Speeches

Speech on Co-education

Outline:

  • Introduction: a living controversy: nature and extent of the controversy
  • Arguments against co-education: dangers of free mixing: need of the separate type of education for girls
  • Advocacy for co-education: an inescapable economic expedient
  • Synthesis consideration of the issue on practical grounds
  • Safeguards to be provided
  • Conclusion: need of a trial

One of the living controversies of our time, particularly in our country, is co-education, by which is meant the education of boys and girls under the same roof. The issue is perfectly settled so far as primary education is concerned. In the college and the university stage, it is passively tolerated. But in the secondary stage co-education is actively opposed. In fact, the controversy about co-education all over the world mainly centers around the secondary stage of education. Even in those countries, notably the USA, where co-education has been introduced in all stages of public instruction, its soundness in the second stage is being widely doubted and debated upon. And in our country co-education even in the college and the university, though tolerated, is yet subject to a wide range of opposition.

The opposition to co-education is based in the main on two arguments. Firstly, it is advanced that boys and girls being allowed to mix freely run every risk of going astray and suffering the total frustration of their educational career. These consequences are apprehended because at this period–the period of adolescence’s both boys and girls remain very sentimental, romantic, effusively and inflammable. On the other hand, they possess no power to resist the tide of emotion. Instances are drawn from America to show the extent of harm done by the introduction of secondary co-education in that country where large number of boys and girls are said to love and marry before leaving the school. Reference is also made to the co-education of our colleges and universities where it has not yielded altogether happy results. Secondly, it is contended that girls should receive a different type of education from that given to boy’s, because their spheres of activities in the practical life are widely different. As co-education in essence means that girls will be educated in boy’s institutions under a scheme of education primarily meant to suit the needs of the latter the education of girls under this system is bound to remain imperfect. It would not, therefore, equip them to face the battle of life with success.

The advocacy for co-education is based chiefly on economic considerations. Maintenance of separate institutions for boys and girls is a costly affair. This is particularly so in rural areas where even boys’ schools suffer for want of a sufficient number of students. It is also pointed out that most of the village girls having crossed the primary stage find it compelling to give up their studies for want of school. As regards college education, a separate college for girls is extremely difficult to be maintained without heavy Government subsidy except in a city of the standard of Dacca or Karachi. Hence co-education is claimed to be essential if our girls are to be education is claimed to be essential if our girls are to be educated.

Viewed from the practical standpoint, the problem may be reduced to a simpler one than it ordinarily appears. There is no doubt or denial that the crying need of the hour is the widest diffusion of female education at least up to the Matriculation standard. It is all the more necessary for the lower-middle-class people for two reasons. Firstly, their educated wives and daughters are needed to earn and supplement the low income of the family. Such earning capacity also makes easy the matrimonial’s settlement of girls. Secondly, middle class educated boys of the day hardly agree to marry girls who have not at least completed the secondary education. To meet these all, particularly in the face of our economic circumstances,” co-education is evidently the best expedient because this alone can keep education within the reach of all who need it.

Then, against the oft-cited harms of co-education, its various other benefits too should be measured. In the long run, boys and girls are to live and move in society together and fight the battle of life jointly. Would it not be to the interest of both to bring them closer at an early stage so that they may gradually get used to each other and thus get rid of the unhealthy sex curiosity and craze from which most of our boys and girls living in isolation suffer. A grown-up boy would also find greater stimulus in the company of a grown-up girl. He would be more smart, more politc and more civil when his bchaviour is observed by the opposite sex. The closer association of both would also help to create an atmosphere of hcalthy rivalry and inspire them to emulate each other’s virtucs. It some of them happen to come still closer and develop emotional attachment for each other, it may also do good in many cases. Who can deny that a girl has been gifted with tremendous powers to influence a boy’s course of life? She can inspire him to success, resist his failure and also restrain him from evil ways.

