Education in India was neglected during the British regime. The East India Company Government paid some attention to education after 1813 but it neglected the primary education. The British Government paid attention to primary education after 1857.
Lord Curzon accepted in his statement that British Government should not show indifference towards primary education in India.
Compulsory Primary Education:
The British Government remained unmoved despite the efforts of the Indian National Congress, and some eminent educationists. Gokhale introduced a bill relating to compulsory education in the Central Assembly in 1911. But it could not be passed.
The ruler of Baroda had earlier in 1906 introduced compulsory primary education in his state. This gave impetus to the public and the national leaders.
In 1918 an Act was passed by the Bombay legislature introducing compulsory education by law in all the provinces where Congress ministries were formed in 1937,
But many difficulties were faced in making primary education compulsory even after India became free. Some of these difficulties are:
Problems Facing Compulsory Education:
(1) Political problems (2) Government, policies lacking practical touch (3) Shortage of teachers (4) Shortage of funds (5) Defective administration (6) Unsuitability of standard of education (7) Defective curriculum (8) Difficulties in the opening of schools (9) Stagnation and wastage (10) Shortage of schools buildings and their unsuitability (11) Problems of medium of instruction (12) Problem of social values (13) Physical Problems (14) Problems of poverty and ignorance.
In order to accelerate the pace of progress the following suggestions are made to solve the problems mentioned above.
Suggestion to Remove Difficulties:
(1) Solving the financial problems (2) Change in administrative system (3) Firmness in the policy of education (4) Provision of teachers (5) Adoption of the shift system (6) Opening of special types of schools (7) Reforms in the curriculum (8) Increase in the number of schools (9) Public co-operation and success of Five Year Plan (10) Increase in teacher’s work load.