The vernacular instruction in old Bihari villages, in beginning of Nineteenth Century, was in Persian, Sanskrit ,Hindi and Arabic languages.
Number and distribution of schools in then Tirhoot in year 1830 was as follows –
Total Schools-374 ; Persian-234 Hindi-80 Sanskrit- 56 and Arabic- 4 while in District of then South Bihar, it accounted as
Total Schools-605 ; Persian -279 Hindi- 286 Sanskrit -27 Arabik -12 and English- 01.
In these schools , written works mainly in the vernacular language were taught in addition to commercial and agricultural accounts.
In a majority of instances there was no school house, in which case the house of the teacher, a family or village temple,an out-house of one of the parents, the hut assigned for the entertainment of travelers, the corner of a shop, the portico of a mosque,or the shade of a tree was employed for that purpose.
It had been mentioned in reports that there were four stages in a course of vernacular instruction ; whereas in the second and third stages of the former the palm-leaf and plantain-leaf were generally used, in the same stages of the latter a wooden-board and brazen plate were employed as the materials on which lessons in writing and accounts were given. Two modes were adopted of writing on the brazen plate ; first, by dissolving chalk in water to a consistence that permitted the scholar to rub it on the plate where it dried and received the impression of a hard pin or reed-pen ; and second, by writing on the plate with chalk-ink. The former was the mode chiefly employed in writing on the board, and mud was sometimes substituted for moistened chalk.
The following statement exhibits the distribution of the total number of scholars into the four stages of instruction in a report of 1834 AD for a particular district of Bihar-
- Scholars who write on the ground-71
- On the palm-leaf- 525
- On the wooden-board- 35
- On the plantain-leaf-3
- On the brazen plate-95
- On paper- 437