ASHBURTON SCHOOL ANNUAL MEETING.
Tho annual moating of liouseliolcLara took place last night—Dr. Stewart iu the chair. About twenty householders were present. The annual report of the Committee was read, it ran as follows : “The Committee of tho Ashburton Borough Schools have much pleasure in again congratulating the householders on the continued flourishing state of the schools. The numbers have steadily increased, but not quite in the same ratio as last year; the total number on the roll in December 1879 was 470, against 412 for December 1878, but thsjncrease for 1873 was over 100, and for IS7O G 4. Your Committee have succeeded during the year in obtaining the services of a second master (Mr. E. Mayo), who has been regularly trained for his work, and is giving satisfaction therein : two pupil teachers have also been added to the staff, which now consists of nine teachers, viz., a head master, a mistress, a second master, two ex-pupil teachers, who completed their term in March last, but have been permitted to retain their places in the school, and four pupil teachers, two male.and two females. A new room for the infants was promised last year, hut as yet it has not boon erected, and your Committee are anxiously awaiting the x'epoit of tho School Inspector, Mr. Edge, who visited the schools in October last, and was under instructions to report upon it. at that date. As there are over 200 infants on the roll, it is of very great importance that a room for their accommodation, separate from the existing schools, should be erected at as early a date as possible. It our Committee have to report that a new and substantial house has been built for the master, and that improvements and alterations in the girls’playground and school premises have been effected during the year. Tho Annual Examination for Prizes took place on the 17th, 18th, and 19th days of December and was conducted by the Revs. W. E. Paige, M.A., and A. M. Beattie, M. A., assisted by Mr. J. Ward. After a very careful and exhaustive examination, the examiners gave a very encouraging report, both as regai ds the papers of the pupils, the discipline of the sch 001, and the evident care and pains taken by the teachers in training their pupils. The Committee have very great pleasure indeed in congratulating both the teachers and pupils, and the inhabitants of the Borough on tue successful results of this examination. The examiners awarded about 300 prizes, but on account of the limited means of the Committee only 120 were distributed, to the remainder were given certificates of merit. Mrs. Beattie and Mrs. Ward were the lady examiners for needle-work, &c., and paid a very high compliment to Miss Stewart (the mistress) for the very efficient state of this department of the school-work; indeed they stated that too much praise can hardly be given to the prize-takers in knitting, plain sewing, fancy, and other kinds of need'e-work for the neat and efficient execution of their several portions of work. Your Committee desire to express to tho householders their appreciation of tho courtesy and liberality shown to them on all occasions, and in all their intercourse with the Board of Education, and to bear their testimony to the promptitude with which they have responded to tho wants and requirements of the Borough and district. The Inspector’s report has just been received, and although it does not contain all that the Committee would desire in an Inspector’s report of this school, still there is some encouragement in it, as considerable improvement has taken place since the teaching staff' has been increased. The Committee quite agree with the Inspector that there should be more general supervision by the head master, but with the present staff, although largely increased, they do not quite see how this can be done. Tho report shows that in the head master’s own class, which consists of 25 pupils, there were three who failed to pass the standard in which they were presented, which represents a failure of 12 per cent, and of passes 88 per cent. It is fair, however, to state that 14 of the 22 that passed in this class had previously passed in the same standards under the old regulations in tho year 1878. “ In Miss Stewart’s department 50 were presented, and 56 passed, only one of which had passed in the same standard in 1878. The three failures represent 5 per cent, of failures, and 95 per cent, of passes. The total per centage of passes for the whole school, as reported by the inspector, is 77. The above two deductions from the inspector’s report clearly indicate the weak part of the school, and also as clearly indicate the remedy pointed out by the inspector, viz., a more thorough supervision by the head master. During the year of office of this committee there have been fourteen meetings held at which business has been transacted, with the following attendance of members, viz., Dr. Stewart, Chairman, 5 : Mr. D. Williamson, 5 ; Mr. George Parkin, 3 ; Mr. G. AY. St. Hill, 1-4 ; Mr. Calvert, 7 ; Mr. T. Gollins, 9 ; and Mr. James Bradley, 9.
‘ ‘ In conclusion, the Committee announce that the school will re-open after the vacation on Monday, the 2nd February, and they venture to express the hope that parents will show their interest in the prosperity of the school, by sending their children punctually and regularly so that the teachers may have the opportunity of increasing the usefulness and reputation of the school.” Dr. Stewart said that the head master had done well, in fact, as well as possible. As to his supervising the school more thoroughly, that were really impossible, unless a larger staff were employed. The head master should not have anything to do but teach the highest standards, and walk through the school, seeing the other teachers did their work. Mr. Stott had cultivated the taste of the children by teaching them music and drawing, and had really done wonders. In the “Press” to-day he had observed a paragraph from which it seemed that the Inspector of .Nelson said that it was notorious that some of the schools where the passes were only 06 per cent, were better taught than those whore the passes had been over 90 per cent. They would see from this that the percentage passed was not a real criterion of the efficiency of a school. The new Committee would have little to fjo but to try and get a new infant school, which was urgently required. The girls’ playground had been much improved, and the boys’ playground required attending to, a matter which would cost a good sum of money. IV|r, Andrews iqoved the adoption of the report, seconded by Mr. Beau, and carried.
Mr. St. Hill moved that both the inspector’s and the committee’s annual report should be given to the local papers for publication. Agreed to. The annual accounts audited by Mr. Boyle were then read, from which it appeared there was a balance of L 5 19s 9d. to the credit of the committee. The whole amount of income had been L9SO 9s. Id.
Mr. St, Hill said be wished to ask the Chairman how many times meetings had lapsed for want of a quorum. He did this in consequence of a'certain report in the evening paper which had misrepresented matters. The Chairman said only two meetings had lapsed for want of a quorum, and one of those was a special one. The following gentlemen were elected a committee for the ensuing year ;—Dr. Stewart 21 votes, Messrs. St. Hill 10, J. Orr 15, Jacobson 15, Sean 13, Boyle 11, Andrews 10.
Votes of thanks to the retiring Committee, also to hR. Ward, the Secretary,
were carried unanimously, and the meeting terminated. At a meeting of the Committee, held immediately after the public meeting, Dr. Stewart was unanimously re-elected Chairman.
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