Education for all in

Institutional Planning -Why and How

J.P. Naik

Copy Right: Institutional Planning (A Discussion Paper, 1969), Asian Institute of Educational Planning & Administration, New Delhi


Educational planning implies the taking of decisions for future action with a view to achieving pre-determined objectives through the optimum use of scarce resources. There are three main elements in this definition: (1) Pre-determined objectives; (2) Use of scarce resources; and (3) Taking decisions.


(1)   Pre-determined Objectives : These will include such problems as (i) relating education to national development, (ii) content of education, (iii) educational standards, (iv) technology of education and (v) expansion of facilities.


(2)   Use of Scarce Resources : There are three scarce resources in education:


(a) Time—The explosion of knowledge has made it necessary to learn a great deal in a short time. Moreover, India has to catch up quickly with the industrially advanced countries. From this point of view, the significance of effecting economy in teaching and learning and telescoping educational development cannot be overstressed.

(b) Talent —Intensive efforts have to be made to discover and develop talent among students especially at the secondary and university stages; and programmes have to be prepared to attract and retain an adequate share of the best talent available to the teaching profession.

(c) Material resources including money —Money is the third scarce resource in all situations and this is specially so in the developing countries like India. It must, however, be remembered that, in developing economies, other materials are also scarce (e. g., cement and steel or paper for books and printing capacity) and realistic educational planning should take these scarcities also into account.


(3)   Taking Decisions : Educational Plans will have to bs prepared for each level at which a decision is taken, namely, institution, chief administra­tive unit for a group of institutions (a district for schools, a university for higher education etc.), state and nation. The object of this paper is 10 discuss the problem of institutional planning in some of its major aspects.





A major weakness of our planning system is top-heaviness. Our planning process resembles an inverted pyramid because so much of it is being done at the top and so little at the bottom. As is well-known, educational planning is mostly done at present at the Centre —in the Planning Commission and in the Ministry of Education and Youth Services. It is also done, to some extent, in the Stale Education Departments and there is a small cell in each Directorate to look after the preparation and implementation of educational plans. Because of the developmental grants given by the University Grants Commission, there is some attempt at planning—although often ad hoc and perfunctory—in the universities also. But there is hardly any planning at any other level. There are no district plans and, what is worse, no plans for individual educational institutions. In other words, our planning started at the top—in Delhi—and started to descend downwards at so slow a pace that in the last eighteen years, it has come down to one more level only and has reached the state capitals or university headquarters. It has still a long way to go to reach the district level and even longer to reach individual institutions.


   This top-based approach to educational planning has three main disadvantages. The first is that it is peripheral and does not involve the crucial areas in educational development. The educational   process takes place in the classroom and hence the core of any educational plan should be the plans prepared by each educational institution. It is only these plans that can adequately deal with such basic educational issues as individual attention to students, improvement of curricula, adoption of modern methods of teaching and evaluation, intensive utilization of available facilities, or establishing close contacts with the local community through programmes of mutual service and support. These tend to be neglected in state and national level plans.


The second disadvantage of planning from the top is that it tends to be expenditure-oriented, i.e., it begins to over-emphasise investment in monetary terms on the native belief 'that there is no defect in education that more money cannot set right'. It is true that all educational plans will have financial implications and will need some investment of money for their implementation. But there is a world of difference between an educational plan which has financial implications and a basically financial plan which proposes to incur a given expenditure of money on certain educational programmes. In fact, this difference is as wide and as fundamental as that between 'eating to live' and 'living to eat'. We have not realised this basic difference and have given an unusual expenditure-orientation to all our plans. The cost of the plan, rather than its content, has become more important to us and a more integral part in our thinking on the subject.


The third disadvantage in this process of planning from above is that it does not involve the willing and enthusiastic participation of important groups—inspecting officers, teachers, parents and students. My criteria of a good educational plan is that it must be known to all inspecting officers and teachers (and wherever necessary, to parents and students also), that it must be able to secure their full co-operation and that it must assign specific responsibilities and duties to each teacher and inspecting officer. This does not happen at present. I have, for instance, tried to find out how many teachers and inspecting officers know about the educational plans. These are of course known to the Planning Commission, the Ministry of Education and Youth Services, and the Directorate of Education in the States. I have found that the District Officers generally know little about them and the subordi­nate inspecting officers as well as secondary and primary teachers hardly know anything. How can a plan which so few know about and in which the average teacher and inspecting officer has so little to do can ever be imple­mented.


