SCHOOL IN NEW ZEALAND? By S. MILLS RODGER The British Colonial Service has selected a number of recruits from New Zealand. Already some have gone forward to the island groups which have been freed from Japanese activity. There is a great dearth of trained administrative officers— and there will be for a very long time. And then there is the Department of Island Territories of New Zealand. Admittedly, the administrative personnel is small, but are there any trained men available to fill vacancies? In short, then, in view of the foregoing, is there a need in New Zealand for a school of islands administration? Some may think so considering the ever- increasing stress laid on native matters, the rising complexity of administration and the shortage of staff. It is not for a moment presumed that such a school would turn out trained administrators. There is only one way to do that, namely, in the hard school of - experience in the field." However, candidates could be equipped with some knowledge which would make a slight but very useful framework and they would be of definitely more immediate value to their authorities. To anyone who considers native administration as a career the onerous responsibility of the task should not be overlooked. A purely academic qualification, whilst proof of good educational background, is by no means enough. In passing, one wonders if the academic proof is not being stressed a shade overmuch in present da;* selection. There are many other very practical affairs to be mastered in order to qualify as a potential governor. After all a specialist regarding a native problem from the academic angle would consult the proved administrator before submitting his solution. Proposed Curriculum What, then, would form the curriculum of a school of islands' administration in order to prove of value to all parties? It should actually deal with those subjects which would be helpful in the ordinary conduct of native affairs. That covers wider fields than may be at first thought, although one cannot lay down a hard-and-fast course of study. Some study of anthropology is very necessary. Here, at the very outset, we face a difficulty in New Zealand. There is no chair of anthropology in the Dominion and only one lectureship. It is to be hoped that this state of affairs will soon be rectified. Anthropologists are not altogether popular with the seasoned administrator. That may be because of the sometimes wrong approach of the anthropologist. Academically speaking, the science falls into four subdivisions: social, archaeological, : material culture and physical—yet for practical purposes what is needed is a general study of anthropology and the broad principles applied in a common-sense way to the difficulties encountered in a particular native group. Item two in the course should be some study of law, paying particular attention to criminal jurisprudence. Whilst the intending administrator is not entrusted with the handling of court* work at the commencement of his career, it becomes most important later on. Therefore, its study is vitally necessary to his advancement and prospects in whatever service he may enter. Public Health For number three I .strongly favour a good grounding in public health and tropical medicine. Hygiene and sanitation are difficult matters to instil into the mind of a backward race. The lack of them is the cause of much disease, epidemic and sickness, among an ignorant people. Not for one moment is it suggested that the knowledge of tropical medicine should approach a doctor's standard. It is essential, however, that knowledge be sufficient to enable diseases to be recognised and treated until medical advice can be obtained. That may be quite a long time in some of the lonely pillars of the Empire. Beriberi, malaria, blackwater, dysentery, etc., are some of the evils to combat, and. equipped with some training, a little knowledge may not be such a dangerous thing, but, indeed, may very often save lives. Some instruction in education appears to be a necessary ingredient in this curriculum recipe. Much more money will now be expended .n this direction among native races. From an administrator's viewpoint :he study of education is advisable, so that its application can be shaped n accordance with the needs of a jroup. If not properly applied, then Bducation could conceivably do more larm than good. This is another proDlem for the, administrator, but his knowledge of educational principles .vould prove an invaluable asset. The Essentials It is not proposed to enter into ietail on such subjects as the art of government, political geography sociology. They are each important subjects which warrant a place in he scheme of any proposed school if administration. Nor must one presume that the foregoing embraces i full syllabus, but it does contain he essentials. In England there is an excellent school of administration. Sydney University caters similarly for officers of the New Guinea service. Perhaps New Zealand could do likewise for. even though on a smaller scale' it would then possess the machinery to produce the material which is so needed — potential administrative officers with at least a theoretical knowledge of what is urgently required to be put into practice throughout the Empire.
Permanent link to this item
COLONIAL SERVICE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 184, 6 August 1945
COLONIAL SERVICE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 184, 6 August 1945
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Auckland Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Auckland Libraries.