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Excerpt from Kwarteng Kwasi’s “Ghosts of Empire”


The role of history, of the British Empire, in all this is clear to see. Accidents and decisions made on a personal, almost whimsical, level have had a massive impact on international politics. The empire in its belief in the individual action of its servants, with very little supervision, and without any real philosophy, created […]

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Schools then and now?


Tim Allender, in his book Ruling Through Education: The Politics of Schooling in Colonial Punjab says that department of public instruction started by the British Raj failed soon as it had started and that its jurisdiction had effectively retreated to the Urban centres in India.  The colonial administration found it efficient to attend to the […]

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History of Education in India


Today, I came across this fascinating History of Education in India under the Rule of East India Company written by B.D. Basu and published in 1867 in Lahore.  The text is illuminating in general, but especially in its reference to private enterprise in education.  The rationale for private enterprise sounds eerily familiar.  The government just does […]

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Horace Mann’s Lectures on Education – Google Books


Here I am pasting two excerpts, from documents issued around the same time, but in two different locations.  Horace Mann (May 4, 1796 – August 2, 1859) was as an advocate of mass education in the United States and Thomas Babington Macaulay (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was an advocate of a certain kind […]

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The Revolution, Napoleon, and Education


The article from which I have excerpted below is about history of mass education in France. I will discuss this and a few other pieces from histories of mass education for the readers of this blog as I find some more time over the weekend.   The purpose of this series of posts in history […]

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The other side of the coin | pakistanpolicyideas | Some Reflections


A couple of days ago, I wrote about some issues related to the use of standardised testing for accountability on this blog.  In an update to the same post, I mentioned a statement issued by a gathering of members of Pakistan’s academic, civil, and political society at the Harvard University.  This statement also mentioned the idea of minimum standards […]

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Chipping Away of the Secular Order [2]?


My thinking out loud in response to a perceptive comment to the last post became long enough to count as a post itself, so here it is. In response to my last post, my friend Nadeem wrote: In the western history, a secular order of knowledge had been created over the centuries, pushing the religious […]

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Chipping Away of the Secular Order?


Below are some [possible] premises about the connections between secular order and mass public education followed by some questions based on them about its possible dismantling. Premises: 1. Mass education and [a secular] nation state has emerged in tandem with each other over a period of, let us say, last 200 years or so. 2. […]

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