The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY. AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 1880.
The County of Ashburton is badly off for higher class education. Between the Government schools in the several school districts there exists no educational institution nearer than Christchurch to which children of parents willing to pay for education may be sent. There are, to be sure, several private establishments where such children may be educated, but these institutions are outside Government supervision, and though the tuition given in" them may be in the highest degree excellent still they do not seem to meet the wishes of all. This fact is evident from another fact brought to light yesterday at a meeting of the Ashburton High School Board. At that meeting a letter was read from a resident who urged the speedy institution of a High School, and almost guaranted the attendance of twenty-five pupils. We presume that, being a parent, and interested in the proper education of his children, he has made enquiries amongst his friends, and from the information thus gained he is justified in asking the Board to move in the matter. No one wil doubt the desirableness of having a High School in our midst, and, thanks to Mr. Wason, the exM.H.R. for the district, it is in our power to institute a High School. We feel assured that it is really wanted, and that were it fairly established it would bo well supported. We know many parents, both in the township and outside, who would gladly avail themselves of the benefits of such a seminary, and the only difficulty that appears to stand in the way is the very common one of funds. The High School Governors possess £SOO at once available ; in three years this sum will have increased to £IOOO ; while the fees chargeable from twenty-five pupils would, yield say £2OO. The questions than for the Governors to decide are—Do the number of pupils likely to attend a High School warrant its opening ? Information is to sought for on this subject, and assuming that the answer is an affirmative, the next questions that arise are—How about the building, and the payment of a teacher ? It has been suggested to rent a room, give the master all the fees, and subsidise him to the amount of a £4OO salary. It has been also suggested to build to the limit of the funds in hand (£500), and extend if necessary when the other sum of £SOO accrues. Either of these courses would, we dare say, be perfectly feasible were a substantial revenue from fees assured. But in the absence of any certain data on this latter subject it is vain speculating ; for, as men do not always “ ride when they saddle,” it is quite possible that, though many parents speak ofthe necessity for a High School they would not be prepared to use it yet awhile. It seems to us that there ought to be no difficulty about either a building or a teacher if those parents who desire higher educationfor their children come forward and express their willingness to use the school. At the next meeting of the Governors the information required will be obtained, and we hope that our country readers who feel the want of a higher educational institution than the Government school, and are prepared to send their children, will at once put themselves in, communication with Mr. Mainwaring (the Secretary to the Governors) on the subject. We have no doubt that ample provision will be made for boarding country pupils, and the subject is decidedly of sufficient importance to give some thought to. Some parents may not be ready, for various reasons, to send their children to the township at once or for some months, but if they desire an institution of the kind, and would patronise it within twelve months, the information of such intention would help to guide the Governors.