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ST. LEONARDS SCHOOL., Issue 7995, 26 August 1889
ST. LEONARDS SCHOOL.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—l think the attack made on Mr Johnston, the St. Leonards schoolmaster, is very unjust indeed. All the statements made are untrue, and your correspondent, whoever he may be, knows well they are. Mr Johnston is well respected and very much liked among the people at St. Leonards, and you might go a long way before you will find anybody of such ability as he is possessed of. The children were not compelled to come back on Saturdays unless they wished. Mr Johnston only asked them if they would caro to come back, as he would only be too glad to help them on in their studies; which, I think, to say the leaßt of it, was very good indeed of Mr Johnston—to spend his only holiday during the week teaching. Instead of your correspondent growling, he ought to be pleased to see Mr Johnston is taking such a lively interest in his children. There are very few schoolmasters about Dunedin would do what he does to further the studies of the pupils. The children get an hour for lunch, not a half-hour, as stated. I think your correspondent might sign his name and let us see who he is. But no, he will not do that, he knows better. If he calls himself a man I ask him to give us his name, and then I shall be most happy to answer any of his questions he might put on behalf of Mr Johnston through your columns, but if he will not give his name I am silent.—l am, etc., St. Leonards. St. Leonards, August 23. TO THE EDITOB. Sib,—ln reply to the letter of Robert Hardie, secretary to the St. Leonard* School, I would say with regard to being m school at 9 a.m., in which he states that I don't give our teachers their proper due to compare them with the town schools, that the secretary must know, or ought to know, that the head-teacher takes more than hie due with regard to the assistant teacher. I made no reference to the latter, aa X am sizre that young lady is quite capable of looking after her department without keeping them over time. With regard to them dribbling in at halt-past ten, we all know how truthful that statement is, as the time for the upper classes is 9 a.m., and for the lower room half-past. I believe the average attendance will compare favorably with other schools. As to the second portion of the secretary'* letter I will frankly concede that half hour at lunch, but I don't think that half hour will improve his position, as I can substitute an hour in its place; for last year the upper classes were kept in until 6 p.m. on several occasions before the examination, the examination was held at the usual time. I have it on tho authority of some of the upper standard pnpils that some evenings in the month of September they were kept in till they could not see their figures. Mr Secretary must also know that for a considerable time this year there was a lady friend assisting in the master's room, and I suppose that had something to do with shortening the hours this year. I would not have mentioned this, but it was drawn out of me. With regard to the third portion of the secretary's letter, it would lead one to believe that the schoolmaster was unaware that the examination would be so soon. We will put that down for what it is worth. With regard to pupils holding np their hands, all who were willing to come on Saturday, your readers will easily understand how many wonld keep their hands down. With regard to the last portion of the secretary's letter, in which he states that I went to the Education Office, and was the means of sending two of the sharpest inspectors to examine the school, instead of putting my grievance before the Committee, I would ask how the secretary knew that I went to the EducationOflice and made such a request? However, to this statement I give a fiat denial. I will leave it to Mr Pryde, secretary of the Board, to say who is right. Before I conclude I will Bay a little about that wonderful 88 per cent. When the secretary takeß off the overtime he will find that it will bring it to a very low ebb.—l am, etc., A Pabbkt. St. Leonards, August 26. [We learn on iuquiry at the Education Office that no person made any request or complaint in regard to this particular school. —Ed. E.S.j TO THE EDITOB. Sib,—ln reply to "Another Parent" in your issue of yesterday, in which he states that I should tell the whole truth and nothing but the trnth, I repeat that I have told the whole truth, with the exception of one slight error. That was in regard to the half hour for lunch. I find, on inquiry, that the second and third standards went into the assistant's room to have their object lessons corrected at twelve o'clock. I will prove that it is "Another Parent" who is not telling the truth with regard to Saturday. He has answered that himself by admitting that they were there. I can further prove that this is an old practice, as this is the third year to my knowledge that the upper standards bsfoie the examination attended on Saturdays. I adhere to my former statement: that the usual time is 5 o'clock p.m. for about three weeks before examination—sometimes a little earlier. With regard to the morning hours I also mentioned that 9 o'clock is the hour for the head-master's room. " Another Parent" should know this, as I made no reference to the assistant a room. Your correspondent must know that the Committee passed a unanimous motion that the school should open at 9.3o—this was about a year ago—but the teacher told the children that they must come at nine or they would be punished. Through some unexplained reason the Committee let him havo his own way. It seems to me that the lower the number the more time is required to teach them. According to "Another Parent," it seems strange, after all those hours, that a young lady residing in the district and studying for a teacher should be instructing the sixth standard on Saturday, the 17th inst., while the head-teacher examined them in the health of the body. There were only two in this standard, and I am informed that both failed, but one was afterwards accepted, on account of his having recently joined the school. I know of several who have been put back in lower books to pass their examination. If " Another Parent" thinks I am disappointed, he is mistaken.—l am, etc., A Pabemt. St. Leonards, August 22. [This correspondence is closed.— Ev. E.S.]
ST. LEONARDS SCHOOL., Issue 7995, 26 August 1889
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