The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit SATURDAY, JULY 20, 1889. ANOTHER EDUCATIONAL TROUBLE.
A few weeks ago the Board of Education for the Auckland district came to the conclusion that the staff of teacher m the Auckland city and suburban schools was much m excess of the number specified by the regulations, and consequently the expenditure was also higher than was necessary. An investigation showed that by removing the surplus teachers to country schools as vacancies occurred the very considerable saving of £4500 a year could be affected. Those principally affected by this scheme were the lady teachers, and the Board has already found that their intentions are not going to be tacitly acquiesced m by this powerful class of their employees. Every attempt hitherto made to carry out the scheme has resulted m failure. The first lady to be transferred produced a medical certificate and escaped ; the second had an aged mother (a reason always respected by the Board) ; the third was seeking for higher classification ; two absolutely refused to budge a foot to their country posts, and were dismissed ; and the next m turn came np with the perennial medical certificate. The Board put their foot "down and selected this case from its peculiar sur roundings as a test case, feeling that if they could not shift the lady they might as well surrender to the teaching staff, give up the whole scheme of reform, and be done with it. In this case the head teacher came to the rescue and protested also, and the School Committee and nearly every member oi the Board of Education had been sounded, and the Chairman himself approached indirectly. The caseoame before the Board of Education for reconsideration owing .to the protest of the City Schools Committee against the removal. The Board unanimously decided to send the lady to the country, notwithstanding that her medical adviser certified that. "It would be detrimental to her general health to be removed to a country district. In the majority of cases country life would be beneficial, but m this case it would be quite the contrary." The certificate the Board of Education received from Dr Philson, medical relereeof the board, was of a somewhat different nature ; it was :— " I hereby certify that I have examined and find that she is m a good state of health and robust constitution. lam of opinion that she is m a fit state for employment under the Board of Education either m town or country." The chairman of the Board m moving the motion, said that it was desirable that the children m Ihe city schools should be taught that it was desirable to go to the country fco settle. "\Vere they going to have taught to them simply geography by teachers Who could give only a description of Auckland, its streets, its harbor, and then to say to the children that beyond that radius of 20 miles was the terra horida, filled with the anthropophagi and men whose heads do grow beneath their shpulfiers ? WhaJ; the Board desired frpm its ' teachers wag rather that the attractions of the country should be laid before the children man attractive way, m order that they might m time become settlers. Unless the Board would be firm m this oase, m justioo to the next.teaohers who would have to be removed, he would throw up the whole matter, and move that the teachers dismissed or removed be reinstated The Educational Institute has also taken the matters up, and is protesting to the Board against the removal of experienced teachers to the couuty and supplying their places by those who are inexperienced. The Board point out that this is not being done, but that the town staff is simply being reduced to its regula-. tion limits. There the matter stands at present. • The fact that influence can be brought to bear on tfre Bpard by the teachers affected is unsatisfactory, as also is the fact that the Board has allowed the teaching staff m town to become so much m exbess of the regulations. Fuch troubles have not been unknown m other districts, but only m individual cases, which have not caused any inconvenience to the Board, but m Auckland a general resistance to the Board seems to have arisen,- and as the Board Jiaye announced their determination to carry out their scheme/ the^ qourfe of events will be watched with some interest.