Education is primarily the responsibility of the Slate Governments, Every slate has a department of education. The machinery of educational administration in the slate is composed of the Dept. of Education headed by a Minister. The Minister is responsible to be appointed by the Chief Minister. The Minister performs his activities through the officers of the Dept. and some other agencies like the universities, the statutory bodies. He is also assisted by the Education Secretary and the Director of Education.
The important functions of state government towards education are given below :-
(1) Providing elementary education
As we have already mentioned elementary education is essentially a responsibility of the state government. It is to provide free and compulsory education to all children, from 6 to 14 years of age. During the third Five Year plan period all most all slates in India including the Punjab, have been providing compulsory education to children 6 to 11 years of age. It was during the fourth Five Year Plan period that all State Government in India were in a position lo discharge this responsibility completely.
(2) Providing higher Education
The state not only arranges for elementary education but also higher education of all types Liberal, Scientific, technical and vocational in order to train its citizens for careers in administration, industry, commerce, medicine, engineering and agriculture. For this purpose the state opens and maintains a number of high and higher secondary schools, industrial and technical institutes, polytechniques, colleges and special schools for fine arts and for the education of handicapped.
(3) Controlling the activities of universities
In every state government finances the university or universities and sees that proper standards of education and instruction are maintained in all branches. It also sees that there is co-ordination between the university and the State Education Department. It nominates its own represent alive lo the senate or legislative body of the universities functioning etc, recommends appointments made and looks lo the general well being of the universities.
(4) Providing adult and social education
More than seventy-five percent of our people are yet illiterate. The state government also looks to the needs of those adults who have had no schooling in their childhood. It is the responsibility of the slate lo make all these illiterate adults fit for democracy. For this purpose the state maintains a well-organised programme of adult and social education.
(5) Opening Training Institution
The state also opens training schools and colleges for providing trained and efficient staff to educational institutions. These training institutions admit matriculates for basic and elementary schools and graduates for high and higher secondary schools. The duration of training is generally two years in case of matriculates and one year for graduates. Arrangements are also made for the training of art, craft and technical instructors recently slate inspectors and headmasters for elementary school.
(6) Framing of curriculum and syllabus
The slate also prescribes syllabus and course of study for various school classes and grades. The length of each course is determined, and sometimes, even the time – schedule is prescribed, and the working days, working hours and vocations specified. Text-books are prescribed or got prepared. Some states have nationalised text-books and some have nationalized partially. Rules and regulations for admission, withdrawal and migration are also framed by the stale so that there is co-ordination and uniformity in all the educational institutions, functioning the slate.
(7) Appointing Supervisory staff
The state appoints supervisors, inspectors and education officers for regulating the activities of various institutions. The supervisory staff is responsible not only for maintaining a uniformity of standards in their respective jurisdiction but also lo see that state aids and grants are not misused by private and other agencies.
(8) Providing Financial Aids
The slate recognizes schools and other institutions run by private bodies, persons or local bodies, in accordance with set rules and regulations. It also provides them with suitable aids and grants to run efficiently and effectively. Financial aid is also given to universities, functioning in the state.
(9) Appointing Commissions and Committees
The state also appoints commissions and committees from lime to time, to discuss the various aspects of education and educational activities in the stale. These committees of experts suggest ways and means for a further improvement of education in various fields.
(10) Holding Examinations
Some states hold public examinations at various levels, and some states that do not hold examinations, give directions to the examining bodies like school Boards and District Educational authorities that conduct elementary school examinations at the district level. Teacher training examinations at the school level (like Junior Basic. Training) of secondary school level (like L.T.) are also held by some stales. The state education departments also award certificates to teachers who have undergone special orientation course at various institutes (like institute of English, state institutes of education), and recommend persons of distinction in the educational field for state Award or National Award.