If these difficulties are to be removed, the major reform needed in our system of educational planning is to broad-base and decentralise it through the preparation of plans at the institutional and district levels, to supplement the plans at the state and national levels. The programme of district plans has been dealt with in a separate paper, and 1 shall, therefore, in this docu­ment, deal with the programme of institutional planning only.


Speaking on the positive aspect of the problem, I might point out that the system of institutional planning will have several advantages; in parti­cular, it will help us to solve four urgent problems in education:-


(a) The first of these problems is to encourage initiative, freedom and creativity of the individual teacher. This is a very important problem because we must have rebels in education to rebuild it. If we analyse our educational system we find that, like our social organisa­tion, it is too authoritarian in character. Every one of us is a little dictator or a despot; and in the broad functioning of our Education Departments, we find that very little freedom is allowed to the class­room teacher or to the individual institution. This has gone so deep in our blood that we never even realise it. I was holding a Seminar of Inspecting Officers in Delhi. It was on "Creativity in Education". As it was a mixed audience of men and women, I tried to pull their legs and asked "Who is more creative—men or women teachers ?" Somebody said "women teachers". "Very good", I said, "Why?" And one man said: "Sir, they are so much more obedient". This emphasis on obedience and conformity is so ingrained in our blood that I will not be surprised if a Director of Education were to issue a Circular, with reference to the recommendation of the Education Commission that teachers should be given initiative and freedom to experiment, and say: "Government has been pleased to accept the recommendation of the Education Commission that teachers should have freedom to be creative. You are, therefore, directed hereby that, from such and such a date, you shall be creative in all your work. Failure to do so shall be taken serious note of". I do not quite rule out a circular of this type. I wish there were more experimentation in education than there is at present; and a major practical problem we have to tackle is to discover ways and means to give this freedom, this opportunity to experiment, to the indivi­dual teacher in the classroom.


(b) The second problem refers to the means needed to make good teachers effective. In India, we now have a very queer dilemma or problematic situation. On one hand, we have programmes for which we do not get good personnel to implement; and this becomes the main reason of the failure to implement them. On the other hand, we find that, even today, there are thousands of good teachers, young, enthusiastic, wanting to do something, and each one of them feels frustrated because he does not get an adequate opportunity and support to express himself. The question, therefore, that worries me is this: how can we give freedom and support to these teachers who are wanting to do something ? I am not so much worried about getting people to implement the programmes we have in view. I think that, even if we can create a situation where a teacher wanting to do something new finds an adequate opportu­nity to express himself, we would have achieved a great deal. Putting it biologically, I might say, that we want to create a few living cells of education where some creative thinking can be generated. It does not matter how few these cells are or how widely scattered they are. If we can somehow create an environment suitable for the coming into existence of these living cells, we would have taken the first great step; and in course of time, the infection will spread. There will be more cells of this type and the whole system will begin to grow.


I have a thesis about the manner in which a revolution in Indian educa­tion can come about. I have no hope of carrying a revolution from Delhi to the thousands of schools. That is impossible, partly because no revolu­tion can be born in Delhi and partly because, even if such a revolution is born there, it will die by the time it reaches the remotest village. But there is every possibility of carrying a revolution from the village school to Delhi. In other words, if we get some creative thought at the Centre, the chances of this creative thought reaching the remote school and doing something useful there are rare. But if teachers are trying to face their problems creatively and originally, some new ideas might be born which might travel up to Delhi and fertilise the whole field of education. If this faith has some justification, I believe it has, we have to find a method wherein freedom can be given to teachers who want to do something so that they can become effective.


