Speech on Role of a University


  • Introduction: historic role of the university
  • Functions of the university: the spread of ideal education: social responsibilities
  • Direct sphere of activin: the indirect sphere of activity
  • Necessary conditions are guaranteed the university
  • Conclusion

In the present set-up of human society, the university occupies a position of unique’ importance, by virtue of the historic functions that have come to devolve on it. Its importance has particularly grown beyond all proportions since the time when the basic criterion of national greatness began to shift from wealth to culture. Since then no other institution has exercised more influence in guiding the present and molding the future of any nation nor has earned it greater honor from abroad. What we find England to-day, nationally and internationally, is largely the contribution of her Oxford and Cambridge. The vast colonial empire of Great Britain has collapsed her naval or industrial supremacy, no longer exists but universities still continue to receive the highest respect from all over the world. It is, therefore, no wonder that the university to-day has become the center of public attention in every country of the world. For this reason, every nation is now carnest to build her universities on an ideal planc, so as to cnsure the proper discharge of its great responsibilities.

What should be the standard of an ideal university? In other words, what functions should a given university be called upon to discharge in order to justify its claim to idealism? The test, though simple in nature, is vet difficult to pass. The first and the only business of the university is to diffuse or assists in the diffusion of learning only that university can be said to have played its part fully which contributes to the spread of ideal education in the country: What is, then, ideal education? It would be too inadequate and abstract to say, as Prof. A.E. Johnson. docs. that “Education is the creation of finer human hunger”. He has obviously its higher purposcs in view. But education is also needed to scrvc lower ends. Can a man, however highly cducated, think of any higher pursuit of life, if his existencom is in question? Hence, to a man of our agc. when the struggle for breast and butter is harder than ever education is of no worth if it does not help him secure his bare existence. That is to say, modern education must combine the opportunities and equipment for satisfying both physical and mental hunger. It is such an education that a modern university must diffuse.

But obviously, the university is not and cannot be an employment exchange bureau to secure means of livelihood to the people. That does not, however, relieve it of its social obligations. If any university retires to the ivory-tower of isolation in disregard of the needs and problems of society and wants to diffuse abstract learning for those few who are ready to learn for learning’s sake, it may do so but society at large will have no truck with it because it does not exist for social utility. Such a university can be called anything but ideal. Hence, it is clear that only that university can be said to play its full part which exists in the society and delicates’ itself to the service to social needs and interests.

The functions of a modern university fall into two broad categories. In its direct sphere, the university has to conduct’s higher cducation and research in all the branches of Arts and Sciences. It is mainly here that talents are to be discovered and given ample scopes for expression. To that end, it must possess a well-equipped library, up-to-date seminars, and laboratories, together with a brilliant staff of teachers consisting of the best in these respective subjects. Of great importance is the method of university instruction. It is the backbone of university cducation. It should, therefore, be so framed and executed as to turn out not products but free and independent human beings who can think. The need of the hour is men and women of balance mind, strong will, broad outlook, and unprejudiced judgment. It is they who can handle the affairs of life efficiently and lead the society to progress. The direct responsibility of producing such persons rests on the university.

In its indirect sphere too, the university, unless it is an entirely residential institution, has to play an important role in organizing the national cducation for creating better avenues of social happiness. It has the essential tasks of formulating educational curricula and syllabuses of study and also of publishing textbooks for the study of college students. The university, again, bears the overall responsibility of guiding and supervising the management and activities of its affiliated colleges. The holding of various examinations is another important task that it has to perform. Even in respect of Secondary and Primary cducation which is outside the usual scope of its responsibility, the university has some contribution to make by way of counseling the authorities concerned in their organization and management. There can, in short, be no sphere of cducation in a country, from the top to the bottom, with which the university is not to remain connected, directly or circuitously.

The proper performance of the university’s role is, however, dependent on the existence of certain conditions. Firstly, it must be free from any kind of financial encumbrances. Its demands must receive priority in any national budget. Secondly, the university must be an autonomous institution, functioning freely and independent of any extraneous control or interference. Thirdly, it is necessary to house the university within the area of some city and not far from the madding crowd. For, students receiving education in the so-called university towns often develop an unhealthy ivory-tower attitude and remain largely unacquainted with the hard realities of life. Thus the real purpose of cducation is defeated. Such isolation also makes higher cducation expensive and inaccessible to the average man of to-day. In conclusion, as we have already said, the university has come to assume the present momentous role vis-a-vis our society by force of the inexorable law of necessity. Any government that aims at progress should recognize this fact and submit to it. It is, therefore, certain that any state attempting to curb its functions or restricted its liberties would only contribute to its own national disaster.

