Kothari Commission – (1964-1966): Objectives and Recommendations.

Kothari Commission is also known as National Education Commission (1964-1966). The Government of India established an ad hoc commission to investigate all aspects of the Indian educational system, create a general framework for education, and make recommendations for rules and policies to develop guidelines for the education sector in India. The head of the Kothari Commision was Daulat Singh Kothari

Kothari Commission - (1964-1966)
Kothari Commission – (1964-1966)

The Kothari Education Commission, operating from 1964 to 1966, aimed to address various challenges in India’s education system. Its objectives included:

  1. Assessment of the Current System: The commission sought to evaluate the existing educational framework to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Recommendations for Improvement: It aimed to propose measures to enhance the quality and accessibility of education across all levels.
  3. Alignment with National Goals: The commission aimed to align the education system with the broader national objectives, including economic development and social progress.

Facts of Kothari Commission (1964-66)

  • The Kothari Commission (1964-66) was appointed to assess India’s educational system and recommend a national pattern of education and the policies and principles that would develop education at all levels.
  • Kothari commission is famous for creating policies and guidelines for developing education in India.
  • Though the commission was authorized to look into and make recommendations on legal and medical education, they were excluded by the commission.
  • Twelve task forces and seven working groups were set up by the commission to study various issues and problems related to the education system.
  • Some of the recommendations made by the commission were included in the National Policy on Education, 1968.

What is Kothari Commission?

  • National Education Commission (1964-1966), also known as Kothari Commission, was an ad hoc commission set up by the Government of India to examine all aspects of the educational sector in India, to evolve a general pattern of education and to advise guidelines and policies for the development of education in India.
  • Professor Daulat Singh Kothari, the then chairman of the University Grants Commission, was appointed as the Chairperson of this educational commission. Along with him, the core group of the committee consisted of 17 members.
  • The Kothari Education Commission had a consultation panel of 20 experts in the education field from across the World. They aided the Commission, to frame a better educational system.
  • It was the first commission in India to deal with the country’s education system comprehensively.
  • The Commission consisted of 12 task forces:
    • School Education,
    • Higher Education,
    • Technical Education,
    • Agricultural Education,
    • Adult Education,
    • Science Education and Research,
    • Teacher Training and Teacher Status,
    • Student Welfare,
    • New Techniques and Methods,
    • Manpower,
    • Educational Administration and,
    • Educational Finance.
  • In addition to the task force, it also had seven working groups:
    • Women’s Education,
    • Education of Backward Classes,
    • School Buildings,
    • School-Community Relations,
    • Statistics,
    • Pre-Primary Education and
    • School Curriculum.

The Need For Kothari Commission (1964-66)

The necessity for the Kothari Education Commission arose due to identified shortcomings in the nation’s existing educational framework, including:

  1. The absence of a focus on national reconstruction within the educational curriculum.
  2. Inadequate attention to agricultural education within the system.
  3. Insufficient emphasis on nurturing students’ moral and spiritual values.
  4. Overemphasis on academic aspects.
  5. Lack of emphasis on character formation within the educational paradigm.

Objectives Of the Kothari Commission (1964-66)

Towards the end of the third five-year plan, the educational commission called Kothari Commission was appointed with the following objectives:

  • To review the educational system comprehensively to initiate a new and more determined effort at scholarly reconstruction.
  • Formulating an educational pattern and policies would develop education at all aspects and stages and recommend the same to the Government of India.

Major Recommendations of the Kothari Commission on Education

The Kothari commission report was submitted on 29th June 1966 to M.C.Chagla, the then minister of education. The information consists of 4 volumes in which 19 chapters are dealt.

Some of the key recommendations of the Kothari Commission are discussed below:

  • To increase the enrollment percentage, it recommended free and compulsory education for children of the age group 6 to 14 years.
  • A new pattern of the educational structure was recommended by the Kothari Commission, which was commonly known as 10+2+3. According to it, the structure of education in the country should be as follows,
    • Pre-school stage: Here, education should be for 1 to 3 years.
    • Primary education stage: The 7 to 8 years of primary education are to be divided into 4 or 5 years of the lower preliminary stage and 3 or 2 years of the higher primary location.
    • Lower secondary education stage: 3 or 2 years of general education or 1 to 3 years of vocational education.
    • Higher secondary education stage: 2 years of general education or 1 to 3 years of vocational education.
    • Higher education stage:3 years or more for the first-degree course followed by courses of varying durations for the second or research degrees.
  • It suggested two types of secondary schools: The high school, which provides a 10 years course, and the higher secondary school offers 11 or 12 years of courses.
  • The Kothari Education Commission stressed making the study of science and social and national service an integral part of education, from primary to university education.
  • It recommended using regional languages as a medium of education at all stages of education.
  • The Commission recommended the common school system of public education provide equal opportunities for children across the country.
  • It recommended that part-time education be provided on a large scale at the lower and higher secondary stages in both general and vocational courses.
  • The commission insisted on fixing the admission age to at least 4 years.
  • The commission suggested that work experience should be made compulsory for higher-level vocational and general education.
  • To improve the standards of education, the Kothari Education Commission recommended the implementation of nationwide programs.
  • The Commission recommended that schools improve their structure and facilities to achieve universal enrolment and retention. It also insisted on the establishment of libraries at all educational institutions.
  • Establishment of a State Education department for every state to deal with all the matters related to the education of that particular state, such as development, implementation, inspection, etc.
  • It recommended the establishment of the National Board of Education to advise the Union Government on all matters relating to school education.
  • The recommendations of the Kothari Commission included a proposal for a three-language formula to be followed at the lower secondary stage of education. According to that formula, a child should be taught the following languages:
    • Regional language or Mother Tongue
    • National Language of the Union, i.e. Hindi
    • Anyone modern Indian or European language which is neither a part curriculum nor the medium of education.
  • It recommended the Center initiate scholarship programs for women students in colleges and universities.

The Kothari Commission’s recommendations concluded with the Government of India integrating several pivotal suggestions into the National Policy on Education. Key implementations include:

  1. Establishment of the 10+2+3 years educational structure.
  2. Ensuring free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, in line with Article 45 of the Indian Constitution.
  3. Adoption of the three-language formula with a focus on Sanskrit and regional languages.
  4. Introduction of a common school system to ensure equitable educational opportunities nationwide.
  5. Prioritization of science education and research, alongside the development of education in agriculture and industry.
  6. Promotion of gaming and sports activities to enhance students’ physical fitness and sportsmanship.

Education is the most powerful instrument for the development of any country. This fact was realized long back by the leaders of the Indian Independence movement, who emphasised the spread of education in the country. It is essential to reconstruct the country’s education system based on recommendations made by the Kothari Education Commission to achieve economic and social development. 

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