Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/380

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a time which is marked however slightly as an epoch, and they are moreover in a manner forced upon us by a hostile tone of opinion which, for some time past, has been very marked. The policy of establishing Colleges and conferring Opposition to degrees, the policy in fact of the higher education has lately been a good deal called in question. The cost, it is said, is very great, and the results are of little value. Nay — for to this length the opposition sometimes goes, the effects, it is said, are often mischievous. Morally it produces conceit and politically it is a blunder. Sometime ago when criticisms of this kind were more than usually rife, a friend of mine who held these views asked me if Educational officers had nothing to say in their defence. I replied that I did not think the attack very dangerous. When a policy is new it may be necessary to defend it against attack. Its continuance may otherwise be in danger, and, to secure it a fair trial, those who think it valuable, must array arguments in its defence. But in the present stage of education in India, I am willing to leave the matter to the silent testimony of facts which in my opinion, are steadily accumulating in its favor. The higher education has been now in operation in this Presidency for more than 20 years. The earlier pupils of our schools have reached or past their prime of life, and many of them now hold high posts in all the departments of public life. Among these are men whose names are widely known among their countrymen and who are honored where they are known. The pupils of later years have also in large numbers found employment in official life. Of these young men whose work is carried on in comparative obscurity, I am not in a position to speak with authority. That must be left to the officers who have the immediate supervision of their work. One thing, however, is clear to me. A great change has gradually come about in the feeling with which they are regarded by those who have charge of the admin- istration. In opposition to much prejudice — a prejudice that to some extent, no doubt, was due to their own failings, among which may be reckoned an unwillingness to begin low enough on the official ladder — they have gradually made their way in the Courts and Cutcherries, and I believe it is generally admitted that especially in method and regularity, and I believe also, in the tone of morality, the public service has in recent years vastly improved. And this result is only what might have been expected. Method and system are the charac- An educated teristic marks of intellectual training. You can see it in the simplest narrative as told by different men. The uneducated man is dominated by