So, it is evident that co-education is not entirely fraughtła with dangers. It is equally rich in immense prospects. What is, therefore, necessary is to provide safeguards against its misuse so that society can benefit from it without any harm. To that end, separate benches may be provided for the boys and girls. The girls’ block may even be isolated by a breast-high partition. Like their common room, girls should have a separate playground. Wherever available, male and female teachers should constitute the staff. This will facilitate the enforcement of general discipline as also make the girls feel at home. Their precautions are, however, necessary for the secondary schools where the system is to be introduced almost anew. As to the college, the system has already been universally popular by virtue of showing good results. And at the university level co-education is so firmly seated that no discussion about it need ever be called for. In fine, human society is progressing by leaps and bounds. To oppose co-education now would be to try to put the clock back which can never produce good to the society. Apart from the colleges and universities of our country, co-education prevails in all the missionary schools and convents and also in some national high schools, without any large-scale harm resulting to anybody.

Speech on An Ideal College

Outline:

  • Introduction: the age of ideals
  • Essentials of an ideal college: assets and equipment: situation: routine: class arrangement: extra-academic pursuits: academic atmosphere
  • Conclusion

Ours is an age of ideals. To seek to achieve perfection in every sphere of life is the order of the day. As in politics, we have been striving to establish an ideal form of Government, so in education, there is an unremitting endeavor to introduce an ideal pattern of instruction. The concept of ideal college is a necessary outcome of this endeavor because ideal institutions alone can carry out a plan of an ideal education.

The question of an ideal college is inseparable from the question of the ends of education. Since education is primarily concerned with the acquisition of knowledge, it is said that the supreme purpose of education is to help the flowering of the mind” and “the creation of finer human hunger” . This view of education is, however, correct only in part because it tends to disregard the role of the body in the acquisition of knowledge. Since it is undeniable that the mind, however keen and powerful, cannot function properly in the absence of a reasonably healthy body, any sound plan of education must include the harmonious development of the intellectual and physical faculties of the students. To this must also be added the inculcations of morals virtues in the pupils without which education is of no real worth. Considered in this context, an ideal college is that institution which, in course of its instruction, provides adequate facilities for the intellectual enrichment, physical well-being and moral elevation of the students. To achieve these ends, an ideal college needs certain assets and equipment which are discussed below.

The first indispensable asset of an ideal college, in fact, of any college worth the name, is a learned staff of teachers, quite sufficient in number for each subject. The teaching staff must be so ‘handsomely paid and provided with other amenities of life that they may find sufficient incentive to work with single-minded devotion. They also must possess a high standard of character which their students may, and are apt to, imitate and emulate. The next important conditions are a sizeable building, with spacious, airy and lighted rooms, a rich library with an attached reading room, a well-equipped laboratory, a standard common room, a well-furnished gymnasium, and an extensive playground.

The situation of the college is of great importance. An ideal college must, of necessity, be located in or about a town where alone the students can avail themselves of all the facilities of modern life which they need to acquire an up-to-date education. But to avoid the noise and bustle of urban society and to ensure a placid environment,” which is essential for the undisturbed prosecution of studies, the college should be situated in a quiet locality away from the busy and noisy areas of the town. Care must, however, be taken that students residing in all parts of the town and its suburbs may attend the college without any difficulty. To that end, an ideal college should have its own bus service.

As the primary function of an ideal college is to meet in full the academic needs of the students, that is, to train them up in their respective courses of study so well that they may easily get through the examinations, the importance of a balanced routine of classes can never be over-estimated. Regular lecture classes, supplemented by a network of tutorial!! and demonstration lessons, should be held daily. The routine must, however, provide for enough of leisure during which the teachers may rest and prepare for next classes and the students may read and recreate in the common room and the library. Rational plants of academic instruction must always eliminate all elements of monotony, from both teaching and learning.

Equally important is the arrangement of classes. The maximum roll strength of a general class should be one hundred and fifty and that of a tutorial class, twenty. Tutorial groups should be made not on the seriality of rolls but on a consideration of merit and intelligence. To underline the importance of tutorial classes, class promotion, and selection for the University examinations should be made largely dependent on the students tutorial records.

To lend perfection to their academic attainments an ideal college must ensure that its students take part in a large variety of extra-academic activities. These include the holding of regular debates and speech competitions, the publication of magazines, the staging of theatricals and variety performances and the organization of exhibitions, picnics, and other outdoor pursuits.