(c) The third problem relates to the involvement of teachers in educa­tional planning. I do not think that in the last three plans, the teachers were concerned either with the formulation of the plans or with their implementation. They were unconcerned to such an extent that I wonder whether they even knew what the plans were. When 1 go out on tour, 1 meet educational officers and teachers and ask them some questions to find out if they know the educational plan of their State. 1 find that the Directorates and the Secretariats know the plans. At the district level, some officers know and some do not, but the vast majority only have vague ideas. The average secondary school headmaster or teacher does not know what the plan is because he is riot concerned. The primary schools have never seen the plan. This is so because the plan is merely a state­ment showing the allocation of funds with which only the finance and Secretariat people are concerned. You will all agree that it is the teachers who have to implement the plan, and that no one else can implement it. But if the teachers themselves do not know what the plan is, how can they implement it ? Here is perhaps one explanation as to why the plan shave not been implemented satisfactorily. If we want better results in future, it is obvious that We must involve everyone of them, in the formulation of the plan and in its implementation.


(d) The fourth problem, and this is an important problem, is that whereas, on one hand, there are so many things to be done for which we do not have resources, there are, on the other hand, vast existing resources and facilities which are not adequately utilized. There are thousands of things in education which have to be done, buildings have to be built; new classes have to be opened; new institutions have to be started; equipment has to be purchased; and so on. You can cite a hundred things which need to be done and which will need crores of rupees which we do not have. This is one side of the problem. But the other side also is equally important. There are thousands of things which can be done, even in the existing situation, and nobody seems to do them. There is a big range of 'shoulds', for which we have no resources and side by side, there is an equally big range of 'coulds' for which we have no workers. What we do at present is to point out one or two things that should be done; and when we find that this cannot be done, we suddenly jump to the conclusion that nothing need be done at all. So long as we can find out some excuse or justification for not doing a thing which should be done, we conclude that nothing need be done and thus find a philosophical justification for our lack of enterprise and courage, This is a psychologically convenient situation. But there can be no progress on this basis.  The question we should raise is this: what is the maximum 1 can do in the existing situation and with the existing resources? Having found this out, we should go about it in a spirit of dedication. In other words, we have to motivate people to recognise the 'coulds' and to attempt them rather than to concentrate on the 'shoulds'  which are not practicable.


My claim is that the institutional plan is the unique answer to all these four problems, namely (1) giving freedom to the teacher, (2) making the good teacher effective, (3) involving every teacher in the formulation and imple­mentation of plans, (4) emphasizing what can be done here and now by mobilising our existing resources rather than wait for the impossible to happen. If all these four problems have to be solved, we must develop the concept of institutional planning and tell each institution to prepare and implement its plans.


This idea that educational planning can only be effective if it is practised, not only at the national and state levels but also at the district and institutional levels can be explained on yet another basis which education shares with life itself. Life, for instance, is becoming bigger and vaster; and simul­taneously, it is also taking greater and greater care of the smaller and the smaller. Man has already landed on the moon, and thus the whole cosmos has come within his purview. At the same time, he is also working on the electron. It is in this simultaneous working from the biggest to the smallest that the progress of civilization lies. This is really an approach to God whom the Upmshads describe as 'smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest'. This realisation of God comes to us when, on one side, we stretch ourselves to the infinite and on the other, identify ourselves with the smallest and the humblest.


Education also has to play a similar role. On one side, our concept of education must become large enough to embrace the entire universe and re-teaching of the man to peaceful co-existence in one world. On the other, it will also have to be humble enough to pay adequate attention to the needs of each individual. These two approaches are not contradictory as is sometimes feared. But unfortunately, man sometimes forgets small things in giving attention to the big things; and it is here that the danger lies.


In keeping with this broad philosophy, I would say that the process of educational planning can be summed up just in one sentence. At one end, educational planning should embrace the whole country and even the whole world; at the other it should treat each institution as an individual entity which, in its turn, should be able to regard every child as an individual with his own needs and aspirations. We would have achieved our goal if we had developed both these programmes together.


In the process of magnifying the scope of educational planning, however, we have unfortunately lost sight of the individual institution and of its uniqueness, which necessitates planning at the institutional level. It is to correct this mistake that we propose to develop this programme of institu­tional planning in which we want to pay adequate attention to the microcosm, the individual institution, without forgetting the wider horizon, the macrocosm of state and national planning.





