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learn the Persian language, read the Persian New Testament as a class-book. It is stated that the scholars prefer the New Testament to any other English book,
The Free-School at Cawnpore is supported by an allowance of 400 ropees per month. The pupils adınitted are of all classes, Hindus, Mohammedans, and English, for many of them are children of the European warrant and non-commissioned officers of the different corps and departments of the stations. Some of the English boys have become proficients in the Persian language, and are likely to be of considerable use in teaching English to the Hindus and Mohammedans, who are said to flock to the school with ardour for tuition in that language. The late Major General Thomas officially repres sented to the Adjutant General in 1823, that “ several of our sepoys from the corps of the station, as well as a number of Mohammedan and Hindu grownup lads of the most respectable families, had become class-fellows with the English boys in reading the Bible.”
In settling the province of Rajpootana in 1818, the Marquess of Hastings conceived that the introduction of schools would be a judicious expedient to wean the rising generation from the ill habits of their parents. Mr. Jabez Carey, one of the Serampore missionaries, was accordingly sent to Ajmere, but met with great difficulties and little success. Three or four schools having at length been established, Government assigned 300 rupees per mensem to Mr. Carey for their support. But it was discovered that the backwardness of the natives to send their children to school proceeded from Mr. Carey's introduce tion of the Holy Scriptures as school books,
This measure, highly injudicious and objectionable, with reference to local circumstances, was reprobated by the Government, which required Mr. Carey to discontinue the use of all religious books calculated to excite alarm, with regard to our motives in such a state of society as Rajpootana. Whether owing to this salutary prohibition or not, need not be pronounced, but in about a twelvemonth after the issue of these orders, seven schools, attended by above 300 children, were in operation, and applications for the formation of more were received by the superintendant.
The Bhagulpore school was established by Government for the instruction of the recruits and children of the hill corps, and of the hill people in general ; and there is every reason to expect, from this institution, the promotion of civilization amongst the rude mountain tribes in this quarter. The Government allowance for the support of this school is 400 rupees per mensem.
To the aforegoing list of Government institutions must be added the school for native doctors established at Calcutta in 1822. The students, who are regularly enlisted as soldiers for fifteen years, are supported by Government from the time of their admission, and when qualified, they fill the vacancies for native doctors in the army and civil departments. The system of instruction corresponds with that introduced by Col. Pasley, of the Royal Engineers, for the education of the royal sappers and miners in geometry and mathematics. The students are distributed in the various hospitals and the Company's dispensary. Lectures (in Hindustanee) are delivered to them on particular cases, operations, comparative anatomy, Materia Medica, and the practice of physic; and demonstrations are occasionally given at the general hospital.
The pupils are represented to manifest remarkable zcal and diligence in their studies even in the least attainable branch, viz. anatomy. Even the Hindu students, persuaded that nothing, which has for its object the preservation of human lives, is repugnant to the tenets of their religion, regularly attend and readily assist in dissections, as opportunities offer, and the majority of the students, who arrived in Calcutta in 1823, can themselves give a clear demonstration of the abdominal and thoracic viscera, of the brain, and of the structure of the eye ; and have distinct notions of other parts of medical science, which have been explained to them.
The school has fortunately had able superintendents. The first was the late Mr. Jameson; the present is Dr. Breton, whose “ zealous and able" exertions are mentioned in the speech of Lord Amherst at the last visitation of the College of Fort William.
It appears, also, from his Lordship's speech, that it had been determined to establish a college for Mohammedans at Delhi, the arrangements for which object have received the sanction of Government, and are in progress.
To this list of institutions established and supported by Government for the intellectual improvement of their subjects, we have to add those which, though not exclusively maintained, are patronized and aided by the state. These institutions are of various kinds—religious, as well as what are strictly denominated charitable. The enumeration of them occupies the largest and most interesting portion of Mr. Lushington's work; but we shall confine our observations, at present, to those which embrace the object of instructing the people of Hindustan in the elements of secular knowledge.
The Calcutta Auxiliary Church Missionary Society has extensive school establishments within the scope of its plan. They are situated at Agra, Meerut, Chunar, Burdwan, Kidderpore, and Mirzapore. Those at Burdwan seem to be in the most flourishing state. According to the latest report, they consist of nineteen schools for boys, containing 1,674 scholars ; and ten schools for girls, containing 243. The judicious caution displayed and incul. cated by this society, induced them to withhold, at first, the Scriptures from their pupils at Burdwan; but the avidity of the Bengalees to learn English became so great, that prejudice against the means was absorbed by it, and the boys are now in the habit of reading the Gospel, and even unfolding its doctrines, which they perform with great readiness. The Kidderpore schools contain about 770 pupils; the New Testament is here likewise used without opposition. The total number of children in the schools of the society is computed at 4,000, who, according to their age and capacity, are all receiving Christian instruction. The expense of one of the schools is entirely defrayed by Government.
