Kolkata News

THE strong letter recently addressed by the Senate of the Calcutta University to the Government of India on the subject of that Government’s resolution on the recommendations of the Calcutta University Commission not only draws forcible attention to the weak points in that resolution, but incidentally throws a flood of light on the general attitude of the bureaucracy in regard to this vital matter. Two questions of outstanding importance arise in this connection. One is the question of funds, which educational reformers have always regarded as being the most fundamental of all questions affecting the progress of education. Lord Curzon’s ideas of educational reform differed essentially from those of the people, but he gave expression to only a truism when he said that all questions of reform were in the last analysis a question of pounds, shillings and pence. It was only to be expected that so competent and so authoritative a body as the Calcutta University Commission would frankly recognise this truth. “If Bengal is to have a better system of education,” they say, “Bengal must pay for it, and what Government has to show is not ‘generosity’, but courage in levying the necessary taxation, a courage not to be expected until it is plain that those who will have to pay the taxes are ready to do so.” In his evidence before the Joint Committee, Sir Michael Sadler, the President of the Commission, made the position even clearer, “The real defect in education in Bengal,” he said, “is anaemia, and this anaemia is due to want of money.” Where is this money to come from? This was the most important question which a Government which desired to tackle the problem of educational reform seriously might have been expected to answer. It is true the Government of India says that “funds will be required.” It serves no purpose to lay down this fact, unless it tells us what are the sources it proposes to tap for the purpose of finding the funds.