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THE SCRIPTURE EXAMINATIONS.

The annual distribution of prizes in connection with the Otago Sunday School Union's scripture examinations took place at Knox Church last evening, before a large attendance of the clergy, parents of scholars, and friends. The Rev. E. Walker occupied the chair. After devotional exercises, Mr W. T. Todd (hon. secretary) read the list of certificate winners, from which it appeared that in the fourth division 16 candidates had obtained first-class certificates, 30 second-class certificates, and 10 thirdclass certificates, and 69 had failed ; in the third division 25 candidates obtained firstclass certificates, 50 second-class certificates, 38 third-class certificates, and 85 failed ; in the second division 14 candidates obtained first-class certificates, 23 second-class certificates, 20 third-claas certificates, and 42 failed; and that in the first division 18 candidates obtained first-class certificates, 23 second-class certificates, 5 third-class certificates, and 14 failed. In all there were 523 candidates, of whom 41 secured prizes, 73 first-class certificates, 126 secondclass certificates, 73 third-class certificates, and 210 failed.

lhe Rev. R. R. M. Sutherland, speaking on behalf of the examiners, eulogised the uction of the Union in instituting annual examinations as tests of the work done in the schools. The examiners felt that the result of the examination was not altogether satisfactory. Forty out of every hundred candidates obtained neither prize nor certificate—that was to 8»y, theydiii not make more than 40 per cent, ox the marks. Fifty-four out of every hundred candidates made Icsb than 50 per cent, of the marks, and only twenty out of every hundred made over 65 per cent. Some people would raise a cry against examinations being introduced into Sunday school work, and he had a good deal of sympathy with that cry, for there was no doubt that a great many children were overburdened with examinations, He did not see, however, why Bible instruction and Bible knowledge should bo left out in the cold while the children were being half-killed with examinations in other branches of knowledge. If they were to do away with any examinations, let thon do away with them in some other branch of instruction. He urged the

Sunday school teachers to greater diligence and greater earnestness in their work, and said that there were two things that were specially wanted—that the teachers should be trained to teach, and that the parents should he trained to instruct and train their children.—(Applause.) The Secretary then read the list of prize winners as follow s:—

First Division. uizz'm Anderson, 94 per cent.; John Outrarn. 92 per cent.; Balfour Crawford, 85 per cent,; Hattie Burn, 85 per cent. ; James Ings, 84 per cent. ; Annie Reid, 81 per cent.; Wilson, 81 per cent. ; Maggie Wilson, 80 per cent. ; Ethel Morley, 80 per cent. ; Maggie Henry. 80 per cent. ; May Goodeve, 80 per cent. ; Nelly Every, 80 per cent.; li'die Goodeve, 80 per cent. Second Division. Eva Orkney, 100 per cent. ; Frank Hercus, 86 per cent.; Peroy Peters, 83 per cent. ; Helen F. LoaD, 82 per cent. ; William Howes, 80 per cent.; Alfred North, 80 per cent.; Matilda Thompson, 80 per cent.; Maggie Paterßon, 80 per cent. ; Gertrude Warren, 80 per cent. Third Division. —Emily Thompson, 84 per cent.; George Thomson, 83 per cent.; Jessie Ritchie, 83 per cent.; Violet Gregg, 82 per cent.; Agios Findlay, 81 per cent. ; Mary M'Dougal, 80 per cent.; Grace Satidilands, 80 per cent.; Emily Howes, 80 per cent.; Jane Elder, 80 per cent.; Frank Claik, 80 per cent.; Jeannie Burt, 80 per cent.; Lizzie Patterson, 80 per cent. Fourth Division.—Willie Armstrong, 87 per cent.; Edgar Heycock, 84 per cent. ; Fanny Thome, 83 per cent.; Daisy Orkney, 82 per cent.; Mary Burnside, 82 per cent.; MiDnie Thomson, 82 per ceiit.; James M'lndoe, 81 per cent.

The Rev. Dr Stuart, before distributing the prizes, said ho had listened with a great deal of pleasure to the reading of the muster roll. With regard to Mr Sutherland's remarks, he stated that he did not blame the children who gave in such answers as had been read, but he did blame the teachers who allowed such children to go up for examination. What he regarded as particularly necessary in the Sunday schools was Scriptural catechism. In the way they were now teaching the young children they would never prepare them for written examinations. They preached too much in the Sunday schools, and did not insist enough upon the children committing facts to memory. He was sure the children had no more ardent friend than Mr Sutherland, but he questioned the advantage of giving them answers that had neither cleverness nor wit in them, but sheer stupidity. He had no doubt, however, that those who got prizes fairly earned them. He would be very glad next year to give a dozen prizes for those children who repeated perfectly the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments. —(Applause.) The Rev. A. North proposed votes of thanks to the examiners (the Revs. Messrs Sutherland, Porter, and Spence), to the officers of Knox Church for the use of the building, and to Dr Stuart for distributing the prizes. In doing so, he said that he did not think it was altogether fair to expect written examinations upon a quarter's work in the Sunday schools to compare favorably with written examinations upon subjects taught in the day schools, for the simple reason that three-quarters of an hour was about the maximum time per week given in the Sunday schools, whereas in the day schools the boys and girls present knew better than he did the numbers of threequarters of an hour that were given. The Rev. J. T. Hinton seconded the resolution of thanks, which was carried by acclamation.

After the singing of a hymn, the benediction brought the meeting to a close. Mr J. M. Lomas presided at the organ.

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Bibliographic details

THE SCRIPTURE EXAMINATIONS., Evening Star, Issue 8014, 17 September 1889

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970

THE SCRIPTURE EXAMINATIONS. Evening Star, Issue 8014, 17 September 1889

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