EDUCATION AND CULTURE

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Though no precise and exact records about the centres of  learning in ancient, mediaeval and early modern times are  available, there was in existence some sort of a system of  imparting education to the local populace and that might have been education by heritage. Prior to the Assignment there were private schools wherein Sanskrit was taught to Brahman boys and Marathi to other Hindus. The scheduled castes and the tribes were not allowed to enter any schools. The Arabic of Kuran, Persian and Urdu was taught by the Munshis. Ellichpur (Achalpur) was the only town with historical and cultural background where the traditional Muhammedan culture was maintained. By 1861, when education became the concern of the State, the teaching profession was looked upon as derogatory. Thus it never got beyond mere rudiments with most of the pupils. Nevertheless, quite a few good writers and accountants raised by the few indigenous schools or by private household tuition did exist. The village writers, several literary Deshmukhs and Patels among the Hindus, many well-to-do traders, the Kazis and other Muham: medans represented the results of private education. [Based on Amravati District Gazetteer (1911), p. 336.]

Beginning of Western Education and Pioneering Work.

The beginning of western education dates back to 1861 when  scattered schools were organised by the Government. In 1866  the Education Department was introduced in the district. On  November 1, 1866 a high school was established at Amravati  which lately came to be known as Hindu High School. Also established were seven Anglo-vernacular high schools in the district. In many of the District Board Schools, English classes supported by voluntary contributions were conducted. A small Government industrial school was merged with the Victoria Technical Institute in 18661. Two schools, one at Tiwsa and the other at Hordarganja started by wealthy merchants and one school at Kakada, held in a mosque imparted training of a religious character. The ones at Tiwsa and Hordarganja were conducted for the teaching of Sanskrit while the one at Kakada engaged itself in the inculcation of Kuran. Two unaided schools were conducted by the missionary bodies.

Growth of Literacy.

Though no figures of literacy are available for Amravati district, the trend in the growth can be traced from the census  reports of the Central Provinces and from the figures given therein about the Maratha Plain Division. The census report of 1911 gives the figures of literates as 74 per mille for the Maratha Plain Division stating that it was highest in Amravati along with Nagpur and Wardha. The census report states that almost all cases the proportion of literates in the age period " 20 and over" was smaller than that in the age period " 15-20 ". The census report also states that it was due to the fact that " Many who go through the primary schools in youth, lapse into complete illiteracy at a later age, this being specially the case in the cultivating classes who have little stimulus to keep up their education after leaving schools ". According to the census report there was on an average one literate female to 21 literate males, the proportion of literate women to the total number of women being 3 per mille throughout the Central Provinces. Between 1901 and 1911 the number of girls' schools throughout the Province increased from 238 to 343 with a corresponding increase in the number of girls receiving education from 14,260 to 28,509. The figures from 1921 census report for the Central Provinces representing Maratha Plains give 177 males per mille and 17 females per mille as literates. The 1931 census report states that during the 50 years from 1881 the literacy of males has increased by 140 per cent while the proportion of female literacy was 11 times as much as it was in 1881. The survey conducted on(10 per cent sample basis along with 1951 census showed that 25,165 persons including 19,785 males and 5,380 females were literates as against 77,472 illiterates inclusive of 32,492 males and 44,980 females out of a total sample of 1,02,637 including 52,277 males and 50,360 females. The report further shows the total number of literates at.2,28,261 including 1,72,554 males and 55,707 females. The following table shows the classification of literates in different degrees.

Table showing classification of literates in different

degrees according to 1951 census.

 

Persons

Males

Females

All educational

   

standards

2,66,168

1,99,119

66,389

Literate

2,28,261

1,72,554

55,707

Middle School

17,643

15,109

2,534

Matriculate or S. L. C.

--

--

--

Higher Secondary

5,853

5,132

721

Intermediates in Arts

--

--

--

or Science

1,285

1,143

142

Total Degrees or

--

--

--

Diplomas

13,126

5,841

7,285

Graduates in Arts

--

--

--

or Science

956

832

124

Post Graduates in Arts

--

--

--

or Science

280

269

11

 

Persons

Males

Females

Teaching

606

512

94

Engineering

127

126

1

Agriculture

93

93

--

Veterinary

68

68

--

Commerce

156

156

--

Legal

705

699

6

Medical

599

579

20

Others

9,536

2,507

7,029

At present the literacy percentage of the district stands at 33.6 as against 29.7 for the State of Maharashtra.

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