Assuming that institutional planning is accepted as a programme, some important questions arise ; how do we set about preparation of plans at the institutional level? What are the things that we should do in this regard and what are the things which we should carefully avoid ? What is the content and scope of educational plans? What are the agencies which will collaborate in the preparation of institutional plans? How do we avoid conflict, if any, between the institutional plans and the district, state or national plans? It is necessary to answer questions of this type very carefully if the programme is to succeed. In this context, I would like to make a few important points.


My first point is that if institutional plans are properly prepared, there can be no conflict between them and the plans at the district, state or national levels. They have all to fit into each other. The national plan, for instance, does not decide everything. If it does so, it will again be an authoritarian plan. The national plan, therefore, should decide upon some broad programmes of national significance and leave a very large freedom to the states to plan in the light of their own conditions. The state plans will go into more specific details, within the framework of national plan. In their turn, the state plans also should not decide everything but leave a good deal of freedom to the people at the district level to plan for themselves. The district plans will be drawn up within the broad framework of the state plans. But even at the district level, we should leave a good many choices to individual institutions so that they can plan and implement their own programmes. Even in an institutional plan, there should be freedom to an individual teacher to plan something for Himself; and so on. The existence of choices and planning go together. If choices do not exist, there can be no planning. As choices exist at all the tour levels— nation, stale, district and institution—there should be a system of integrated plans at the national, state, district-and institutional level. But while planning at any given level, one follows certain broad principles and leave enough freedom and elasticity to the next level to make some chances of its own. Similarly, the plan at each level should try to implement the plans at all the higher levels. For instances, the institutional plan will, in some way, implement the national plan, the state plan and even the district plan. Planning is thus a two-way process. Ideas from the institu­tions and the choices they make will rise up to the districts, then to the states and then to the national level just as ideas from the national level will come down to the state, district or institutional levels. This continuous process of downward and upward movement of ideas must go on if planning is to improve in quality. There is thus no conflict really between planning at these higher levels and at the institutional level.


My second point is that an institutional plan should be prepared mainly from the point of view of the best utilisation of existing resources. Every institution needs additional resources and if we concentrate only on the additional resources we need, the institutional plan becomes merely a charter of demands. Funds to meet these demands will not be available and this will land us only in frustration. We had a good example of this in the old Fourth Plan. The University Grants Commission decided that every university should prepare a plan for itself and requested them to do so. Now every university thought, quite naturally, that it should prepare as large a plan as possible and there was a competition in putting up big plans. The total of all such plans came to about Rs. 300 crores (this was an under-estimate and it should easily have gone up to three thousand crores), against a sum of Rs. 58 crores that actually came to be allotted. This led to great frustration. The Director of Education in Andhra Pradesh carried out a simple exercise to find out the additional amount that will be required to give an adequate building to every secondary school in the State. He found that, for secondary school buildings alone, the cost would be Rs. 10 crores. For primary schools, he found that a sum of Rs. 30 crorers was required for buildings alone. This is the sort of a picture that we get on the basis of additional funds needed. If we ask the institutions to plan, and do not tell them what or how to plan, they will naturally put forward large demands which will add up to fantastic totals. Then we will have to tell them that we do not have the money and this will make them lose faith in planning itself. This is a situation we have to guard ourselves against.


I am not saying that the additional resources are not wanted. They are wanted and let us try our best to provide them. But in institutional planning, let us ask this question to every institution : "What can you do within the existing resources available (or with a little more feasible addition to it) by better planning, and harder work ?" I do not think there is any escape either from better planning or from hard work. Educa­tion is essentially a stretching process and the teachers and the students have to stretch themselves to their utmost. If they refuse to stretch themselves, education does not even begin. You may provide the best equipment and the best buildings. But if this stretching is not there, you will have no education. Unfortunately, this is an idea which people have not appreciated quite well. Over large sections of the educational fields, the students do not want to learn and the teachers do not want to teach; and in the absence of these two basic things, we are planning buildings, methods, materials, or improvement of salaries.   What I  want to emphasize again is that education is essentially a stretching process. It has to stretch teachers and students to the utmost. We have to engage every student in a meaningful and challenging task for 8 to 10 hours a day, for 7 days a week and for 52 weeks a year. This is the challenge; and it cannot be met by external discipline. We have to create a climate of commitment to knowledge, commitment to social service, and commitment to hard work. I believe that the institutional plan should be used as a tool for this purpose.


