During the freedom movement education became a national movement through which the private agencies became the vehicle of the spread of education and this national education movement gained momentum. Indian National Congress leaders like Gopal Krishan Gokhale and Bal Gangadhar Tilak worked aggressively for the spread of national education.
Calcutta University became the centre of the movement of national education. The convocation addresses reflect the spirit of the prevailing mood of the academia in regard to the national movement. In metropolitan cities like Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and Lahore some special English schools also developed to train the intelligentsia for the support of the British administration, which later on when the British left India, developed into excellent centers of learning.
When Gandhiji came on the political scene he evolved a purely national system of education, known by the name of basic education. This system of education stressed mainly on the teaching through mother tongue and for making the system fully self sufficient. Crafts were introduced in the syllabus of education. This system was meant for children of the age group from six to fourteen.
This system of education totally revolutionized the educational thought and practice in India. It was practiced in some of the provinces where Congress Governments were installed during World War II days.
A post war educational plan know by the name of Sargent Plan was worked out by the British Administration to during in 100% literacy in India by the year 1980. But after the British left in 1947, more emphasis was given to higher education fro quite a long time and thus primary and secondary education was ignored and the progress of primary and secondary education remained at a low level.