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A gricultural Education.

Professor Wallace, of the Edinburgh University, where lie holds the appointment of Professor of Agriculture and Rural Economy, paid allying vi&ittoChristchurch. The Professor is spending his holiday between the terms in the university in travelling through tho colonies with a view to extending his information on tho subject of what is being done in regard to agriculture. With this object he has, as will be seen by reference to the interview given below, Bpent sonic time in Australia visiting the various agricultural colleges and model farms which have been established there. Yesterday (says the ' Press ' of Friday) ho paid a visit in the Lincoln College, and spent the greater part of the day in thoroughly inspecting the college itself and the estate attached to it. As will be seen, Professor Wallace offers a, number of very valuable suggestions, particularly with regard to the future management of Lincoln College and the establishment of agricultural scholarships. In connection with this latter the system proposed by the Professor ia that now in operation in connection with the University of Edinburgh, and which works very satisfactorily. Unfortunately the stay of the Professor, owing to tho approach of his term time, has had to be cut short as far as New Zealand i 3 concerned, und ho was therefore obliged" to decline the invitation of Mr John Origg to visit Longbeach, at which he expressed his regret. However, it is not improbable that Professor Wallace may be induced to pay another visit to the colonies, as ho ia highly delighted, and astonished in some degree, with what he has seen. " Whilst ia Australia (said the Professor) I paid a visit to the College at Dookie, established by tho Victorian. Government, which is a capitally managed institution, and one which is doing excellent work. I uho paid a visittothesecondCol'egerccently established in Victoria—Longernou College—which is close to tho borders of South Australia. This has only recently been established, but it promises well. In South Australia they have tho Rosenorthey College, of which Professor Lowrie is Principal, which ia also a very excellent institution. Iu New South Wales they have not yet established any college, but there is o movement in that direction now being made, and it is probable that at no distant date one will be established there also. As a whole, speaking of Australia, there is evidently a desire on the part of the Governments of the different colonies, which I regard as a very laudable one, to provide the means for the young men to become acquainted with the practical work of a farm. They seem to have recognised the necessity—and here, also, I include New Zealand—of affording to young men who may desire to embark in tho business of farming every facility for becoming thoroughly acquainted with all the practical part of "the work. I can conceive nothing more important—particularly _ in New Zealand, where you have so splendid a climate—than this ; and I must say that I have been most thoroughly pleased with all I have seen daring my visit.

THE LINCOLN COLLEGK. " Now, coming nearer home, letmetell you what I think of the Lincoln College. Tho buildings are most complete and well fitted for the purpose, ftnd the appliances are all that could be desired, but there is a want of pupils. The college is not nearly as well filled as it ought to be. One tbiug-speak-ing in this connection—which I think you ought to do would be to reduce t'"e fees. I think L4O is too much, and that it would conduce greatly to the success of pupils taking advantage of the college if the scalo of fees was mado so that all could go there. At Dookie the cost of maintenance alone is L 25 per annum, without the cost of education. I think, therefore, that the L4O fee is too much, and that it should be reduced, SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE MANAGEMENT. " Two blots in the present system of managing the Lincoln College at once suggested themselves to me, arising from my visit. I will deal with them first, and then I will give you my ideas as to how I think the college should be utilised in tho echemo of agricultural education, and my views on the general question as to what system would be found to work best for the colony. First, then, I am strongly of opinion that the management of the college should not bo mixed up with that of any other portion of tho work of higher education which, as I understand it, is in the hands of the Board of Governors of Canterbury College. This, I think, is imperative, and it is also very important that tho funds of the collego should be strictly used for its own purposes, and not made dependent upon the other institutions of the Board. That 13, I mean, to speak moro plainly, that the college should be supplied with funds totally independent and confined to itself. If this is done, then I think it will be found that the college will work well. That is my first point. The second is, that the management of the college shall be entirely distinct from the Board which manages the other institutions, and placed under a board specially appointed for the purpose. This Board might consist of two representatives appointed by tho Board of Governors ; two by tho Government, as it should provide some part, at least, of tho sum required to carry on tho college; two by the various agricultural and pastoral associations, and the principal of the college or the professor of agriculture. The college should not be &