The Calcutta Church Missionary Association has seven schools in active operation, in which about 130 boys are instructed, of whose progress a very favourable account is given.
The Calcutta Diocesan Committee of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, formed by the late Bishop Middleton, directs its exertions primarily to the supply of books. “Disclaiming all views of direct proselytism, they would strive to imbue the Indian youth with at least a knowledge of Christian morality, leaving to the decision of his more mature age the improvement or rejection of the light he may have acquired.” With this view they not only import books from England, but print them in India, and for the latter object they have received aid from Government. The secondary object of the Committee is “the gradual conversion of the myriads under the British rule in India, to whom the Gospel is unknown, by the process of Christian education.” This object is pursued by the formation of native schools, wherein portions of the Scriptures, of the plainest and least controversial character, are introduced as lessons. This deviation from the plan of
other societies excited at first some distrust; but the apprehension was transient; for the native parents sacrificed their prejudices, it is said, to the advantage of obtaining education for their children.
The committee plant their schools by circles, comprizing a few miles in extent; each circle containing five Bengalee schools, and one central school where English is taught. One circle is fixed to the southward of Calcutta, including Russapnglah and Baloogunge, and a second to the northward, in the direction of Cossipore. They have also erected a school at Barripore, and propose to extend their labours to the other side of the Hooghly, and establish native schools from Sulkeah to Seebpore.
The Bengal Auxiliary Missionary Society has established schools, though a subordinate object, at some of its stations. Excursions are sometimes made by the missionaries belonging to this society, in order to preach and distribute tracts; in one of which, in December 1822, at Culna, a place said to contain about 10,000 inhabitants, they wished to restrict their donation of tracts to “such as could read;" but they were informed that, in
consequence of the instruction afforded by the public schools, there was not a youth in the town who could not read."
The Calcutta Baptist Missionary Society, like the preceding, includes in its plan the establishment of schools, of which it has several, though not apparently in a very flourishing condition.' In one of the annual reports, the society states, that it has been felt as a duty to direct that the elder' boys should daily read extracts from the Scriptures, notwithstanding the probable Alight of the scholars in consequence.”
The noble establishment of Bishop's College, the project of which originated with Bishop Middleton, is perhaps the germ of an Anglo-Indian university. It was founded and is supported by private contributions, which have already reached a considerable sum. * Its objects are the education of Christian youth (European, country-born, or native) in sacred knowledge, sound learning, the languages of Hindustan, and in habits of piety and devotion ; so as to qualify them to preach amongst the heathen, and to act as teachers in the superintendence of schools. The extension of the system to others not destined as teachers, but maintained at their own expense for the purposes of a liberal' education, was a branch of the original plan, and will be carried into effect when the substantial part of the scheme shall be in full operation. The College is founded for a principal, and two other professors from the English universities, and as many students as can be maintained.
The Calcutta School-Book Society is an association formed for “ the preparation, publication, or cheap or gratuitous supply, of works (English as well as Asiatic) useful in schools and seminaries of learning,” excluding works strictly of a religious nature, or which might interfere with the religious sentiments of any person. In 1821, its fourth year, after its progress had been carefully observed, the labours and designs of the society received the unqualified approbation of Government, with the grant of considerable pecuniary aid, namely, a sum of 7,000 rupees for immediate relief, and a monthly contribution of 500 rupees. The works distributed by the society since its forma
* The Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (which was the mover of the project) placed at the Bishop's disposal £5,000; the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and the Church Missionary Society, subscribed the same sum each ; and the latter has since voted an additional £1,000, which donation is expected to be continued annually. The first stone of the college was laid in December 1820, a year previous to which the contributions amounted to £48,000; the Britisla and Foreign Bible Society has since contributed £5,000.
Asiatic Journ. Vol. XXI. No. 123. 2 T
tion amount to 104,182 copies, in the following tongues, viz. Sanscrit, 340 ; Bengalee, 63,347; Hinduwee, 7,622 ; Ooriya, 50; Arabic, 292; Persian, 7,961 ; Hindustanee, 6,538; English, 8,551; and Anglo-Asiatic, 9,481. The society's third report speaks of the improved discipline of the native schools, the proficiency of the scholars, the increasing thirst for knowledge, and the growing interest felt by the learned natives to co-operate with us in the diffusion of instruction-as proofs of the success of its exertions. The union of natives and Europeans, as members, attracted the notice of the King of Oude (a Mohammedan) and the Rajah of Bhurtpore (a Hindu) to this society, each of whom has testified his approbation of its views by a donation of 1,000 rupees.
