What were the observations of Mudaliar Commission?

Before the Secondary Education Commission Report, the course con­tent failed to keep pace with the changes in the social, political, economic, and industrial conditions.

It could not keep pace with the latest developments in Education. Theory and practice courses were bookish and theoretical, they encouraged cramming. The instructions become lifeless and monotonous. This has been reflected in the fol­lowing observations of Mudaliar Commission'

(i) The existing curriculum is narrowly conceived.

(ii) It is bookish and theoretical.

(iii) It is over-crowded and the content is not rich and significant.

(iv) It is the provision for practical work is not adequate.

(v) It is not in accordance with the needs and capacities of adolescents.

(vi) It is examination dominated.

(vii) It does not include technical and vocational subjects, which are so essential for industrial and economic development of the country.

The importance of inclusion of technical and vocational sub­jects was also emphasised in its report by Sapru Committee (1934).

A thorough revision and diversification was undertaken on the basis of recommendations made by Mudaliar Commission.

Commerce Education being so closely related with our life its curriculum has to be the nucleus of all the activities. It should, there­fore, include various subjects. At the middle level the following sub­jects are included:

(i) Languages, (ii) Social Studies, (iii) General science, (iv) Mathematics, (v) Arts and Music, and (vi) Craft and physical education.

At the secondary level there should be a few subjects to be taught as core subjects to be offered by all the students, the subjects to be included as core subjects are as follows:

(i) Languages, (ii) Social studies, (iii) General Science, and (iv) Craft

For commerce education a separate stream is provided at higher secondary stage and the following subjects are included for being taught in this stream:

(i) Book-keeping and Accountancy,

(ii) Elements of Commerce or Business Methods and Machinery,

(iii) Business Correspondence,

(iv) Economics,

(v) Commercial Arithmetic,

(vi) Short-hand,

(vii) Type writing,

(viii) Banking, and

(ix) Work-experience etc.

In certain states the courses provide option to select there or four of these subjects e.g. as in Maharastri which has been appreci­ated by Educationists. However, if this sort of freedom has to be given to the students then the schools should be fully equipped and staffed with the right type of teachers.

Though all the subjects listed above are important for com­merce education but four subjects namely type writing, short-hand, book-keeping and general principles of commerce are basic to com­merce and knowledge of these subjects is imparted to all.

For 'The persons joining specialised professions such as those of doctors, lawyers architects etc. The commerce education be im­ported on the basis of utility".

It is thus desirable that the course content in commerce programmes is broadly classified into two categories as under:

(i) Vocational Commerce Education, and

(ii) General Commerce Education.

Under the vocational commerce education the knowledge of following subjects be imparted:

(i) Stenography and Sectarian practice,

(ii) Book-keeping and accounts,

(iii) Clerical and general office work, and

(iv) Office practices.

The course content for general commerce education should in­clude the following:

(i) Consumer information-Guidance,

(ii) Business administration and management,

(iii) Economics, and

(iv) Commercial geography etc.

The content and organisation of commerce course is expected to fulfill the following imperative needs if the students:

(i) It is capable of developing saleable skills amongst the pu­pils.

(ii) It develops such attitudes that make the workers an intelligent and productive participant in economic life of the nation.

(iii) It develops in the student a clear understanding of his rights and duties.

(iv) It helps the student to understand, how to purchase and use goods and services intelligently?

(v) It makes clear to the pupil the significance of the family for the individual and the society.

(vi) It helps the student to understand the methods of science and scientific methods of doing business.

(vii) It helps to develop the student's capacity of appreciating the functioning of an office, business and industry.

(viii) It helps the students to develop respect for other persons.

(ix) It encourages the student to develop and maintain good health so that he can devote himself to his studies whole heartedly.

Curriculum in commerce in high school

Keeping in mind various objectives of commerce education the fol­lowing four sequences have been suggested:

(i) Stenographic sequence,

(ii) Clerical sequence,

(iii) Secterial sequence, and

(iv) Book-keeping sequence.

The following scheme of teaching in different sequences in vari­ous classes has been suggested:

Critical appraisal of curriculum of commerce

India is a vast country and has a number of states and Union Territo­ries. Education is in the concurrent list in Indian Constitution and so the states are free to have their independent education policies. How­ever following general procedure is followed for framing of curricu­lum in commerce by different states

"A curriculum committee is committee by the State Board or Secondary Education. The members of the committee are generally experts, who are nominated by the Board The members meet from time to time and prescribe the courses of study and curriculum in the commerce subjects.

There is also a commerce committee of university teachers which recommend the courses of study. Their recommenda­tions are examined at various stages in the Board and then the courses of study are prescribed.

There are some defects in the system of selection of courses and curriculum in commerce stream. Experienced school teachers are not represented. The business circles, for which learners are prepared, are also not represented. The result is that the courses of study suffer in quality and utility.

One of the recommendation made by kothari commission pro­vides for the introduction of specialisation from class XI, but the boards of Secondary Education of most of the Indian states have introduced general education upto class X and specialisation from class XI. Commerce is also being incorporated as a subject of study and in several states it has already been done so in class XI and XII.

According to the growing needs of the economy and the em­ployment opportunities available in the next decade, there is need of bringing about changes in the patterns and composition of the com­merce programme.

At present, of the two sequences (i.e. Book-keeping sequence and stenography sequence) only one sequence predominates (i.e. Book­keeping sequence) and the other sequence (i.e. stenography sequence) remains almost neglected. Even if it has been introduced in a very few schools the programme suffers considerably on vocational grounds.

Before finalisation of any syllabus in Commerce it is desirable to have a good deal of discussion among teachers, educators, planners and administrators so that every state may adopt it, maintaining uni­formity in syllabus and standard of achievement in different sequences.

Status of commerce education in secondary schools in India

In India commerce education first started at the secondary level but its real growth and development took place at the college level, upto the middle of twentieth century. In India commerce was not considered as a separate discipline and it was reduced to an insignificant item of the twin departments Economics and Commerce, in which Economics had an upper hand. It hindered any real progress in the field of commerce for a pretty long time. Only after the report of Mudaliar Commission an expansion took place in commerce education. The multipurpose Higher Secondary School were opened and practical subjects were introduced in many fields including commerce.

To start with in Commerce education was introduced such subjects as letter writing, Business Methods, Shorthand and Type­writing. Later on many more subjects such as Book-keeping Economics, Accountancy, Commercial Law, Taxation etc. were introduced.

Adopting the recommendation of Dr. V.K.R. V. Rao Committee national Diploma in Commercial practice was started with a view to prepare qualified and skilled persons needed by the growing economy in the country.

With the rapid growth in the field of trade, commerce and industry, the need for proper education and right type of Commerce teachers was felt and to meet the needs of teachers of practical sub­jects a necessity was felt to have some special type of institutes to provide for this type of institution N.C.E.RT. and Regional Colleges of Education did a commendable job, till about 1963 no facilities existed for providing training facilities in the field of commerce but now such training is available through regular training, in service courses, summer-cum-correspondence courses etc. but even now the practical aspect of commerce education programme is not quite satis­factory.

An effort is needed to accelerate the teaching or shorthand and type-writing etc. in views of an enormously increasing demand in these fields.

There is a talk of vocationalisation and work-experience in Education. It is thus hoped that in recent future the commerce educa­tion will be much more oriented in favour of practical subjects. It would help to achieve the main objective of commerce education i.e. development of employable skills.