PROPOSED AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL.
REPORT ON HAMLLTTON'S CLAIMS. The Chairman of the Auckland Board of Education (Mr C. J. Parr), and Mr George George (director of technical education) have submitted the fcilowing report to the Board of Education, on the proposed agricultural school at Hamilton. "With reference to the Department's memorandum of the .9th of December, intimating that a grant of £3600 'had been made for the erection of a building at Hamilton, designed to serve the dual purpose of a District High School and of a Technical School, a-fter carefully considering the matter we are of the opinion that it -would be a great mistake to depart from the original intention of the Board, as set forth in the director's report of the 4th of February, 1908, which was forwarded to the Department, with the Board's letter of the Oth of February, 1908, asking for a grant of £6000 for the erection of a building which -was to serve primarily as an Agricultural School, butalso as a Technical and Manual Training School, and was to entirely replace the present Hamilton West District High School. "In submitting the scheme to the Department, the Board pointed out that as far as the Day Agricultural School was concerned, it was estimated that at least 100 pupils -would attend at the establishment of the school, and that the income derived from these under the regulations of the Manual and Technical Instruction Act. 1900, would be £1500 per annum. This sum would provide for an efficient staff, including a headmaster at £400. as well as other special in- , structors. On the other hand, if the school were carried on as a District High School, with 100 pupils, the maximum salaries payable under the Education Amendment Act, 1903, -would be £615, and a capitation allowance of 11/3 per head, wl ich for 100 pupils would be £56 5/. or a tot.il income of £671 5/. "Under such a scheme, the srhool would be financially crippled from the start as there -would be no money available for engaging labour, -which must of necessity be employed where cows, pigs, fowls, etc., are kept. "Instead of there being a headmaster too. who was specially trained for agricultural work, the headmaster would be the headmaster of the primnry school to which the District High" School was attached. "Apart from the financial aspect, which is undoubtedly a most important one. the scheme as proposed by the Department appears to us to be quite unworkable, from the fact tTTat it entails dual control. The institution (and presumably some of the staff) would be under the authority of the School Committee as far as the District High School was concerned, and under the Board as regards the Technical and Manual Training classes. That an Institution as originally proposed by the Board would be likely to prove of inestimable value to this province, is our firm belief, and we strongly recommend the Board to urge the Department to reconsider its decision. "Briefly, it were well to again set forth , ttej-Rf.WS,. Pf. such nn Institution. It i Woli!fl"'Kfl'vt>:«Ma) As an Agricultural' School where hoys and girls who had passed through the primary schools could receive a training which would specially fit them for rural pursuits. At such a school, too. boys -would receivo a preliminary training which would fit them to profit from such advanced agricultural education as was provided at the Lincoln Agricultural College, (b) As a secondary school on modern lines where pupils could receive a practical education with a bias for professions, commerce, or trades, as in the case of the day school of the Auckland Technical College. (c) As arc evening technical school where classes could be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the district in such subjects as plumbing, carpentry and joinery, dressmaking, cookery etc. (d) As a manual training school where pupils of the upper standards of the primary schools of the district could attend for classes in cookery, woodwork, etc. (c) As an adjunct to the Ruakura Experimental Farm; the cadets from the latter attending at the school for scientific instruction, whilst the Exerimental Farm could be used to carry out experiments under the direction of the staff of the school. Both these suggestions were approved of by the late Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. R. McNab. (f) As a centre at which special short courses could be held for dairymen, for farmers, for teachers, etc., such for example as Winter Schools for Wool-classing, etc. "Much more might be sai3 about the value of such an institution, but we feel sure that enough is here set forth to convince the Board that the Department should be asked to consent to the establishment of the school as an" agricultural one, under the Manual and Technical Instruction Act, and to the closing of the District High School as such."
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