The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1914. EDUCATION BILL.
The Education bill now betoro tbe House of Representatives will infcro duce some drastic reforms. For many years the point has been argued as to whether local school commitfces are of any use, The Board hands over the very smallest sum necessary for mci dental expenses, and tho members of the committee are appointed to spend the sum of about £10 per year in in eident,al expenses. Beyond this their powers are limited It is'true thut Ghey may recommend tbe appointment' of a teacher, but the Board can over-i-tde tbeir decision if it so wishes. In uany country districts we understand tie local committees meet oniy once a year, tbere being norhiog to do. As I igainst the argument that these local j committees are valueless, it may be pointed out that should any trouble irise the parents would prefer to have iouie suare ia dealing with tbo matter. \s in local body mutters, people natuaiiy prefer Co transact tbtir own af. 1 mis Also the local committee can no'.e mi abuse and remedy it, where a Board district many milts away may t,ake some time to become acquainted »i h the inuliie, A reform which I was wanted badiy was that of increa slug the pay of teachers, and this bas been added to the Bill. There is nc
doubt, that children are influenced enormously by their teachers, and it is imperative that the members of this profession should be men and women holding the highest ideals. It is un reasonable to expect that people should take up this work if it is badly paid, and it is certain that the' im provement in the remuneration will result in the inclusion of more teachers of ability. Many promising young men have abandoned teaching because tbe work has been badly paid. Some debate was caused on the question of payment, for the carriage
of children in tbe backblocks to and , from school, and at the instance of ' some country meoobers the Ministbr undertook to sea that a reasonable amount was allocated for tbi3 purpose. There is one matter which should be watched more carefully, and that is tbe change of books used by school children. In years gone by where people had Inrge families, the same books served ail tbe children in turn Nowadays not a year passes without a complete change in this direction, and the result is a, i,hx on parents. Too much fadaisuu has bien allowed in this direction, as also in the alteration of tbe cuniculutn. In pome cases tbe cur riculunrigdo loaded with extra subjects r that pehoUrs cannot get a complete 1 grasp of the main subjects. The error appears to be in trjing to equip tbe ordinary State School child with a complpx education at the age of 13. In these days, when district high schools furnish secondary education gratis, there seems no need to cram the primary school syllabus with sub , jeefcg more fitted for the secondary i department, and the result of the adoption of this method tends to rob the child of 13 of a good grounding in the three Rs., while the inclusion of a lot of badly digested extra information may not be as'valuable as tbe lost grip of the other subjects.