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Mr Fergus : I have too great a respect for tVui intelligence of the colony to imagine th it the parents of all this vast number of pupils would allow their children to be brought up as larrikins and larrikinessef. I think that the non. gentleman (Mr Fyke) ] mu-t; forget his own school days and the pranks he then played. I have no doubt that he might have been quite as truthfully desoribed by the term "larrikin" as the children to whom he refers, .fudging from present appearances I should certainly say that that was the case. Mr Fish : It has been said by the mover of the Bill that under the present system of education our children are 'growing up larrikins. I deprecate, with the hon. membors, the use of that term "larrikins." What I feel is this •- that, aB one grows older, and assumes the responsibilities of bringing up children, one becomes more"alive to the fact that, while the children in our State schools cannot justly be termed larrikins, there hi a certain want of that respect which in old days we found existing in theEchildren

educated under a dill'orent system. I Ity no means define it as larrikinis n—l do not know how larrikiniwi is to be defined. In some instances larrikinism is misehievoueness, in others it is simply an excess of animal spirits ; and I would never be one to repress the animal spirits which actuated the minds and bodies of children. Mr Fitzherbert: Hon. members say that they do not think thatthere is any larrikiniam in connection with our public schools, I know myself of two boys in a State school, and as 1 saw them every day of my life until they had passed the Fourth Standard, I know exactly what their conduct was. They were clever boys, but while they were attending that school their manners were something horrible. They had no respect for anybody—not even for their master, but were accustomed to speak of him as one beneath them. Their grammar, too, was something awful, although they were good in other respects, and especially in arithmetic. I will not call them larrikins, but at any rate they had no moral training. I will give another instance, taken from upcountry. A gentleman who was discussing this matter with me said he had had a little girl attending one of these public schools, and her conduct was something horrible. She had no manners, and her grammar was so bad that he was ashamed of her. I give these as two instances of cases I have seen —that is to say, that the behaviour and manners of the children in the State schools are something abominable. There is no control ovor them, and the only thing that the masters seem to think it necessary to do is to cram them up for examinations, and when they have done that they consider that they have done their duty.

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LARRIKINISM IN THE STATE SCHOOLS., Issue 7977, 5 August 1889

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