No ideal college can ignore the fact that a splendid body alone is the abode of a healthy mind which the college strives to train and flower. A sound body again is the surest custodians of a high character. The authorities of an ideal college must, therefore, see that the students may take part in all kinds of games, sports, and physical exercises. This will not only build their bodies but also recreate their minds and train them in the practical lessons of discipline, co-operation, and comradeship. The college physician must examine the health of the students from time to time and advise them on treatment, diet, and exercise. As good food is essential for good health, the college should maintain a canteen where food will be prepared under the supervision of college authorities and served to the students at a cheap rate. Modern education being a strenuous affair, students and teachers both need healthy refreshments during the college hours to keep fit for work. If the college maintains a canteen, they can be saved from taking impure food from outside.

An ideal college must also provide for an elected Students’ Union, with its members charged with the management of various departments of the extra-academic life. This would enable the college to impart to the students practical training in administration and organization.

No scheme of ideal college would bear any fruit unless the college is blessed with a healthy academic atmosphere. This, again, is to be maintained by the co-operative endeavor of the authorities and the students. No less important also is the existence of a close and cordial relation between the staff and the students. Both inside and outside the class the teacher should be kind and helpful to the students. Similarly, the students, in their turn must be dutiful, obedient and decent in their behavior towards the teachers as also among themselves. The college I contemplate must reflect a disciplined family, governed by mutual respect, helpfulness, and tolerances. It is only in such a free and healthy atmosphere that the creative impulse of the mind of both the student and the teacher may receive proper means of response.In fine, the issue of an ideal college is a controversial one. The standard of ideality? again varies from country to country.

What is an ideal institution in a poor Asian country would fall for short of the standard set for the same in a rich country like the USA While, therefore, formulating my scheme of ideality, I have kept in view that economic condition of our people. Hence I have discarded the idea of any residential institution like the “Viswabharai” in India. In my opinion, such institutions can serve only a few the privileged few who are rich enough to place their sons and daughters in boarding houses. The ideal college which I have outlined above shall be one which will be within the easy reach of all classes of our people. And I feel that the current need of Pakistan is ideal colleges like the one I have contemplated above and these will suffice to turnout? better and more useful citizens of the state.

There is hope from the sea, but none from the grave.

Speech on Debating in College

Outline:

  • Introduction: age of controversy: supremacy belonging to good debater: mastery over debating comes through training and practice
  • Debating in college: how organized and conducted: interesting features
  • Benefits of college debates
  • Requisites of successful debating in college
  • Conclusion

We live in an age of controversy. Our whole social fabric seems to be bound up by a chain of conflicting views and opinions, each competing for superiority over the rest. Whether in a family gathering a party meeting or in a sitting of the Parliament, so where anything is found to be accepted until its validity has been thoroughly debated upon. And in this whirlpool of conflicts, those who want to hold their own and convert others to their points of view, must of necessity be first-rate debaters, combining arguments with appeals, cogency with eloquence and excelling in smart repartee and good-humored rebuff. But this mastery over what is known as the art of debating is not an entirely innate faculty. It has to be acquired through a process of training and practice. Beyond doubt, the best time for this training is the college life when the mind is in a mood to learn and gather equipment for the life to follow. Hence the supreme necessity of introducing debating as an inalienable’s part of a college education.

Debating is one of the important functions discharged by the College Union. A Secretary, designated as Cultural Secretary or Debating Secretary, is placed in charge of this vital aspect of extra-academic life of the college. The most familiar practice is to organize and conduct debates on Parliamentary lines. After the fashion of the legislature, is notice is issued that a debate will be held on a certain day. The subject matter to be debated upon is set down in the shape of a resolution, couched in parliamentary jargons, such as: “In the opinion of the House, Pakistan should enter into the joint defense with India.” Names of intending speakers, both for and against the motion, are asked to be submitted beforehand. The notice also bears the name of the mover of the motion.

