Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/454

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1882. — The Honorable Mr. Justice Muthusami Iyer.

already assisting primary education, first .by supplying a cheap agency competent to take up the management of primary schools, and next by producing men who start primary schools as a pro- fession. I would ask you and all the educated men in this country to revive in villages the old healthy spirit according to which the school-master, supported by each village, was a part of the ancient village organisation, and to encourage, as your means and opportunities permit, the application of a larger share of the private wealth of the country in the interests of edu- cation.

Whilst on the subject of national education, I would say a word in connection with female education. You are peculiarly fitted for organizing and developing the system of home-teaching in this Presidency. Without it the education of the women of this country cannot be sufficiently liberal, for, from one cause or another girls are withdrawn from schools a little too soon. All of you should endeavour to secure the benefit of home- teaching to such young women as may come under your protection and guardianship, and I have no doubt that the prejudice against it will wear away in the same manner in which it was worn away in relation to girls receiving any education at all. During that anxious interval of time which must exist between the commencement of progress, and the introduction of practical reforms, it is no small gain for men whose views are liberal and who are anxious to do something for their country, to be sustained and encouraged by enlightened home-influences. After the close of your college career, you should travel at least through India and acquire some practical knowledge of the country in which you live and of the various peoples that inhabit it. I would advise those of you who can afford to pay a visit to Europe to do so and add to your knowledge the benefit of that social education which residence in civilized countries for a time, with a view to self -improvement, is likely to ensure. While I urge you to further progress, let me advise you not to merit the reproach that the knowledge of Indian students is only book-knowledge, and that their observation does not extend beyond the precincts of their village or town or district.

Graduates in Arts, —

You will find soon, if you do not already know, that the time in which you live is the transitional period, or what I have already characterized as the anxious interval in the history of progress,