Punjab Research Group

WHEN THE ‘WILD’ PROVED MORE EDUCATED By Majid Sheikh

Posted in Articles by Pippa on February 28, 2010

When the British conquered Lahore in 1849, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General, declared that he would educate the “wild illiterate Punjabis” in a new system of Anglo-Vernacular education. When they started the East India Company Board was shocked by what already existed.

The board was amazed to find that the literacy rate in Lahore and its suburbs was over 80 per cent, and this was qualified by the description that this 80 per cent comprised of people who could write a letter. Today, in 2010, less than nine per cent can do this, while 38 per cent can sign their name, and, thus, are officially ‘literate’. If you happen to read Arnold Woolner’s book ‘History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab’ you will come across some amazing facts we today just do not know. To understand the situation it would interest scholars to go through the ‘A.C. Woolner Collection in the Punjab University Library. My review is a scant one. But studying other similar pieces provides a picture of the educational system as it existed in Lahore in 1849 when the British took over.
Read full article: http://watandost.blogspot.com/2010/02/when-wild-proved-more-educated-must.html

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