To the Editor.
Sir, — As you are always ready to publish in the interest of the public, I will ask you to favor me with space in your journal for the following letter concerning our grand system of education, and the way in which it is carried out—at least in the Flemington School district. About three years ago the inhabitants of the now. Flemington School District made application to the Board of Education for a school. At the same time we forwarded a _ list of between forty and fifty children within school age ; we also urged the necessity for a school upon the Board, showing, as I do now, that the greater number of these children had not (neither have they yet) a school within three miles. The Board seemed to acknowledge the justice of our application. However, I must say, they shelved it, and took no more notice of it. Well', we thought of the good old rule, “try again.” About two years since we sent a deputation to wait on the Board, but the worthy gentlemen who compose that body seem to know their business. They rubbed our men over with soft soap to such a degree that we really thought wo would see the school up directly. But, alas, the surplus in the hands of our Board was wanted to heap some luxury on the schools in and about Christchurch. In fact, we must pay for the loaf, stand by hungry, and see our neighbors eat it. About fifteen months ago, by order of the Board, our Committee was formed, the district defined, a site chosen and approved of. What a ray of hope now began to dawn, and the gloom and suspense disappeared. Fathers who had hitherto mourned the loss of education to their children now began to hope, even at the eleventh hour, they might get alittle. What a delusion, amounting I should say to insult ! We have got a Committee of fifteen months’ standing, but we have got no school. lam sorry to say we have got nothing to do. Onr Chairman has written often to the Board, urging them to work ; but in all their reports I see no notice taken of the letters. Is this not insult on the top of injury! If the Board of Education are not in fault who is ? It is their privilege to show us and .make it public, so that the blame may not rest on their shoulders. To cry out want of funds is absolutely absurd. I can see large sums 'of money lavishly spent in districts where it could have been done * without since we have applied for this urgent necessity. I have been told the fault does not rest with the Board alone, but that some difficulty has beefi experienced in getting the site conveyed. If so, something must be wrong on the' part of our Government. Should not the Government have power to erect a school on any site chosen and approved of, and ■ cause the owner, mortgagee, or lessee to convey the same by paying a fair price for it. Our system of education is called compulsory. How can it be, so long as any one individual or company can prevent our Government from erecting a school on , their land? No doubt we are compelled to send our children to school, but the Government cannot compel a school to be built where it is wanted. I would like to know how it is we have been so neglected. If the Board had told us W’e could not get a school, we might have sent some of our , children to friends in some other district where a school is within reach. I dare say we may do so yet; for I see no signs of a , school hero more than I did three years ago. I would like to know how long previous i to the erection of a school must the Com- , mittee be in existence. We have had two elections, and in a short time we must ■ have another. I suppose we must meet l in the Wheatstone Hotel. We ought to i have a lot of business to do when we meet; we have had no meeting since the last election. This is the way business is done in this grand district of Flemington.— Yours, &c., , A Member of Committee. October 20,1880.
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FLEMINGTON SCHOOL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 174, 23 October 1880
FLEMINGTON SCHOOL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 174, 23 October 1880
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