THE GOVERNOR ON OUR SCHEME OP EDUCATION.
[By Telegraph.] W ellington, May 4.
In his speech at the opening of the Normal School, Governor Robinson said he had carefully observed the working of the educational scheme here and in other countries. He thought the New Zealand scheme admirable in general design, but defective in one or two details. It was, he believed, the most comprehensive and ambitious scheme for free, public instruction yot adopted by any country in the world, but he expressed a doubt whether the programme of primary instruction was not too varied and likely to prove too costly, and whether, considering the very early age at which the majority of the children were removed from school, the cramming them with instruction in such a variety of subjects will not tend to lower their standard of efficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic, objects of primary importance, and thus substitute a smattering of many subjects for thoroughness in a few, and whether, too, the attempt to provide a machinery for supplying the whole youthful population of the colony with free education of a varied and advanced chat actor, em - braced in six standax'ds, will not entail upon tbs pountry an expenditure more heavy than can be borne. He expressed great regret that all local sources of revenue, such as school rates and fees, were done away with. He thought attendance should be compulsory, and also a sinall fee be charged. He thought that the extexxt to which moral training is ignored in tho national plan of education is to be regretted. Tho compromise re garbing Bible reading adopted at home and New South Wales, he thought a: wise; one, and spoke strongly on this point, quoting a number of authorities as to religion being the best foundation of morality. He concluded by saying “ I have thus stated to you frankly what appear to me to bo weak points in your educational plan—namely, that it will pntp.il a larger expenditure than the general revenue can well defray without assistance from local soux'ccs ; and that the course of instruction prescribed fails to inculcate sufficiently tho observance of those moral obligations which ax - e essential to the welfare of society. (Loud applause.) With these exceptions I think that your scheme of national education is oxxe of which any country might well feel proud, and that it is being administered with an earnestness and ability which is deserving of all praise.”
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