model farm, nor should it be for the purpose of trying experiments, but simply un ordinary farm managed iu an ordinary way. There might be plots in one corner for the purpose of experiments, but that is all. The great idea to be kept in view, as I take it, so as to make the college useful and practical, is to do what I have said, simply have it as an ordinary farm, managed in the ordinary way. You have in the colonies hero adopted a system of free State education, and, therefore, I take it that the Government ought to be pre pared to assist in making the college a place where a man who is going to small fanning may receive) instruction which will enablo him to do so profitably. To do this you do not wat>t to give them the highest education, but simply to give practical instruction as to the working. I do not believe in half the day being spent in practical work and half in theoretical. I am strongly in favor of the system now carried out at Lincoln Collcgo in giving on one day practical instruction out in the fields, and one day theoretical iu the class rooms. To make the thing complete what is wanted is to institute a system of instruction in agriculture by tho schoolmasters in the country school'. This has worked very successfully at Home, and I have now sixty rural schoolmasters teaching agriculture to some 1,500 students. By agriculture I mean in this connection the common everyday matters that ono would meet with in rural life. Those rural schools would be the introduction, or what may be called the matriculation, for tho Lest students in them to come up to the college, which would occupy the midway position between the rural schools and tho university, at which latter institution there should be, as with us, a degree given to agriculture You would then get the'best men from the rural schools brought up to the college, such as Lincoln College, where two years' study would count as one of the university work. Of course, to enablo this to bo carried out, ycu would have to establish, a3 we have, a system of bursaries, or, as you would call them here, AfJHICOLTUKAL SCIIOLAKStfII'H. " These should be free scholarships, entitling the holder to go from the rural schools to the college. Then iu addition to these you ought also to establish two or three scholarships of the middle grade, entitling tho holder to go to tho university to study for the degree. Tliceo should be, say, about L7O or LBO per annum each, which would keep the student during the two or three years he would be at the university. Thus you would have a i-ystom applied to agriculture somewhat simil.r to your general education system, by which a boy can pass, by means of scholarships, from the State school to the university. Of course the ideas I have given you are merely in skeleton form, and only illustrato the principle I think ought to be carried out, leaving the details to be worked out afterwards. TIIK DAIRYING INM7KTKY. " lliis is a very important question as affecting the interest noli only of the farming community, but also of the colony as a whole. The question id, what is the best way of conveying instruction as to how to make good butUr and cheese, for which there i 3 an almost unlimited market at Home. Now let me say at once that I do not believe in tho system of olaborato model dairies. What is wanted is competent instructors to go round and show the farmers how to use the necessary appliances properly ; and when I say the necessary appliances I do not mean elaborate and costly machinery. What is the good of taking round to farmers costly and elaborate dairy appliances, and showing them work done by these, when there is not the slightest chancy (except in some instances) of their ever being able to possess them. The Government should engage these experts, and make it a condition of their visiting districts and giving instructions that the necessary appliances < f aa ordinary kind shall be provided by tho far.uer. It might perhaps bo well to establish one central school'', but on the whoic I think the best system would bo, as 1 have said, to get one or two competent instructors to go round the various districts to explain the best method of making good butter and cheese. The idea of having cxpert3 at the Dunedin Exhibition is, I think, a very good one ; but for ordinary work what I havo suggested will, I feel sure, be found to be tho most successful method. The instructors should be thoroughly practical men, well versed in the work, and thoroughly able to impart the knowledge they posscsc"

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890831.2.33.3

Bibliographic details

Agricultural Education., Evening Star, Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

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1,756

Agricultural Education. Evening Star, Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

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