Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/143

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ch. xi

educational theories will not bear fruit in practice. The old indifference is weakening, and the most hopeful sign is the increasing interest taken in towns in female education, a matter of the first importance for the future of the country.

Present position.— The present position is as follows:— The Government has made itself directly or indirectly responsible for the education of the province. At the headquarters of each district there is a high school for boys controlled by the Education Department. In each district there are Government middle schools, Anglovernacular or Vernacular, and primary schools, managed by the Municipal Committees and District Boards. Each middle school has a primary, and each high school a primary and a middle, department. For the convenience of pupils who cannot attend school while living at home hostels are attached to many middle and high schools. Fees are very moderate. In middle schools, where the income covers 56 p.c. of the expenditure, they range from R. 1 (16 pence) monthly in the lowest class in which they are levied to Rs. 4 (5 shillings) in the highest class. In rural primary schools the children of agriculturists are exempt because they pay local rate, and others, when not exempt on the score of poverty, pay nominal fees. Besides the Government schools there are aided schools of the above classes usually of a sectarian character, and these, if they satisfy the standards laid down, receive grants. There is a decreasing, but still considerable, class of private schools, which make no attempt to satisfy the conditions attached to these grants. The mullah in the mosque teaches children passages of the Kuran by rote, or the shopkeeper's son is taught in a Mahajani school native arithmetic and the curious script in which accounts are kept. A boys' school of a special kind is the Panjab Chiefs' College at Lahore,