Speech on Literature & Education


  • Two aspects of the question: academic and extra-academic
  • For long literature monopolized education: challenge arose recently with the growth of science and the problems of existence
  • Literature is of high existential utility too: it perfects education: all education should have the touch of literature because it is the grammar of human nature
  • Extra-academic utility of studying literature

The relation of Literature to cducation is to be judged in two aspects. Firstly, what is the place of literature in education as it is given in the academic sphere? Secondly, what role Literature plays in extra-academic education. The first is a question of ascertaining the position of Literature, that is, to determine the degree of emphasis to be laid on it. while formulating the curriculum of national cducation. The second relates to the appreciation of the contribution that the study of Literature makes in lending perfection to the academic cducation imparted in schools and colleges.

As to the first, the question has arisen in recent times with the growing importance of Science in rclation to human life. Devised at a time when existence was not half so difficult as now, cducation was meant to flower the mind which the study of Literature and Philosophy could do successfully and perfectly. Not to speak of Physics Chemistry or Technology, even Economics, Commerce or such other subjects having a circuitous bearing on existence did not enter the arena of cducation. Unrelated to any question of existence, it was pursued by those whose life was secure and, was, therefore, largely concerned with the abstract’s pursuit of knowledge and learning.

Naturally. Literature was thought to be adequately, sound as the basis of such education. But as time went on, the foundation appeared to be shaky and unstable before the attacks of reality. Science by its achievements began to engage the attention of man more and more. The number of pcople cnjoying security of life began to dwindle down at a rapid spccd. No longer did it remain possible to pursue cducation without reference to its practical utility. Hence subjects of utilitarian value. Science, Economics, and Commerce came to receive great importance for the purpose of the study. Obviously, they could serve the needs of life much better than Literature which, therefore, began to be relegated more and more to the background. Out of this contest between literature and its powerful rivals’ arose the question Should the study of Literature be dropped altogether? If not, what should be its place in the scheme of modern cducation?

There is no denying that modern man would be reluctant to do anything which does not help his existence. As science docs it most, he is studying science with the top-most attention and will continue to do so as long as conditions require. Next comes the place of other subjects, such as Economics, Commerce and even Political Science which to have great existential value. He is, therefore, paying them attention next to Science. As Literature serves the direct purposes of lifeless than these, it stands, in order of importance, at a notch lower than both. It is the supreme law of necessity which is determining the respective position of each in the scheme of human study.

Literature may not have a high utilitarian value as Physics or Economics has, but that does not mean that its necessity for life is equally low. Man’s life is made of the interaction of two things–the body and the mind. To train him for life means to develop both the body and the mind. And in the realm of the latter, Literature has almost the absolute role to play. To face life and overcome its difficulties successfully, one must gain thorough access into it and bc acquainted with all the forces that determine its working. This calls for the study of Literature which, in fact, deals with the stuff which lite is made of Life’s battle is largely the problem of handling and competing with a variety of fellow human beings. Their feelings. sentiments passions and devices are very important factors in that battle.

By expressing and analyzing the emotions that have influenced mankind through the ages, Literature helps to secure us a firm grasp of the human mind. Literature, in short, ripens and sharpens our feelings brings us into contact with new experiences, improves our sensibility, gives us a depth of perception and finally equips us with patience, tolerance, and largeness of temper. All these faculties are unquestionably essential for fighting the life’s battle to our advantaget. Hence the study of Literature is of high existential value as well. Taking all these into consideration, it can be said that the study of Literature can never be eliminated except by making education incomplete and imperfect.

Hence the need of blending Literature and Science in other words, arts, and science. But even in a purely arts education, Literature is as greatly important, for, what Literature docs in educating and preparing the mind, no other subject can cver do. It is, therefore, advisable to make Literature the foundation of all patterns of education and upto a certain stage its study should be made compulsory Thus, not only the students of Intermcdiatc Arts or Science should read it as a part of their syllabus, but also those studying medicine and engineering should not be totally cut off from its association. As all men, whether doctors, enginccrs or professors, have to live by tackling fellow human beings, it is important that they should all study the grammar of human nature which Literature really is.

Apart from academic instruction, the study of Literature has great value in extra-academic cducation. Academic education, whether scientific or literary or mixed, only initiates us into certain subjects and acquaints us with bare rudiments. It is actually in the post-academic student life that we have to develop these rudiments, expand them and understand them in their proper spirit and perspective. But life is so pathetically short that we can never explore to our satisfaction all the essential realms of knowledge, such as History, Geography, Politics, Economics and, above all, the Sciences. So we need a shortcut. It is here that Literature renders an invaluable service. Well-chosen book of Literature, sav. Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah, serves at once to combine Biology, History, Politics and drama, all presented in such a charming style and forceful language that we derive, not only boundless joy out of that masterpieces but also learn a good deal on all these subjects with the additional advantage that what is Learned from here is remembered longer than what may be obtained from theoretical books.