It will be worthwhile here to give an illustration of the work done by my friend Shri Gobardhanlal Bakshi who is the Director of Education in the Punjab. He is the first man who tried the idea of institutional planning. In his college, he found that stagnation was very high and that the results were only about 50 per cent. He called a meeting of his teachers and asked them if anything could be done to improve the results. Only one decision was taken. Since the students' parents live very close by in the city, it was decided that, every two months, a report on the progress of the students should be sent to the parents. "If the parents have entrusted their children to us', said the teachers, 'we should at least tell them, every two months, how their sons or daughters are progressing'. This was not an easy thing to do. They found that, if the task is to be done well, the written work of the student will have to be carefully evaluated; and since several teachers are concerned with each student, they had to meet regularly to discuss the progress reports. This was tried out for one year. There was no additional expenditure, no additional staff. It was only a question of giving proper leadership and showing the way. What was the result? The stagnation went down and the percentage of passes increased from 50 to 85 per cent. It is now proposed to extend the scheme throughout the Union Territory of Chandigarh. In a plan of Rs. 145 lakhs ( 1 lakh = 100,000) for Chandigarh, this programme costs less than 2 lakhs. There are so many programmes of this type which cost little, cost nothing at all, except human effort and better planning. In a poor country, and India is one, people are caught in a vicious circle. They cannot improve education because they are poor; and they remain poor because education is not improved. This vicious circle can be broken only in one way, namely, through human effort. If we work hard, plan better, make the best use of resources available, we can break this vicious circle and get out of it. If we want the problems of education to be solved with the help of money alone, I do not believe that problems of education can ever be solved. Do we really have an idea of our poverty and of how little we are spending on educa­tion? The entire educational expenditure in India is about Rs. 16 per head per year. In America, they spend about Rs. 1200 per head per year on education today. The differences are fantastic. An average American spends about 70 dollars a year on cigarettes and we spend less than three dollars on education. What we spend on education in India is a little less than what an average American spends on sleeping pills. At such different levels of economic development and poverty, how on earth are we to compete with other countries on the basis of money? But we can compete on the basis of human effort, on the basis of talent, on the basis of better planning. If we do that, we shall put the talents   in our large population to an effective use and really make an advance.


An institutional plan must be addressed to questions like these: How do we reduce wastage? How do we reduce stagnation? How do we make better use of existing facilities? A hundred examples could be given of sound institutional plans. Let me just take one, the example of a school in Bombay. As you know, there is acute congestion in the middle class s in Bombay city; ninety per cent or more of the families in Bombay live in single-room hutments; and a family often means parents, grand parents, sometimes four or five brothers, sometimes an older brother who is married, and so on. There might be two or three married couples also in that family, and all of them have to spend their whole time in one room. This is life in Bombay. The buildings are multi-storeyed and look very big, but the space a family occupies is just like a pigeon-hole. In this family life, the children have no place at at all, no place to sit, no place to study. If the family is poor, they cannot also send their children out in the vacation. Now this friend of mine organises every year a summer camp in his school. It is a very simple programme. In the summer vacation, the school building is vacant and the grounds are available. So the whole school building is turned into a dormitory. Every student is told that he can go for food and stay and spend all his time in the school. He thus actually lives there, be sleeps there, and participates in the activi­ties arranged. Some teachers are on duty and organise personal reading, guided study, recreation. The student can quietly spend the whole day and night in the school. I have seen these camps and noticed how happy the children are in these camps. They would have been happier if they would have gone to Mahabaleshwar or Matheran but that is not possible. The cost per student does not come to more than 3 or 4 rupees per year. But in that little cost, the students feel refreshed, their studies improve and the existing facilities are better utilised. There is no need to give other examples. The point I am making is that the very purpose of institutional planning is to utilise existing resources in the most effective manner and to overcome the shortcomings of material inputs through better planning and greater human effort. In every situation in India, there is a lot that can be done and there is no situation in India, however bad, where nothing can be done. It is for us to discover the best that can be done in every situation through better planning and greater human effort and with little or no additional monetary inputs. This should be the basic idea of an institutional plan. One should assume that the additional resources are limited; and within them, strive to do a good deal.


