its marriage customs, its complex social structure, is bound to persist so long as women live a life apart untutored and untrained. The problems of India's future progress are necessarily bound up with the education of its women and must find their ultimate solution inside the home, by men and women in cooperation. The true traditions of Indian womanhood will readily concede to woman her place in the evolution of intellectual and spiritual culture; and history confirms it as the revival of a lost ideal, realised in the days of India's greatness, and firmly established in her social order. If primary education became universal, the same for boy and girl alike, for rich and poor, for every caste and community, assimilation would inevitably take place, and the situation might become normal almost within one generation. But an educational reform on so large a scale is a matter for legislation, and lies outside my argument.

Meantime, by what methods can Indian reformers best counter the prevalent disorder of mind and spirit which pervades the home? How can they best secure to the infant life of to-day that robustness and sanity of development so vitally necessary to the generation which must solve in practical experience the problems and theories of to-day? For India is no longer helpless, passive, inert. The restless vigour of her new awakening has made trial of its forces in countless different experiments during the last decade or more; but the gradual

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