On the specified date students, who are taken to be members of the Parliament, assemble punctually in the venue of debate, usually the common room of the college. The Principal or some Professor takes the seat of the “Speaker” of the House. Speakers of both the sides may occupy their seats to the right and left of the “Speaker”, after the fashion of the Treasury Bench and the Opposition Bench o the legislature. The debate begins when the “Speaker” of the House invites the mover-also called the leader of the motion, to introduce the motion before the House. He does so and is followed by the leader of the opposition. Then other speakers deliver their speeches either for or against the motion. Last of all, the leader of the motion takes the floor again and replies to the points raised by the opposition as well as sums up those placed by his supporters, upon which the debate is closed. The President then puts the motion to vote and declares it either carried or lost. In a Parliamentary system, the President, like the Speaker of the Parliament, is only a symbolic entity. Parliamentary tradition does not permit him to express any view on this or that side. His business is to conduct the proceedings, count the votes and declare the result.

Even though held by young collegians, a Parliamentary system of debate is marked by certain formalities and interesting features. For instance, the speaker cannot address the House or appeal to it directly. He has to begin his speech by saying, Mr. Speaker, Sir and no more. If an appeal to the House etc. The name of another speaker cannot be mentioned If a speaker goes off the track, somebody may rise on a point of order and draw the President’s attention to it. A query has to be made by rising on a point of information. But whatever is sought to be done must have the permission of the “Speaker” of the House.

Many and far-reaching are the benefits of college debating. It stirs up the imagination of the students in general and set them to thinking and discussing as soon as a subject matter is announced. In the debating hall, those who take part in the deliberation find it extremely helpful to the development of their power of expression and reasoning, their ability to bear an attack and offer ready defense, It also creates in them an understanding of the temper of the audience and gradually develop their capacity to handle unsympathetic gatherings-both of which stand them in good stead in future life. Even those who only attend and hear return home with their knowledge enormously enriched and their intelligence definitely sharpened. Some of them also come forward to face the audience the next time. In this way, a few months of regular exercise in debating makes a courageous speaker of a usually timid soul. And to all-speakers and listeners, alike-this rings a splendid evening, resplendent with the sunshine of unbounded delight and laughter, which has a great restorative’ utility after days of the monotonous pursuit of learning.

With a view to reaping the maximum good out of college debates, certain requisitesło are to be fulfilled. Issues selected should be realistic in nature, preferably some burning question of the day, which will make debating of great academic value. Of great importance are the co-operation and guidance of the teachers. They should brief the intending speakers on both sides of the subject matter. Some of them should also take part in the actual deliberation which will both raise its standard and enable the students, particularly new-comers, to learn to debate. Besides, which is necessary for the peaceful conduct of business. Above all, distinguished lawyers and parliamentarians from outside may be invited to take part in college debates.

In fine, college debate in our country has already attained maturity. Every college now holds a number of debates in the course of an academic session. Some college are found to go several steps forward and convene17 sessions of the Parliament or the U.N.O. It offers an interesting sight to watch young students representing national and international celebrities and presenting the views of such persons in their immature languages.

Speech on The College Union

Outline:

  • Definition: distinction with trade union
  • History of development: present status
  • Composition and election
  • Functions: finance and source of powers
  • Utility and importance of college union: demerits
  • Conclusion

College Union is the name that has come to be given to an elected body of the students of a college, designed to organize them into a compact form with a view to enlisting their effective participation in the administration of the extra-academic affairs of the college. Though the idea seems to have been borrowed from industrial trade unionism and the nomenclature suggests a similarity with a labor union, there is yet a sharp difference between the two. While a trade union exists outside the framework of the industrial organization concerned and functions exclusively to safeguard the interests of its members as against the conflicting interests of the employers, the College Union is a vital part of the college organisation and operates mainly to assist the college authority in the management of the extra-academic activities of the college with a view to securing to its members the maximum benefit of college education. The purposü of the former is to compete with the owners while the aim of the latter is to co-operate with the authorities.

The institution of College Union has developed gradually over half a century. Its history is, in fact, co-extensive with the growth of the modern concept of a college education. At the beginning of western education in our country, the only activity outside the academic curriculum that was open to the students was debating on set subjects. This was aimed at developing the power of speaking in English. With the passage of time, other activities such as sports and theatricals came to be recognized as essential to education. The scope, however, kept widening steadily until in the beginning of the second quarter of this century, a fullfledged cxtra-academic curriculum came to be incorporated into college education, providing for a large variety of physical, cultural and social activities both inside and outside the college premises. The control and particularly the initiative of these activities still rested entirely with the college authoritics. Here and there nominated student-committees, presided over by Professors, were called upon to take part in their management. But with the growth of the consciousness for political selfgovernment outside, students also began to move for the introduction of democracy insidc. What for this and what for the intention of the authorities to be relieved of the additional burden of works, the institution of College Union came to be introduced first as a nominated body and later as an elected organization with defined powers and functions. And today it is impossible to think of a college worth the name which does not provide for the union of the students.