How to Remove Mass Illiteracy Speech


  • Illiteracy; one of the major ills: need for literacy
  • General schools cannot help: a new set of schools needs
  • Scope of such schools
  • Compulsory and free primary schools
  • What type of mass education should be given?
  • Arrangement of teaching more visual aids than theoretical lessons: course must be short
  • Conditions for the success of mass literacy drive

Illiteracy of the general mass is one of the major ills from which country suffers in common with other backward countries. The necessity of giving some education to one and al cannot be disputed, for has been recognized as the birthright of every individual in a free state. Mass ignorance defeats all attempts at progress and darkens the of the nation. Nothing can be pleaded as an excuse for keeping an in a gloom, state of semi-blindness, helplessly groping in the DUComh of ignorance, superstition, and fear. The sooner illiteracy it emoved the better it will be for the individual and the community to at large.

The schools we have at present are for children whose age ranges from 6 to 16. The syllabuses and the curriculum followed in these institutes arc cast into a certain pattern and designed to prepare boys and girls for higher academic education in different lines. Their schools can of no practical use for mass. the vast majority of whom are grown-up men and women. Therefore, a new set of schools have to be introduced for giving education to these people. These may be called schools for adults.

We have to keep within view certain facts regarding these cducation centers. Our population being very large, the number of these schools will have to be proportionately considerable at Icast one in each locality of three or four villages. The adult education centers cannot aspire to have grand school buildings, and that is needless too. These schools will aim at imparting some elementary enlightenment along with a little better knowledge of the vocation the learners pursue. The subject-maters and also the method of teaching in adult schools will differ greatly from those of ordinary schools. As most adults are busily earning their bread in the daytime, it will be convenient for them to attend schools if classes are taken at night.

In this country, only a small minoring of the children get the opportunity of attending schools regularly. A number of schools in the villages fall far short of what it should be. The existing schools are in such a deplorable condition that they beggar descriptions. So a staggering number of school-going children stand in need of some facilities for rudimentary’s education. To that end, compulsory and free primary schools should be started to accommodate these neglected? future citizens of the country.

Mass literacy should never be confined to the three R’s. It must also aim at making the learners useful and capable of applying the new acquisition to the caring of their bread. Efforts should, therefore, be, made to teach them some trade and to that end, every adult education center should be so planned and equipped as to be able to impart a large variety of vocational training. Thousands of our illiterate people are unemplureel because they have neither any land to cultivate nor any finished knowledge of the arts and crafts. If such people can be taught various handicrafts, such as weaving, carpentry pottery, smithery canings as also trained in the handling of small machinery, their unemployment problem will be considered solved. Over and above mass education centers should take special care to impart knowledge of scientific agriculture, of health and sanitation and also give the learners some sort of civic training so as to make them fit for good citizenship.

The arrangement of imparting instruction shall be as usual, like other schools. There will be salaried teachers and students shall attend a regular course of training given free of cost. In the matter of teaching, however, more emphasis should be laid on visual aids. Motion pictures and cinema-scopes can be used profitably in giving wide lessons in a short time. As is well known, visual aid quickens perception. vivifies the experience and Icaves a lasting impression on the mind. none of which books can achieve so successfully. Every education center should also possess a radio. some newspapers and periodicals and a large variety of books. through which useful information from all over the world may be gathered and Icarncd. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the course of instruction may not spread over a long time as the illiterate folk has neither patience nor time to spend long rears in Learning. Every batch of Icamers must be turned out before the novel of the new experience wears out. Else, if they get tired and bored, they will fight shy of the schools and invent many devices to keep away.

No plan, modest or magnificent, can ever succeed in the absence of two conditions. In this case, they are all the more important. The first is the cost of organizing the whole program establishing education centers paving the salary of teachers. buying books and other equipment and also defraying current expenses. It is no use asking the people to come forward. They will not, as they have not in the past. It is for the state to initiate and launch upon the drive and creepers to come forward. They will not, as they have not in the past. It is for the state to initiate and launch upon the drive and even compel the people initially to come and learn at the centers. But no amount of persuasion or compulsion will bear the real fruit unless the subjects of the plan are in a position to take advantage of the governmental endeavors. This relates to the economic condition. How can we expect, the starvings and semi starving mass of people to have any interest in the enlightenment of the soul when their body is at stake. It is only when they have to square meals a day and some leisure to while out that they will come to the centers voluntarily and learn something. To make the program of mass literacy successful, it is, therefore essential to keep in VICE the question of removing the current appalling powers of the masses.