Shortly after the establishment of the preceding, the Calcutta School Society was formed, with the same ultimate object, but without pledging itself to the same exclusive rules. Its design was declared to be, “ to assist and improve existing schools, and to establish and support further schools and seminaries, with a view to the more general diffusion of useful knowledge amongst the inhabitants of India of every description; and to select pupils of distinguished talents and merit from elementary and other schools, and to provide for their instruction in seminariės of a higher degree, with the view of forming a body of qualified teachers and translators, who may be instrumental in enlightening their countrymen, and improving the general system of education.” The separation of these two societies, Mr. Lushington states,
has produced more extensive advantage than their coalition could have effected, owing to its multiplying the number of active agents in the same cause. Three sub-committees superintend the execution of three distinct designs : Ist, the establishment and support of regular schools ; 2d, the 'aiding and improving indigeneous schools, supported by natives; 3d, the education of pupils in English and in the higher branches of tuition.
The society has been obliged to confine itself chiefly to the two last objects. The improvement of the native schools has been greatly advanced by the distribution of correct books (instead of the old vitiated manuscripts), by the annual examinations of the head boys, and by prizes granted to proficients, as well as pecuniary rewards to the native tutors, as an encouragement to exertion. The third object has been provided for by sending those native boys, who distinguish themselves at the indigenous schools, to the English school at the Vidyalaya, to learn English at the society's expense. This prospect affords a great stimulus to the Hindu youth ; and“ with a view of forming an intermediate link between the indigenous schools and the native Hindu college, and for the better preparation of the pupils for the course of education there,” the society has established an elementary school, to be filled by pupils selected for proficiency from the indigenous schools ; who are, if deserving, to be afterwards removed to the college. The total number of boys in the indigenous schools exceeds 2,800. Several of the youths educated by the society in the Hindu College have obtained respectable situations in life; some of them have established evening schools for gratuitous instruction of their countrymen in the English language.
The funds of the society being incommensurate with its objects, on application to Government, an allowance of 500 rupees per month was granted, accompanied by a recommendation that the society would continue to adhere to its cautious principles.
The Female Juvenile Society took its rise from one of those mis-representations which are by no means uncommon in writers on East-India subjects.
In an address by some members of the Calcutta Baptist Missionary Society in April 1819, is the following assertion : “In the province of Bengal alone, at least ten thousand widows* are annually sacrificed, and thirty times a day a deed repeated, which ought to call forth our tenderest pity, as well as our most vigorous exertions !” This statement had the effect of prompting the ladies at a boarding-school to form a society, under the above title, for the education of Hindu girls. The number of the society's schools increased to six; that of the pupils to 160. The use of religious school-books was insisted on; one of the female instructors evinced some reluctance to employ them; but, it is said, a little firmness” on the part of the committee overruled it.
This society has recently been incorporated with the Bengal Christian School Society, whose object is the promotion of religious knowledge, particularly among the native females of India.
The benevolent design of reclaiming the female part of the population from ignorance was likewise the motive which led to the formation of the Ladies' Society for Native Female Education. The British and Foreign School Society having collected subscriptions in England for sending to Bengal a female teacher to establish schools for native female children, Miss Cooke (now Mrs. Wilson). was selected, and reached Calcutta in 1821. In spite of the prejudices against educating females, and notwithstanding the difficulties of procuring suitable teachers, this lady, in a few months, established teh schools, containing 277 children: the next year the schools increased to twentytwo, the scholars to 400. The unexpected success which attended this project, induced the friends of female education in India to enlarge and extend the plan. Accordingly, Lady Amberst having accepted the office of Patroness of a society of European ladies to superintend and conduct this interesting design, the society above-named was formed in March 1824. The resolutions record the success which has attended the novel and difficult undertaking of Mrs. Wilson, and the eagerness of the females to learn—some of the most respectable caste and station having sent their daughters, it is said, and, in some cases, desired instruction themselves—and approve the intention of the committee of the Church Missionary Society to erect a new school, to be used as the central school.
Mr. Lushington is not sanguine as to the speedy or extensive success of the plan of this society.
It is an arduous, if not a hazardous task (he observes) to effect a revolution in the long-cherished habits and customs of a whole people, proverbially averse to change, and to undermine a usage which, from the practice of ages, has almost acquired the force of a religious obligation. Female seclusion is so interwoven with the first feelings and ideas of the natives, that it has become a second nature with the women themselves. It is a great mistake to suppose that they submit to it through compulsion : none of the more respectable would, after a certain age, appear in public if the option were urged upon them. Their exposure would insure their own disgrace and the degradation of their families.
It is probable, then, that the great majority of the elder pupils will be confined to the inferior classes, Even upon most of these the duty of seclusion operates with considerable strength, and if the restraint be precipitately taken off, very opposite consequences from those to be wished for are likely to result. The prosecution, therefore, of this truly benevolent scheme demands abundant and incessant ution.
This * The number of suttees in the province of Bengal, in 1819, according to the Parliamentary Retums, was five hundred and one !
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