Illiteracy, Unemployment, and Educational Uplifting
Drawing on a range of historical sources on colonial education, including official reports such as the Quinquennial Reports of Education in Bengal, this chapter discusses how both the state and the ecclesiastical authorities directed their social-reform energies at the younger generations of the domiciled community. The institutional evolution of a comprehensive education scheme called ‘European education’ (introduced primarily in Bengal) is discussed. The aim of the chapter, however, is not so much to enumerate the achievements of such general school education as to draw attention to its perceived limitations. ‘European education’ neither succeeded in making its target groups ‘European’ in terms of status or living standards, nor did it even intend to do so. It was primarily in order to relieve the poverty among the domiciled community that the regime of general school education sought to integrate Eurasian and Domiciled-European children. Such efforts, however, did not always meet with success, requiring more radical measures.
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