Tuesday 21 February 2017

Committee on relationship between state governments and local bodies in the administration of primary education (1951)

In 1948 at the 18th meeting of the CABE, the government of Bihar raised the question of relationships between the state governments and local bodies in respect of administration of elementary education. The ministry of education therefore appointed this committee in 1951. Shri B. G. Kher, chief minister, Bombay was the chairman of that committee. There were 11 more members on the committee. The terms of reference were-
To examine, in detail the present setup of local administration of education in the different states in the assumption of more powers by the state governments, the requirements of different state governments in this regard and to recommend a more or less uniform pattern with few variations , be adopted in all the states of India.

Major recommendations of the commission:

  1. Association of local bodies with the administration of primary education- It said that it would be an advantage to associate local bodies with the administration of primary education in some form or other.
  2. Creation of educational bodies-
·         In all village panchayats and smaller municipalities which have been given only a limited control over primary education, the local body should be required to elect a school committee and to delegate to it the task of supervising the local school or schools.
·         In district local boards and in bigger municipalities which exercise wider power over primary education, a school board should be constituted and charged with the responsibility of looking after educational powers as well as an administrative officer having adequate authority to carry on the day to day administration of its primary schools.
·         The government should adopt the independent system of associating educational bodies with the corresponding local authorities generally.
·         The appointment of administrative officers should be obligatory under the statute in the case of all district school boards and the larger municipalities. They should be servants of state government.
  1. Division of authority on a functional basis-
·         Inspection should be regarded as a duty of the government and should be carried out by government officers. All inspecting officers should be directly under the government and the local bodies should have no contact over them.
·         State government should solely responsible for maintaining or aiding the requisite number of training institutions for primary teachers.
·         The authority to define curricula of courses of study at the primary level should continue to vest in the state governments. But the local bodies should also be authorized, with the previous approval of the Director of Education, to introduce such variations in the prescribed curricula as they may seem necessary in view of local condition.
·         In every major municipality authorized to administer primary school within its area and in every district school board, the authority to recruit and control the teaching staff should vest in the staff selection committee, the administrative officer, and the appellate tribunal constituted on lines similar to those adopted in Bombay.
·         The service conditions of primary teachers should be determined by the local bodies concerned with the sanction of state governments and as far as possible these should be uniform throughout the states.
·         The primary teachers should continue to be treated as servants of local bodies as at present.

Regarding text books, it suggested that state governments should prescribe, on the advice of official and non official experts in the subject, the books to be used in primary schools, and where more than one book happens to be prescribed in a subject, the local body should have the freedom to choose any one of the prescribed in a subject, the local body should have the freedom to choose any one of the prescribed books for use in schools under its control.
  1. Division of authority on the basis of the local body associated-
  • City Corporation – the general policy should be to devolve as large as authority upon city corporations as possible.
  • Authorized municipalities- the larger municipalities may be designated as ‘authorized municipalities’. They will differ from corporations in three ways 1) the government will actually conduct inspections instead of merely reserving he right to do so. 2) The general control of the government will be a little more detailed and 3) the administrative officers should preferably remain the servants of state governments.
  •  Non-authorized municipalities – the small municipalities cannot be permitted to administer primary education in their areas will have to be treated at a still lower level.
  • Villages- the powers and duties of village school committees should be divided into two groups; the first group will include all those powers which a village committee will have as soon as it is formed, and the second group will include all those powers which can be conferred on it by the District School Board , in views of its efficiency.
  • District School Boards- the power and duties of these bodies should be similar to those of the Municipal School Boards.
5.  Finance-
  • The union government should assign specific grants for universal and compulsory primary education in the states.
  • A sum not less than 60% of the total education expenditure of the state should be spent on primary education
  • State grants to local bodies on account of primary education should be based on a combination of proportional grant (used to secure a broad equalization as well as to provide for rapid expansion), a special grant for backward or necessitous areas, the specific purpose grants.
  • Grants for all primary education – whether voluntary or compulsory- should be statutory.
  • The municipal acts should be amended so as to make the levy of all education cess obligatory or municipalities to ear mark a specified proportion of their total revenue for primary education all funds thus ear marked for primary education should be entitled to receive grant in aid according to rules.
·   In village panchayats a portion of the total revenue should be earmarked for primary education.

6. Approved schools-
  • Local bodies associated with the administration of primary education should ordinarily be in charge of all primary schools in their areas, whether maintained under their direct control or managed by private agencies.
  • The authority to control and guide the private primary school in there areas should generally vest in the local bodies themselves.
  • The state government should retain a few powers to themselves with a view to seeing that no hardship are caused to private schools should vest concurrently in the state governments, local bodies and managements.
  • Regarding grant or withdrawal of recognition to a private school. The committee suggested that
1) The inspecting officers of the department should be required to carry out, in the first instance, an investigation into every proposal for the grant or withdrawal of recognition to a private primary school.
2) The school board concerned should consider the report of such investigation and then decide whether recognition should or should not be granted or should be withdrawn and,
  • Any party aggrieved by the order of the School Board should have the right to prefer an appeal to the director of education or to any other specified officer.
7. The authority to grant recognition should also be authority to sanction Grant in aid.