My third point is that the institutional plans must be democratically oriented and that they must involve everyone concerned—headmasters, teachers, parents and students. I find that authoritarian attitudes often continue to dominate even when we create an institutional plan to give freedom to the teacher. In Rajasthan, I was attending a Seminar on Institu­tional Planning in Kotah and a very enthusiastic headmaster from a rural area was describing the plan he had prepared for his school. He started by saying 'In my school', 'my plan', 'I did', etc. I was waiting to see whether he would use the word 'we' once at least. But he did not. He was a very dedicated teacher and had completely identified himself with his school. But he had a blind spot on consultations. At the end, I asked him : 'Don't you think it necessary to consult your teachers in preparing this plan ?'. 'My teachers' he answered with surprise, 'they are all my students. They all are good, and whatever I say, they accept as a matter of course'. You will thus find that this authoritarian attitude enters even in this very attempt to liberate teachers. What we are out for is the freedom of the individual child; and the individual child will not get his freedom unless the individual teacher gets his freedom. The individual teacher will not get his freedom unless the attitude of the headmaster is changed; and the headmaster's attitude will not be changed until the inspector or director changes. Thus it goes all the way up to the top. This is another point we have to remember, we must involve everyone.


My fourth point is that institutional planning should be practical and realistic rather than Utopian or ambitious. In other words, we must have a different motto for institutional planning. Our usual motto is: 'not failure but low aim is crime'. This is a good idea. But we use this idea in a wrong way. We choose a high aim and when we fail, we justify it philosophically as inherent in the high aim itself. This is a bad policy in all matters and especially in institutional planning. For institutional plan, therefore, our motto should be: 'not high aim but failure is a crime'. I do not mind how small a plan a teacher prepares. Let somebody say,I want to improve the handwriting of my children’. I will be quite happy. What you decide to do is immaterial. But once you decide to do something, I will not accept any excuse for a failure. This is what we have to insist upon : doing things with dignity, with price in one-self and with success. If we follow this up, institutional plan can be put successfully on the ground.





What are the steps needed to introduce a system of institutional plans in a State? The following suggestions in this "regard is put forward for the consideration of the State Governments.


(1) It should be a condition of recognition and grant-in-aid that every institution prepares a fairly long-term plan of its own development. Against the background of this plan, it should also be required to prepare a Five-Year Plan (coinciding with the State Five Year Plans) and an annual plan indicating the activities proposed to be undertaken during the ensuing year.

(2) These plans prepared by the institutions should form the basis of the periodical inspections. The object of these inspections should be to help the institution to prepare the best plans it could within its available resources and to guide it for their successful implementation. If this is done the present ad hoc character of inspection will mostly disappear.

(3) Some broad guidelines for the preparation of such plans should be issued by the State Education Department. These will indicate, in broad terms, the policies of the State Government included in its own plans which will have to be reflected suitably in the plans of the institutions. It should, however, be clearly understood that the guidelines issued by the State Government are recommendatory and not mandatory. It should be open to a school, for given reasons, not to take up a programme included in the guidelines, to modify the programmes given therein or even to take up new programmes not included in the guidelines.

(4) An even more important measure is to arrange suitable training in the programme for all inspecting officers of the State and for headmasters. This should essentially be a responsibility of the State Institute of Education.

(5) A long-term plan will be prepared by the institution to be covered in such a period of time which it deems convenient. The Five-Year Plans, as stated earlier, should be made to coincide with the State's own plans. For preparing the annual plans, it is necessary to provide some specific time in the school year; and it is, therefore, suggested that about a week[1] in the begin­ning of each academic year and a week towards its end should be reserved for the purpose. The following steps may be taken with advantage: —

(a)    The school should open for teachers on the prescribed day but the students should be required to attend a week later. In other words, in the first week of the opening of the school, the teachers should be on duty without being required to take classes. This period can then be conveniently devoted in continuous meetings and discussions and for preparing a detailed annual plan of work of the school in all its aspects; co-curricular, curricular, class plans, subject plans and detailed plans for each programme the school proposes to under­take.

(b) Similarly, at the end of the year there should be a week when teachers are on duty but the students have been let off. This week should be utilised for a careful evaluation of the implementation of the annual plans.


