The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 1889. EDUCATIONAL APPOINT MENTS.
If the members of the North Canter bury Education Board are as seneative as their brethren of the Otago Board their secretary, Mr Oolborne-Veel, and the Christchurch " Press " newspaper may look oat for the wrath of the body whose inner working has lately been exposed by our contemporary m an account of an interview with Mr Veel. The system nnder which appointments of teachers are made may be briefly recapitulated:—On a vacancy arising applications are advertised for, and those received are handed m Christchurch to the Appointments Committee of the Board, who select those whom they consider suitable for the appointment^ and then forward the whole of the applications to the local School Committee, specifying those whom they have selected. 1 hough all the applications are sent to the School Committee their choice is restricted to those selected— generally three m number—by the Appointments Committee of the Board. This system, with very slight variation, is m vogue with the Otago Board, and is known as the " Three name " system. Its adoption by the Otago Board was very emphatically denounced at the recent meeting of the Teachers' Institute by Mr White, master of the Dunedin Normal school, on the ground that it opened the door to favoritism, for which utterance Mr White haß been strongly censured by the Board, whoße members considered that they had been calumniated by his remarks. In the course of the controversy thus caused it w»s plainly stated m several quarters that great favoritism was shown by the Board m recommending candidates to School Committees, and as they cannot be assumed to be more immaculate than the Christchurch Board it may be held that favoritism is now an important factor m the appointment of teachers. Mr Veel informed his interrogator that it is getting to be an acknowledged thing that a candidats who does not canvass has no chance of getting the appointment, and the Appointments Committee and subsequently the School Committees are therefore canvassed and subjected to all the influence that can be brought to bear upon them. The Christchurch practice of delegating all appointments to a committee of three lends itself to this abuse, and it is almost needless to say that under such a pernicious system it is not always the best candidate, or even one of the best three candidates, who obtains the appointment. As a matter of fact instances of favoritism are not difficult to find, and that influence has frequently taken precedence of merit has long been known, but that inflaence was recognised by one so well acquainted with the subject as the Secretary of the Board, as being the dominant power m the selection and appointment of teachers, was not hitherto suspected. Much light is thrown by the disclosures upon some inscrutable proceedings of tho Board, and if the public are aroused to sufficient action to cause this scandalous state of affairs to be reformed a good end will have been served by the interview. The members of the Board have at their command the fullest information respecting every teacher, and school committees oannot require more than this except m the rare cases m whish they might desire to see the candidates selected by the Board before committing themselves to a final choice. All canvassing should, and must be at once forbidden, as well as the other means which have been used to bring influence to bear upon the appointing body, and the Boards and Committees alike approach the appointment of a teacher with the single view of selecting the best of the candidates. The Otago Board has, or had, a very strict regulation forbidding tho practices which arc now shown to prevail, and such v regulation might well be incorporated m the law on the subject. It is the duly of the Boards to fill vacant positions by appointing tho best applicant, why this has not been done m the past is now published, and unless householders are more than usually apathetic they will take care that no such practices are permitted m the future,- It is a matter that concerns not merely |a few teachers — though they are entitled to justice, j without favor— but most of all heads of j families who are responsible for the tip- ' bringing of their children , who are en- 1 titled to the services of the best teachers that can bo obtained, and not have second-rate tuition imposed upon them through the importunity of the candidate or the influence of his or her friends.