There is no uniform rules guiding the constitution of College Unions and they vary ‘om college to college. Though the cabinet form may be seen here and there, in most of the colleges the union resembles a presidential pattern of government. By tradition, the principal of the college is the ex-officio President of the Union. The remaining office-bearers one vice-president, one General Secretary, and several departmental Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries–are elected by and from among the students in general. In some colleges, at first, a number of class representatives are elected to constitute what may be called the Parliament of the Union, which subsequently elects office-bearers from among its members. The system of voting is by secret ballot in every college. The polling everywhere is preceded by a full-scale election campaign and all formalities that characterize a political election. When the Union is elected, its office-bearers’ and members, if any, are included into office in a swearing-in ceremony. A modern College Union is, in short, the replica of a democratic Government.

During its tenure of office which usually extends over a year, the Union holds the entire charge of conducting18 indoor and outdoor games, organizing sports, debates, social gatherings, 13 theatricals20 and exhibitions maintaining the common room, publishing the college magazine, supervising the college canteen and, in fact, initiating and organising all activities relating to the extra-academic life of the college. From time to time the Union also extends its activities beyond the college campus and steps into the various cultural and social sphere, such as, relief operations, fighting epidemics, exploratory tours and expeditions, o inter-college competitions and so on. The Union is vested with its own funds which is created by realizing Union fee from the students. A regular budget is passed and expenses are made in accordance with its provisions. Within the specified sphere of its jurisdiction, the College Union is autonomous, subject only to the supervision of the Principal of the college. The Union derives its powers and functions from a written constitution, recognized by the college authority whose operation, in part or whole, can be suspended only under emergent circumstances.

The importance of the College Union in any progressive scheme of higher education can never be overestimated. The end of education is to turn out intelligent and useful citizens. To that end, the College Union provides a comfortable ground for training the students in self-help, teamwork, organization and no less in leadership and administration. An election to the Union imparts to every student a valuable practical lesson in the various aspects of democracy and democratic institutions. As many of them will, in a future life, be called upon to shoulder greater responsibilities of similar nature, is essential to make a beginning in the college. If properly organized and guided, the Union can provide a dependable link between the authorities and the students and thus eliminate many roots of conflict which is sometimes found to vitiate the atmosphere of the college.

There is no denying that under this scheme of self-government in college, many students, particularly the office-bearers of the Union, have to spend a lot of their time in extra-academic activities which interferes with their studies and causes distraction in their mind. It is also undeniable” that the system of election generates bitterness and animosity among the rival groups, culminating at times in violence, and tends to create among the student’s spirit of indiscipline, defiances and an unhealthy zest for excitement and truancy. In some cases, the Union has been found to constitute a veritable avenue for the formation of political groups in the college and to champion unnecessary clashes with the college authorities.

These are, however, the darkest aspects of a system which arise mostly out of its misuse. Such limitations are associated with democracy itself. What is, therefore, needed to cure these ills is not to abolish the system of academic democracy but to provide for adequate safeguards against its abuse. To that end, the Principal and the Professors of a college, have a vital role to play. To ensure the healthy working of the College Union, the authorities of the college, particularly the teachers, must vigilantly watch over and guide the activities of the Union without unduly infringing its freedom of action, which will help to keep its office-bearers as also the students in general on the right track. Youthful minds are always susceptible to influence. If it does not come from their teachers, it is no wonder that the vacuum shall be filled up by pernicious influences, whether internal or external.

In conclusion, students should always bear in mind that misuse endangers the very basis of freedom and leads to its suppression. As the College Union is the symbol of academic freedom, it is only by means of running the Union on proper lines that the continued enjoyment of democracy and liberty in the college can be secured.

Our ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature.

