Sir, one of the important features
regarding schools in many progressive countries is that
the schools in general have a special relationship to
the localities which they serve, so that the people of
each locality can say that the school is theirs. They
are proud of the school and they strive to see that the
school is efficient with good buildings and equipment
and efficient and contented staff, because it is the school
for their own children. This relationship is very important
for the healthy development of a school system. It is
difficult to find this relationship in the school system
in Kerala and perhaps in other parts of India.
The communal groups and other agencies which maintain
schools may have special attachment to their own schools,
but these schools have yet to develope the proper relationship
to the localities to make them the schools of the respective
It is unfortunate that the State schools, which are really
the schools of the people have not yet developed this
relationship. Of many of them, it may be said that they
are ‘no-body’s schools’. One of the
first steps to be taken is to foster the development of
this relationship in the State schools. Two of the factors
that can help the State schools in this direction are
(1)Board of Directors (Board of Management) for each school
which should include nominees of (a) the Government, (b)
Local Education Authority, (c) Parents, (d) Old Boys.
(2) The Headmaster and the staff should be appointed definitely
for each school and they should not be transferred from
school to school. The State schools should demonstrate
in practice the educational ideals of the State.
Most of the other schools in Kerala have a history of
growth through the efforts of communal organizations.
These have served to spread education in the State and
some of them have done excellent work in the past and
continue to do so. With the increasing cost of running
schools and the limited financial resources of the managements
of these schools, many of them have reached a stage when
maintenance of schools even at the present level is possible
for them only with substantial aid from the State. On
the other hand the country is on the threshold of important
developments in education, the financial implications
of which are beyond the reach of most of the private managements.
Two of the main problems for the private schools, therefore,
are (1) the need for developing in them the relationship
to the respective localities which they serve, so that
the people can feel that the schools are theirs- the schools
for their children, (2) the lack of financial resources
for maintaining and developing the schools efficiently
according to the ideals set by the State.
Another aspect to be considered in this connection is
that as free and compulsory education is provided, as
required by the Constitution of India, the parents will
have a right to expect good education for their children
not depending on the charity or whims of communal or private
Organisations. The Government should necessarily bear
this in mind.
Recognising all these considerations, it would seem that
the private schools should necessarily fit into a State-wide
pattern of school system. It will be good if the school
system can retain some of the valuable features of the
private schools and at the same time eliminate the evils
that have crept into them. The following may be a possible
pattern of school system:-
1. STATE SCHOOLS with Boards of Managements for each school
consisting of nominees of the State, Local Education Authorities,
Parents and Old Boys.
2.AIDED SCHOOLS with Boards of Managements consisting
of (a) half the members and the Chairman nominated by
the present management, (b) nominees of the Local Education
Authority, (c) Representatives of Parents (d) Representatives
of Old Boys.
The entire school fees should be paid into the treasury
and the full cost of salaries, pensions, equipments should
be paid by the State and an annual grant should be given
to the management for the maintenance of the school buildings,
etc. This grant may be, say, two-thirds of the actual
cost of maintenance.
3.CONTROLLED SCHOOLS: These will be the schools of Private
managements which are prepared to hand over the schools
to the State at least for a period-say ten years, the
managements, however, desiring to retain some interest
in the running of the schools.
The Board of management of these schools may consist of
(a) one-third of the membership nominated by the old management
; (b) the rest consisting of nominees of the Local Education
Authority and representatives of Parents and Old Boys.
The entire fees should be paid into the treasury and the
State should bear the entire cost of running the school.
4. INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS: These are schools which any Private
agency may maintain either for cultural and educational
ideals which can flourish best in an atmosphere of freedom.
Pioneering work has often come through independent schools
with ideals. These schools should be free to collect fees
to meet the expenditure (The State may, at its discretion,
give financial assistance to these schools.)Independent
schools should have Boards of managements constituted
by the Managements themselves. As education will be free
up to the eighth standard in the State schools, Aided
schools and Controlled schools; and as there will be free
concessions in the higher classes also fee-paying Independent
Schools can succeed only by their own worth.
It should be Possible for Aided schools and Independent
Schools to provide Religious instruction according to
the terms accepted in the Constitution of India.
With an arrangement of Boards of managements for all schools,
the provision made in the Bill that the appointment of
teachers should be from a panel given by the Local Education
Authority should not be necessary. The Boards should be
free to appoint teachers who are eligible according to
the State Register of Teachers.
The method of appointment of Headmasters and the responsibilities
given to them are important for the efficient running
of schools. The Headmasters should have certain qualities
which are not essential for a teacher and therefore the
appointment of the Headmaster should be by selection and
not by mere seniority.
In the selection of teachers for the schools, the Headmaster
should have an effective voice.
These proposals are made on the assumption that the Government
and managements have the same objective of providing sound
education for the children and that there will be friendly
co-operation and goodwill for achieving this common end.
Letter of the
SHRI K. KURUVILLA JACOB,
Headmaster, Christian College High School, Madras.
(The Hindu-17th July, 1957)