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Wood’s Despatch and Report of William Adam

In this article we will study about Charles Wood's Despatch, The report of William Adam, and Consequences of New Rules, etc.


Wood’s Despatch and Report of William Adam were two significant events that took place during British rule. Sir Charles Wood, who was the president of the board of control out there during British rule, played a crucial role in spreading English throughout the Indian continent.

Wood was very ambitious and wanted to spread English among the female Indians. In the year 1854, Sir Charles would send a special dispatch to Lord Dalhousie, who was the governor-general of India during the time.

He suggested a few important things about the education system in India. According to the Charles wood dispatch, Mr Wood suggested that primary schools must adapt to particular vernacular languages. He also suggested adopting the Anglo-vernacular language, and he also said that English should be made the medium of teaching at the college level. This entire despatch created havoc in Indian society. People suddenly found it very hard to adapt to English.

More about the despatch

One of the most significant steps taken with the wood dispatch was to create a particular English class and different local levels in Indian society. He wanted to create an atmosphere where people were familiar with the use of English.

During this dispatch period, Britishers have initiated and developed great controls with their reforms over Indian society. After this period, the Britishers eventually started to lose control over the people.

Reaction to the reform

There were mixed reactions to the reform. Initially, a part of India considered this dispatch to be a good thing. But on the other hand, there was a big party out there in Indian society that was entirely against girls’ education.

Even with Western languages, educating girls was one of the darkest nightmares for Indians. Hence people did not accept the entire recommendation.

Some other recommendations of the Wood’s dispatch

  • Charles wood thought that English education would eventually increase the moral character of Indians, and it would be easy for them to serve as an excellent civil servant
  • He also mentioned and suggested establishing an education department for different provinces
  • He also affiliated with private schools and gave them age to improve education
  • According to the dispatch, there should be one government school in every district
  • All the government schools must accept women and encourage their study
  • There was particular stress given on Teachers’ training
  • Improving primary education motivates more people to get educated

Changes after the Charles wood despatch

Several changes occurred in Indian society due to the dispatch.

  • It promoted English education
  • The special education department was set up in all the provinces
  •  New institutions such as the University of Calcutta and also the University of Bombay were introduced in 1857. Many other universities constructed during this phase remain an integral part of the Indian education system

Report of William Adam

The report by William Adam had a significant impact on the local education system and schools in India during 1830. There are many reforms and steps taken to improve education after the special report from William Adam.

In the year 1830, William Adam, who was a Scottish missionary, was given a charge by the East India Company to have a tour and a look over the education system of the district of Bengal and Bihar. He was asked to look out and also report on the development of local schools in these districts.

Adam’s report and Pathshala

When Adam went and had a review of the education system in India in 1830, he reported that the local schools, which were also known as pathshalas in India, were not very great at granting proper education to the children. The children were not supposed to pay any fees, but it came at a cost as there were no accessories such as benches and tables in the Pathshala.

He also wrote that there were no fixed routines or separate classes for different subjects in the local school. These pathshalas as well are flexible, and the students also didn’t face annual examinations. Most of the classes were organized under Banyan trees, which is not the ideal way of teaching.

The company got influenced by the Adams report, and there were numerous changes implemented in the Indian education system.

Implementation after William Adam reports on education.

Some of the changes and new rules implemented after William Adam’s report are mentioned below-

  • The company immediately took various steps to improve and make the vernacular education system better in India
  • There was a significant focus on teaching systematically, and even English education was promoted
  • The company also hired special people known as pandits. Each pandit was given the responsibility of 4 to 5 schools in his district. He was responsible for visiting all the pathshalas and implementing special orders from the government. This was done to improve the standard of teaching and also to benefit children
  • New and unique routines were implemented according to the report of William Adam. The teaching part was strictly focused on textbooks. There is a specially designed test and a system of annual examinations designed for the children. Female education was also promoted, according to the report. Students were asked to pay regular fees accordingly. This increased the discipline among the children

Overall reaction to these schemes

People thought that all these changes in the education system would eradicate the ancient values. They also were apprehensive that these schemes would eventually promote English as the primary language, and the knowledge about Vedas and Sanskrit would be lost.


Wood’s despatch and the report of William Adam are two of the most significant reasons why the Indian education system changed. If the Britishers did not introduce these two reforms, Indians might still have a hint of Pathshala in their class. But on the other hand, these reforms destroyed India’s ancient way of learning.