The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. SATURDAY, MAY 13, 1882. Industrial Training.
TOWN EDITION. [ Issued at 5.40 p. in. j
The Venerable Archdeacon Thorpe, of Wanganui, made some very sensible remarks the other day, at the opening of the new Wanganui Collegiate School. He is reported to have said, on that occasion, that “ the next matter to which he wished to refer was that ot the importance of the industrial training of the pupils. This was also a condition of the trust, and he was very anxious that provision should be made to give effect to it. He had often felt that the dignity of labor was too little insisted on. (Hear, hear.) He did not speak this as a mere sentiment, because he had sons of his own on the hook, and their future to think of. The revenues of the trust allowed of no provision at present for the industrial training of the scholars, but it was intended to give effect to that condition of the trust so soon as the funds would allow.” Such sentiments can hardly t fail to meet with the approval of all practical men, and colonists are, generally speaking, remarkable for theirpracticalness. It is highly desirable that every child should become acquainted with “ the three K.’s,” and something more ; but why restrict the training of children to a mere knowledge of books ? Why should they not vary the monotony of school life by learning the elements of some useful trade or calling, which might prove of inestimable service to them in after life, when their battles with the world begin? No matter what a child’s station in life, or its parent’s social position, a knowledge of a trade could do no harm, while it might do very much good. At the present time the criminal and neglected children —the denizens of the various refuges or reformatories scattered over the colony—are the only ones who receive an industrial training. These juveniles are all taught some business or other by which they may, if they choose, earn their bretd eventually, and there can be no valid reason why so good a system should not be extended to children who are not criminal or neglected. The Germans have long recognised the importance of the question, for many of their schools are furnished with workshops where practical instruction is given to the children in various useful handicrafts. Indeed, if we are not mistaken, the Emperor William himself is a warm advocate'of industrial training for the young. The subject is an allimportant one. How many men are there in these colonies who every day regret that they have not learnt a trade? A man with a trade at his fingers’ ends has always something to fall back upon, no matter what ups and downs he may experience, but how many there are who, having no means to enter a profession, and no acquaintance with any pursuit by which they may earn a livelihood, become helpless burdens upon society and go to the dogs ? Archdeacon Thorpe was not the only advocate for iddustrial training who spoke at the opening ot the Wanganui College. A Mr Fitzherbert remarked that he “ was glad to hear that it was intended to provide for industrial education as soon as possible. Nothing struck him more in connection with a visit he had paid to England, and to the neighborhood of the public school in which he was educated, than the industrial training which was being given in a school not far removed from that which he had himself attended. The neighborhood was a highly conservative one, and yet in this school a most perfect system of industrrdtrairungej^
isted, whereby the scholars, many of whom were not necessarily destined to follow a sedentary or professional life, were fitted for more active avocations. This being the case, he did not see why in Wanganui the present Collegiate School might not make, at no distant date, ample provision for the industrial training of large numbers of the youth of Wanganui.” We sincerely trust that the example about to be set by Wanganui, will not be lost upon other centres. It is at least worthy of careful consideration at the hands of all interested in the cause of education and the welfare of the young.