jan 26, 1825 - Elphinstone Enquiry in Bombay


Enquires in Bombay: Elphinstone report

In 1823, the Governor of Bombay Sir Mount Stuart Elphinstone conducted a survey on indigenous education in Bombay presidency. The collectors gathered data regarding the indigenous education system and most of them submitted their reports by 1824-1825 period.

According to the report, most schools were held in temples, private dwellings or sheds, or the houses of the teachers themselves. Majority of the teachers were Brahmins, although other casts like Prabhus, Marathas, Bhandarees. It noted the absence of education for Harijans and females. Severe punishment to students were given. The schoolmasters were respectable in the society and they paid by students in cash and kind, almost 70% of students in the elementary school were from higher classes. The average duration schooling in this presidency was 2-4 years. Along with the 3 R’s, the students were taught various levels of multiplication tables too. The report also mentioned about the schooling of Muslims in the Hindu schools and the Hindu schools of higher Education. It also made a note that "There are probably as great a proportion of persons in India who can read, write and keep simple accounts as are to be found in European Countries"

The Bombay report also failed to gather data regarding the domestic instruction but gives a fair picture of the elementary education. The natives were reluctant to give the exact information to the British officials as they believed that the government did the survey of their benefits. The officers participated in data collection, and compilation was not interested and forced to complete the target within a short period. The above mentioned reasons questioning the reliability of the Bombay report.

1. Source Book of History of Education in the BombayProvince, Part-I, Survey of Indigenous Education (1820-30).

2. Naik, J. P., & Nurullah, S. (1974). Students' history of education in India 1800-1973. MacMillan company of India limited.

3. Dharampal. (1983). The beautiful tree: Indigenous Indian education in the eighteenth century.

Added to timeline:

11 months ago
History of Education in India during Colonial Times- 1700-1947
Editors: Shivakumar Jolad, Susanna G and Pranjali Kulkarni ...


jan 26, 1825
~ 193 years ago



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