Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/465

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University of Madras

present year, I find that the rate of success has been uniformly about fifty per cent, of the whole. In the professional degrees the rate of success has fluctuated to a remarkable extent^ as is too well known, for instance, to recent candidates for the degree in law. Having worked with and watched the work of men, some of whom are proficients of the pre-University High School and others are Graduates of the University, I gratefully acknow- ledge that I have found both classes equally efiicient and equally honorable. The proficients in their day had an advan- tage which graduates cannot share. They were so few in number that there was a perfect scramble amongst the heads of departments to secure them. Once caught, they were rapidly promoted to be Tahsildars, Deputy Collectors and District Mun- siffs. Now — so strong is the general competition — that a Bache- lor of Arts is often very glad to get a clerkship on four or five pagodas a month, in which situation he may languish without advancement, for years. But there is more than this to account for the poor prospects of graduates. They would be far more numerous and far better remunerated, but for a direct check, which I trust will be shortly removed, after the consideration which it is about to receive from the Governor in Council. It is the admission of men, without any connection with the Uni- versity beyond the Matriculation — sometimes not even that — to the Special Test, by passing which the candidates become qualified to hold the more important oflBces in the country. This system has been injurious to education, the University, and the public service itself. Look at the hundreds and hun- dreds of young men, who annually matriculate or pass what is best known as the Uncovenanted Civil Service Examination. What becomes of them? Do they go on to F.A., and B.A., and B.L. ? Not at all ; they have now reached the goal of their miserable ambition as students; they take a petty post as a copyist and set to work to cram, in their scanty hours of leisure, the Special Tests for the Judicial and Revenue De- partments. Now, a Matriculate has just begun his educa- tion, and of what value to the State is the occupation of the higher appointments by half-educated men ? I would say to those, who are satisfied to stop at the Matriculation stage, that they shall get no further than petty clerkships, that they shall remain "hewers of wood and drawers of water." They may cram the Special Tests in time, but it is not good for the country that any but really educated men should become Magistrates, Tahsil- dars, and Munsiffs, Now that the University has stood and prospered for a quarter of a century, it is surely high time that