The implication of the proposal is that the holidays for students will be about two weeks longer than for the teachers. This may appear as a loss of teaching time. But the gain in terms of quality of work will compensate it in full or even more.


(6) Reports of the annual plan prepared in the beginning of the year should be available to the inspecting officer within a short time thereof. The same should be done about the evaluation carried out at the end of the year. It should be an important part of the school inspection to discuss these plans and their evaluation with the school staff and authorities (and where neces­sary, even with students).

(7) The State Education Departments should be oriented to a new mode of thinking. Their present insistence on rigidity and uniformity should be abandoned in favour of an elastic and dynamic approach. They should also encourage initiative, creativity, freedom and experimentation on the part of institutions and teachers. It should be their responsibility to identify good schools and to give them greater support and larger freedom to enable them to become better while, at the same time, providing the necessary guidance and direction to the weaker institutions with a view to enabling them to become good.

(8) Although the institutional plans have to emphasise human efforts rather than additional investment in physical and monetary terms, it is also necessary to emphasise that the State Governments should strive to make more and more resources available to individual institutions through libera­lisation of grants. Side by side, it is equally essential that every institution should strive to raise its own resources for its development. From this point of view. the following three steps will have to be taken :


(a) An Education Fund should be maintained in each educational institution, on the broad lines recommended by the Education Commission. The Commission has said that this fund should con­sist of (i) amounts placed at the disposal of the institutions by the local authorities; (ii) donations and contributions voluntarily made by the parents and the local community; (iii) a betterment fund levied in institutions other than primary schools from students; and (iv) grant-in-aid given, on a basis of equalisation, by the State Government.

(b) The system of grant-in-aid should be reformed to encourage excel­lence. The grant-in-aid to educational institutions should be divid­ed into two parts. The first is the ordinary maintenance grant on some egalitarian principles which will ensure the payment of teachers' salaries and a certain minimum expenditure for other items. But there should also be a special 'Development Grant' given to institutions on the basis of their performance. This will promote a competition for excellence among the different educational institutions and lay the foundation of a movement which, in the course of time, would succeed in raising standards all round.

(c) A deliberate policy to encourage the pursuit of excellence should be adopted. At the school stage, good schools should be allowed to develop into 'experimental schools' and freed from the shackles of external examinations. A similar step should be taken at the univer­sity stage by the development of 'autonomous colleges'. Encourage­ment of assistance should be given to outstanding departments of universities to grow into Centres of Advanced Study and in some universities at least, clusters of Centres of Advanced Study should be built up in related disciplines that strengthen and support one another.

(9) The different educational institutions should help each other in developing this new concept of institutional plans. From this point of view, the programmes of 'school complexes' recommended by the Education Com­mission deserves consideration. Under this programme, each secondary school will work in close collaboration with the primary schools in its neighborhood and help them, through guidance services and sharing of facilities, to improve themselves. The same process can be repeated at a higher level between colleges and universities on the one hand and the secondary schools in their neighborhood on the other. At present, the teachers at different stages of education are engaged in a dialogue of mutual recrimination and passing the buck. For instance, the universities blame the secondary schools for sending up weak students and the secondary schools pass on the blame to primary schools. The programme of school complexes recommended by the Education Commission will put an end to all this and bring the different stages of education together in a programme of mutual service and support.


(10) One more point needs emphasis in this context. The success of a programme of institutional planning will be directly proportional to the extent to which the teachers working in an institution identify themselves with its development. In private schools, this identification is easier to be achieved because the teachers remain nontransferable. In fact, where a private insti­tution is in a position to attract competent and dedicated teachers and give them an effective hand in its administration, the programme of institutional planning is likely to be the most successful. Every private institution should therefore strive to this end, namely, to attract competent and dedicated teachers and to give them an effective voice in running the institution. In Government or Local Bodies institutions, the position is a little different. Here the teachers belong to a cadre and not to the institution and are liable to be transferred to several other institutions of the same type. In practice, such transfers are also fairly frequent. The teachers therefore, develop loyalties to a cadre rather than to individual institutions. It will therefore be necessary to adopt policies under which teachers working in Government or Local Authority schools also could be enabled to identify themselves with individual institutions. This can be done by creating committees of manage­ments or boards of governors for individual institutions, by reducing trans­fers to the minimum and by giving the teachers working in these institutions an effective voice in their development.