Medium of Instruction Speech


  • Introduction: a peculiar problem faced by Pakistan: different with that of India: yet a latent problem: largely a problem of higher education
  • Two solutions suggested: retention of English not acceptable: why not: difficulties of introducing Urdu
  • No third alternative left: hence Urdu with safeguard
  • No real solution but a compromise: accessories may be worked out in course of time

Unlike any other country of the world, Pakistan is faced with a peculiar? question of determining the future medium of her public instruction. True it is that India too is confronted with the same problem. But hers is not so difficult as that of Pakistan and not also of the same nature. Because India has one single state language for the whole country and can conveniently fall back upon Hindi, her lingua Franca, as and · when English is dislodged. But in Pakistan, we have two recognized state languages. Hence the patent solution of teaching through the state language does not apply to our problem because there cannot be two media of instruction in one and the same institution.

It is, of course, true that the problem of the medium of teaching is vet a latent question. It is because we are to-day learning through English in the higher stages, while Bengali and Urdu have been adopted for the secondary and primary ones. But to-morrow or two days later the issue will become patent as, sooner or later, Pakistan will have to decide finally upon the issue of her medium of instruction. The problem of the medium of teaching is, again, largely a problem of higher education. Upto the secondary stage Bengali in the East and Urdu in the West, as the arrangement now exists may well serve the purpose. But is only reasonable that higher students in both the wings be taught through one common medium to establish summer and harmonics in the final stages of national education? This is necessary because many of such students will have to undertake works and hand affairs that will extend beyond the territorial jurisdiction of one wing or the other.

Two solutions have so far been suggested. One is to retain English as it now stands. The other is to introduce Bengali and Urdu in East and West Pakistan respectively in all the grades of education. Of those, the first is more catchy and has for its votaries many eminent public men of the country. The second is more a via media than a solution of the tangle.

The first suggestion is untenable for three reasons in the main. Firstly, it’s derogatory to the national prestige of any sovereign state to adopt permanently the state language of another state as her medium of instruction. To be able to Icarn and teach through one’s national language or languages constitutes one of the important elements of state sovereignty. China, the whosc national language has the poorest vocabulary and the clumsiest alphabets in the world can never be persuaded to adopt Russian as her medium of instruction for all the superiorities of the Russian language and despite the closest friendship between the two countries. China’s right to teach and learn through her own language is an inalienable part of her national prestige and pride. So is ours and we cannot, therefore, cling permanently to the apron-string of English when our state languages Bengali and Urdu are among the richest in the world. Secondly, it will create a sense of cultural inferiority among our people and concentrate the nation’s attention on English. This will seriously retard the development of our national languages and make English the virtual state language of Pakistan. Thirdly, acquisition of knowledge through a foreign tongue involves a colossal wastage of labor and makes education difficult, abstracts and imperfectly. Hence all over the world, mother-tongue is admittedly the natural medium because through it man Iearns easily and comfortably and acquires concrete and realistic education.

But to add to our difficulty have not what may be called a brother-tongue for the whole nation. In its stead, we have two national languages–Bengali and Urdu. The former is the mother-tongue of East Pakistan and the latter has gained the same status in West Pakistan. Hence the introduction of Bengali in the East and Urdu in the West seems to resolve the tangle. But it does not untie all the knots of the issue. A graduate from West Pakistan, for instance, would, in that case, remain entirely ignorant of Bengali which is the official language in the other wing, and through which every work there is carried on whether in the office. the school or the business market. If such a graduate is called upon to handle affairs whose application extends into East Pakistan, he will prove unfit for the job. If he is to carn his living in the East, as many of each wing will always be in need of doing so in the other zone of the State will find himself at sea with no knowledge of the language through which every affair here, whether public or private, is managed. Greatest difficulty will be faced by the Central Government whose officers and staff are always to handle matters relating to both the wings which they are ignorant cither of Bengali or of Urdu. Above all, such a scheme of education has the danger of creating a sense of separateness in both the wings and thus weakening the basis of our national solidarity.

Where then, can we go for a solution Evidently we are left with no third alternative Placed in this tight corner, I feel inclined towards the natural medium of instruction for each of the two wings, that is, Bengali for the East and Urdu for the West. but with some sufegrurils to eliminite the probable evils outlined above. The best safeguard consists in the provision of teaching Urdu here with the same emphasis as is now laid on English. It will not be an additional burden, as may be apprehended because the proposal envisages nothing more than replacing English to a large extent by Bengali or Urdu where it is not the medium of instruction. The teaching of English too may be returned but with far less importance.

