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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/142

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CHAPTER XI

THE PEOPLE (continued): EDUCATION

Educational progress.— According to the census returns of 1911 there are not four persons per 100 in the province who are "literate" in the sense of being able to read and write a letter. The roportion of literacy among Hindus and Sikhs is three times as great as among Muhammadans. In 1911-12 one boy in six of school-going age was at school or college and one girl in 37, This mayseem a meagre result of sixty years of work, for the Government and Christian missionaries, who have had an honourable connection with the educational history of the province, began their efforts soon after annexation, and a Director of Public Instruction was appointed as long ago as 1856. But a country of small peasant farmers is not a very hopeful educational field, and the rural population was for long indifferent or hostile. If an ex-soldier of the Khdlsa had expressed his feelings, he would have used words like those of the "Old Pindari". in Lyall's poem, while the Muhammadan farmer, had he been capable of expressing his hostility, might have argued that the teaching his son could get in a village school would help him not at all in his daily work. Things are better now. We have improved our scheme of teaching, and of late raised the pay of the teachers, which is, however, still hardly adequate. Till a better class of teachers can be secured for primary schools, the best