The foreign missionaries started to help the cause of women education in India from the early 19th century. The development period of women education during the British period may be divided into three parts: 1851 to 1881, 1882 to 1927 and 1928 to 1947.
Despite special efforts the pace of the progress has remained slow. Since independence there has been a considerable increase in the pace, but even then greater efforts are needed.
The Importance of Women’s Education:
The object of women education is to achieve literacy and the social development of women. While making efforts to raise the standard of Indian women to that of women in other advanced countries, we should have to pattern their education in such a way that they do not develop contempt towards our cultural traditions and heritage.
Women’s Education and Administration:
Although according to the Indian Constitution, the education of women is a national liability, yet in actual practice the State Governments look after it. In the State a number of women educational officers like the Additional Deputy Director Education (Women), Regional Inspectresses and Inspectresses of Schools have been appointed.
Arrangement for Women’s Education:
Expansion at the primary stage will pave the way for expansion at higher stages. In 1950, 1956, 1961 and 1992 the percentage of girl students in primary classes was 25, 33, 40 and 60 respectively.
But the percentage of girls who reach class V is only 30 per cent of the number that joined the school in the nursery classes. At the secondary stage the number of girls and schools in 1956 was 13, 40,071 and 3,920 respectively, but the percentage of those in the 14 to 17 years age group was only 3 per cent.
At the higher stage of education much development has not taken place. There is a shortage of subjects suiting the taste and temperament of women. Proper vocational training facilities as well as facilities related to adult education need expansion.
Main Problems of Women’s Education:
The system of education and curriculum of Women’s education should differ from that of men’s education. Arrangements of private education should be made for those young or older women who due to some reasons cannot go to schools.
Special arrangements should be made and facilities should be given for training in teaching profession in view of the fact that lady teachers have proved more suitable for teaching young children.