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Native teacher of English and his pupils, Agra

Native teacher of English and his pupils, Agra

Photographer: Kempson, Simon Matthew Edwin

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1871

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/46(4696)

Item number: 4696

Length: 15.3

Width: 20.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a Native teacher of English and his pupils at Agra in Uttar Pradesh from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: India Office Series (Volume 46), taken by Simon Matthew Edwin Kempson in 1871. This image, which shows a group of pupils seated around a table with the teacher pointing to a blackboard, was possibly photographed in the Fort at Agra. The mount is signed by Kempson who was the Director of Public Instruction for the North-Western Provinces, and it is assumed that he was the photographer, rather than merely the donor. Regarding the changes to language education in the early nineteenth century, The Report of the Indian Education Commission of 1883 stated, "A knowledge of English became a means of livelihood to natives natives at the centre of government , and a demand arose for English instruction in the Presidency towns. As the old exotic court language, Persian, fell into disuse, and especially when it ceased to be the language of official life, the demand for education in the vernaculars which had superseded the foreign tongue made itself more widely felt. Meanwhile a new influence in favour of popular education was being brought to bear upon the Indian Government by missionary and philanthropic bodies both in this country and in Europe."

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