The leadership id the preparation and implementation of institutional plans will have to be provided, to begin with, by the inspecting officers of the State Education Departments. They will also have a continuous and an important role to play in this programme. It is, however, obvious that the essential leadership in preparation and implementation of institutional plans will have to be provided by the teachers themselves. From this point of view, some programmes that could be adopted at the different stages of education are suggested below.


(1) Primary Schools : A very difficult problem is the preparation of plans for primary schools, especially single-teacher schools. The first step to this end will be to train primary teachers and headmasters in this task. This itself is a formidable task, in view of the numbers involved. But this will not be enough and it will be necessary to provide them with continuous guidance and assistance. For this purpose, it is necessary to adopt the scheme of school complexes recommended by the Education Commission. Each school complex will include a high/higher secondary school as its centre and all the primary schools within an area of three to five miles of the central secondary schools. All these institutions should be treated as a unit for purposes of educational planning and development and an attempt should be made to regard it as a 'living cell' in education. It will generally be a small and a manageable group of teachers which can function in a face-to-face relationship within easily accessible distance; and it will also have the essential talent needed because there would be about half a dozen trained graduates within it. This group of teachers can easily help each other and ensure that the primary schools included within the group will prepare and implement satisfactorily plans of their own.


(2) Secondary Schools : The guidance to the secondary schools in pre­paring and implementing institutional plans of their own will be provided partly by the secondary teachers themselves and partly by the college and university teachers. It is desirable that there should be a secondary school headmasters' forum in each district; and it should be a responsibility of this forum, working through its members, to give guidance to the secondary schools to prepare and implement their plans. Similarly, we may also create a school-complex at a higher level by linking a college or university depart­ment with a number of high/higher secondary schools within its neighbour hood. The teachers of the college or the university department concerned can then work with the teachers of the secondary schools in their area and guide them in the preparation and implementation of their plans.


(4)   Panel Inspections : Yet another method under which teachers can provide guidance in preparation and implementation of the plans of primary and secondary schools is to adopt the system of 'panel inspections' recom­mended by the Education Commission. At present all inspections of primary and secondary schools are carried out by departmental officers on an annual basis. While this should continue, the Commission has recommended that we should supplement it with a system of panel inspections of primary and secondary schools to be carried out every three to five years. Each panel will consist of a group of selected teachers or headmasters (including the head­master of the school to be inspected) and may have a departmental officer as its secretary. The panel should spend a longish time in each institution so that it is able to evaluate its work and give proper guidance. The principal advantage of this system of panel inspection is that it will make the experi­ence and expertise of senior and competent teachers available to all others.


(5)   Colleges : The colleges will be in a position, without much diffi­culty, to prepare and implement their plans. The guidance needed by them should be given by the universities.


(5) Universities : The universities should prepare and implement plans of their own and for this purpose, they should set up Academic Planning Boards on the lines recommended by the Education Commission. These should consist of representatives of the university, along with some persons from other universities and a few distinguished and experienced persons in public life. The Boards should be responsible for advising the university on its long-term plans and for generating new ideas and new programmes and for periodic evaluation of the work of the universities.


I would like to make two more observations in the end. The first is that the techniques of educational planning, and education itself, will improve if we combine 'freedom' with 'confrontation'. We should allow each school free­dom to develop a plan of its own ; and then we should bring the schools together and confront the whole body of the schools with the good work which some school is doing. There is no such thing as a reform imposed from above. No one learns from the supervisors but the schools learn from themselves. And the supervisor's role is to make the schools confront each other, so that the good work in one becomes known to the others.


My second observation is that although institutional planning may be a new description, it is not a new idea. Some of the outstanding institutions we have among us, are the results of the vision and toil of men and women who looked ahead of their times, visualised the future of the institutions and planned for the morrow. When this vision is shared by the community and institutions are developed and improved through the full participation and involvement of the community in this endeavour, we are only democratising and systematising this.

[1] This is indicative. The precise could be even less and adjusted to the need of the institution.