The College Common Room Speech

Outline:

  • Introduction: inseparable essentials of a college education: a harbor for the fatigued
  • The charm of the common room: the atmosphere of freedom and equality
  • Features of a modern common room
  • Its educative value
  • Demerits of the common room
  • Conclusion

The idea of the common room came to our country from Oxford where it is meant for the follows to retire after dinner. It has now become an inseparable essential of college education everywhere in the world. Every college worth the name must have a common room, large or small, where the students may repair for rest and recreation during their off periods. A modern collegian may well suffer to study under a thatched roof. He may even do without a brilliant staff of teachers. But he can never go without a common room. Its want gives him the pain of suffocation and makes college life appear dull and dreary. A college without a common room is comparable to a sea without a harbor. As the navigators must have a harbor here and there to take rest and refuel his vessel, so the student also must escape into the common room from time to time in order to relax his mind and body and make them fit for further work. The principal charm of the common room lies in its atmosphere of freedom and equality. It is a realm of variety and free choice.

Here the student’s action is guided by his own free will and restrained by his own good sense as also the force of public opinion. Within its four walls, every student is equal in status to every other student. Be it a game, a fun, a discussion or a heated debate, the freshers and the seniors participate in its on a footing of absolute equality. Here, again, the student can breathe freely after hours of confinement and formal behavior in the class-room, the laboratory or the Library. The common room gives him a feeling of maturity and self-importance, which he is denied elsewhere under the eyes of his teachers and superiors. There are the reasons why the attraction of the common room is so irresistible to the students in general.

Various are the features and provisions of a modern common room. As its chief end is to provide relaxation to the fatigued mind and body, the common room makes provision for as many avenues of recreation as the college funds permit. Various indoor games, notably carom and table-tennis, feature prominently and occupy nearly half the hall. While some play on, others hang around, awaiting their turn to come or as sheer on-lookers. Another large slice of the room, generally in the middle, is occupied by a sizeable table, which is littered with newspapers, periodicals, and magazines of different varieties, both local and foreign. A large number of visitors are always clustering around the table. Some glance over the pages listlessly while others read everything with interest and earnestness.

In one corner of the room may be found a radio, catering news, songs, and recitals. On top of all, groups of students scattered all over the hall, both standing and sitting, carry on discussions. Some are talking on sports, some on cinema, others on politics, while some others are dissecting a Professor or even a popular girl. Everything tabled for discussion finds its ready supporters and opponents. True to its tradition of freedom and equality, questions are unhesitatingly asked and ungrudgingly answered; funs are liberally catered and heartily enjoyed; issues are discussed without bar and views are given without reserve, but nothing is allowed to go unchallenged or swallowed. without a grain of salt, be it the opinion of the wisest man of the age. Thus time in the common room, the students’ paradise, glides on. When one group quits attending a class, another follows in the wake, keeping the room always full and lively as long as the college hours continue.

Though essentially meant to provide recreative occupation to the students in their off-periods, the common room is not without educative and other utilities. It cannot be said with certainty that the common room teaches any less than the classroom. It is here that the student reads newspapers and periodicals which keeps him in regular touch with the wide world outside his academic promises. It is again here that thc abstract learning of the class room gains a footing of reality through the frcc exchange of views and informations on many vital aspects of life. No where clse so freely as in the common room can the student open his mind, have his questions answered, problems solved and doubts removed by way of holding discussion with his fellow-students. In short, what the classroom begins may be said to receive perfection in the common room.

There is no denying that the common room has its demerits. The youthful mind has a natural inclination towards amusement and an aversion to the rigours of study. The common room may, therefore, lead to the destruction of many a carcer. But such demerits are associated with every useful institution which cannot be rejected on that account alone. Further students who are too fecble to resist the temptation of the dark side of the common room may well be left out of consideration. Even if the common room docs not exist, such weaklings will find many worse things to lead them astray.

In conclusion, it is a pity that most of our colleges do not lay due emphasis on the maintenance of a standard common room. It arises firstly out of their pecuniary handicaps and secondly from a faulty notion of education. All concerned should remember, in this connexion, the statement of Prof. Roger W. Holmes of Harvard University, that “the most valuable things that happened in college usually happened in our dormitories”. What he attributes to the dormitory, mutatis mutandis, applies to the common room with greater emphasis.

A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.