Obvious this suggestion offers more a compromise than a solution of the problem. It is not cast cither to find out One such. Our state language issue had to be resolved by means of a via media whose offshoot is the problem under discussion. Here also, therefore, a compromise is the only way out. Once this settlement is adopted on principle accessories may be worked out in a decade time. Till that period English as it now is may remain the ad intern medium of instruction.

Scientific Versus Literary Education Speech


  • A controversy of recent origin
  • Advantages of literary education
  • Advantages of scientific education
  • Controversy settled: supreme lav of necessity: the craze for scientific education
  • Need for synthesis

The contest between scientific and literary education is of comparatively- recent origin. For centuries after the idea of education was born, education was understood to mean literary education, concerned entirely with the study of the various branches of arts. In those days man had no knowledge of Science, much less any sense of its utility. Even for years after its inception, Science had only a minor place in the curriculum of studies, the privileged position still belonging to Literature and Language, History and Philosophy. But in the middle of the 19th century, the balance of the scale began to change rapidly. As a result of spectacular developments in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, the study of Science assumed growing importance day by day. And since the dawn of the 20th century, Science came to occupy such a prominent place in human life, foreign her way into every hearth and home, that the study of Science became an inescapable necessity. Here a controversylı arose: To what extent should Science be allowed to take precedence over Literature and other branches of Arts. The dispute raged or over a quarter of a century and was participated in by a wide range of educationists and scholars all over the world.

The advocates of Arts, that is to say, of literary education-based their stand primarily on what has been known as the ultimate purpose of education, namely, the flowering of the mind’. They argued that the mind can never receive adequate means of expression without the study of Literature and allied subjects. In their opinion, Literature stimulates the imagination, refines the thoughts, humanizes the outlook, widens the vision, ennobles the spirit and ultimately gives to the mind the priceless gift of peace and bliss. Its study, they claim, makes man rational, humane and cultured. The dividing line between civilization and savagery is also claimed to be maintained by the pursuit of Arts. Literature is further said to secure mastery over language and make expression forceful, vivid and picturesque. The advocates of Arts go to the extent of accusing Science of turning men into machines, before of human feelings and consideration. A world dominated by scientists, they say, would, therefore, be unfit for man to live in. Hence, according to them, it would be disastrous to sacrifice the study of Literature on the altar of Science.

The advocates of scientific education, on the other hand, starts with pointing out the outstanding position already occupied by Science and goes on to assert that it is the supreme law of necessity that has installed Science in that eminent position. According to them mankind, in the face of mounting economic problems of the world, can be saved from extinction only by the extensive study of Science and its application in harnessing the resources of Nature to the service of humanity. To these, they add, in reply to the accusation of their opponents, that far from turning men into machines, Science makes them human beings in the real sense by setting their souls free from the bondage of age-old prejudice and superstitions. While Literature, they argue, serves to make man credulous, passive and acquiescent, it is science that makes him critical, observant, inquisitive and assertive. Literature may give his speech the mist of rhetoric but Science imparts to it the clarity of logic.

The dispute between Science and Arts has practically subsided, though a verdict as to the superiority of the one on the other has not yet been pronounced. It is not necessary either. Due to its tidal expansion in various directions, so powerful has been the force of circumstances in favor of Science in the last two decades that Literature had to give way quietly. Driven by the supreme law of necessity, man has dislodged literature from its pride of place and elevated. Science to the present state of unquestionable superiority over any other branch of study. Hence it is impossible to conceive of education to-day in which Science has not only a place but also the most dominant place. The craze for scientific education has become so extensive that in the course of the next one-decade arts subjects may find their place by the side of classical subjects like Arabic and Sanskrit.

But, we are afraid, Science is being overdone. No ultimate good can lie in this unusual emphasis on Science to the exclusion of Arts. Man is, after all, a psychic animal, a combination of the body and the mind. He needs food for both in an equal measure. There is no deniało that Science can help him most in securing the means of his existence. But existence alone is not all that he lives and strives for. He must, therefore, study Literature, taken in its entirety, to feed his mind. He cannot build his future without a thorough knowledge of the past. He must; therefore, study History. As an enlightened citizen, he has to know the laws and forces that guide and regulate the political and economic systems of the world. This calls for the study of Political Science and Economics. He must as well read Philosophy to pry into the working of the metaphysical world. In short, an ideal scheme of education must be built upon a careful synthesis of the sciences and the arts blended together. It is then and then only that we can hope for the birth of a new human race whose mastery over science coupled with a robust idealism born of arts will make the world a better place to live in.

There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses.