National Education Commission (1964-1966), popularly known as Kothari Commission, was appointed by the government of India at the end of the third five-year plan. This commission was headed by Dr. Daulat Singh Kothari chairman of the University Grants Commission. Dr. Daulat Singh and his team evaluated the education system of India gave the report to Education Minister of India.
Dr. Daulat Singh Kothari worked at Delhi University from 1934 to 1961 as Head of the Department of Physics. He was also associated with Minister of Defence as scientific advisor from 1948 to 1961 and was then appointed with UGC University Grant Commission as chairman in 1961 where he worked till 1973.
The commission began its task on 2nd October 1964 and submitted its report on June 29, 1966 to the Education Minister of India. The commission was aimed at checking all aspect of education system of India. This was the 6th commission post independence and the first commission with comprehensive terms of reference on education.
Need of the Kothari commission
Indian Education commission was set up to advise government on the development of educational system of the country. Many recommendations were advised to improve the education system of India at every aspect.
There were some defects in the existing education system of India related to content, curriculum, national development, values and many more. So there was an urgent need of evaluating the existing education system and make some changes.
Problems of the existing education system of India
- Inadequate importance to agriculture: There were no importance given to agriculture in the existing education system of India. Due to this agriculture system were also not able develop properly. There was need to take agriculture industry globally. So study of agriculture should be included in the curriculum.
- No emphasis on character formation and cultivation of moral and spiritual values: Earlier there were no importance were given to development of moral and spiritual values of students. It was very important to give importance to character formation of students so that students become good and responsible citizens.
- Not connected with national reconstruction: For the development of nation it is very much required to include vocational subjects in the curriculum. To increase the productivity there was need of skilled workers.
- Too much academics: In existing education system there were too much emphasis on academics and no attention was given to co-curricular activities. There was a desperate need of overall development of students.
Reforms of Kothari Commission
Kothari commission suggested following reforms to solve the problems in the existing education system.
1. Research in the curriculum
- There was in depth research done on curriculum at each stage. It was recommended that the curriculum should be upgraded through research by universities and state education.
2. Emphasis on science and math education
- Science and Mathematics should be compulsory for the first 10 years of education
- Teaching of science is linked with technology in urban areas and with agriculture in rural areas.
3. Effective program of social studies
- It is essential for the development of good citizenship and emotional integration. Social studies was recommended to include in the curriculum.
4. Special plan for teaching languages
- Three languages (mother tongue, Hindi and English) should be studied from class 8th but not on a compulsory basis. Three language formula was recommended by the commission in which one modern Indian language should be included along with Hindi and English in Hindi speaking area while in non Hindi speaking states Hindi plus regional and English language was recommended to be included in the curriculum.
5. Education in moral and spiritual values
- Commission suggests an organized attempt should be made for imparting moral education and inculcating spiritual values in school. Good moral and spiritual values leads to responsible citizens.
6. The new curriculum and basic education
According to commission
- Education must be a productive activity.
- There must be a relationship between curriculum and environment.
- There should be a connection and contact with local communities. This is important because it enables in shaping the education system at all levels.
7. Social service programmes
- Social service programmes and participation in community development should be organized at all levels suited to the different age groups
8. In view of the curriculum the commission believed that secondary stage can be studied under two categories :
At lower secondary stage (Class 8-10)
In non Hindi speaking area
1. Mother tongue or regional language
In Hindi speaking area
3. A modern Indian language other than Hindi
- History, geography and social science
- Work Experience and social service
- Education in moral-spiritual values
Higher Secondary stage
- Any two languages including any modern Indian language or any classical language.
- Any three subjects from the following list:
- History, Sociology, Geography, Art, Economics, Physics, Logic, Chemistry, Psychology, Mathematics, Geology, Biology, Home Science
- Work experience and social service
- Physical Education
- Art or craft
- Education in modern and spiritual values
9. Quality of text books
- Education commission believed that in most school subjects books material is of low quality. In these books there is no value education, lack of research preparation, no mention of Indian scholars abilities etc therefore they suggested some recommendations
- Appointment of best authors
- Multiple choice of books
- No profit and No-loss basis
- Continuous improvement of books
10. Recommendation in methods of teaching
- Improvement in the method of teaching
- Approaching new methods
- Training to teachers such as workshop
- Providing adequate guide materials
- Training in the use of teaching aids
11. Improvement in Examination system
- New approach of evaluation should contain observation techniques, oral tests, practical examinations besides written examination
- Internal assessments
- Improvement in question paper
12. Guidance and counseling
- Guidance and counseling was recommended by the commission to be implemented in the schools. It helps in choosing the subjects at higher level. Proper guidance assist in career planning and choose the right path in which the student is more proficient.
13. Supervision and Inspection
- Recommendation for Inspectorial staff at district level.
- Upgrading the pay scales.
- Increasing the strength.
- Fair proportion of women officers.
- Recruiting best quality officers.
14. Vocationalisation of Education
- Education related to productivity.
- Preparation of Individuals for jobs.
- Employment opportunities.
- Dignity of labour.
- Maximum utilization of the material resources of the country.
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