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REPORT ON EDUCATION.

The following report on education, by the Inspector of Schools, addressed to his Honor the Superintendent, is extracted from a Hawke's Bay Government Gazette dated Friday, April 17, 1868 :—

Napier, December 31, 1867. Sib, — I have the honor to report for your information that I inspected the provincial schools during this month, and consider, on the whole, that the examinations wero satisfactory ; hut, in some instances, not to that degree that might have been expected, owing, I feel confident, to the irregular attendance of the children, and the want of books and maps. I herewith annex a list of the schools, with the numbers attending, and the daily average this quarter. Those in which I perceived the greatest advancement are as follows : — Napier Girls' School Miss Caldwell St. John's School ;. Mr. Hudson St. Joseph's School Sisters of Chai'ity Meanee South School Mrs. Carr I was not present at the examination of the Napier Grammar School (Mr. Marshall) or the Clyde School (Mr. Thomson). There was more or less advancement in all the Schools, and I have only thought it necessary to name those in which I noticed the greatest degree of improvement. The highest number on the books for the present quarter is 416, and the daily average attendance 312§, being an. increase since last year of 58. I have ascertained that there are 574 children in the province between the ages of 5 and 10, and there are only 274 of the corresponding ages on the books of the schools, leaving 300 to be educated at home, out of which I can safely say 250 are growing up in ignorance. There are also 367 between the ages of 10 and 15, and of that number only 137 are attending school. This is very remarkable when it is taken into consideration the liberality of Government; in providing so many schools within the means of every one. Does it not seem a startling fact that out of a population of 5175, there are 920 children under 15 who cannot read, and a very large proportion of these are in Napier, where there are no less than six schools supported by Government. Certainly some change is required, and the most effectual one in my estimation would be an educational rate, which, in my last report, I briefly alluded to, and now urge most strongly for the serious consideration of the Provincial Council. Whether this ought to be a house, capitation, general property, or income tax, I shall not attempt to decide, but merely remark that one on general property would fall too severely on the large landed proprietors, and that a small house rate, or very low income tax, would place the provincial schools on a sound footing. Suppose the Council, instead of voting a sum at the rate of £1500 a year (which was the amount on the last estimates), voted half that sum, an additional amount of £1500 could be obtained by the very limited tax twopence-halfpenny on the pound on all incomes between £40 and £350, in the following manner.

Suppose there are 50 persons in receipt of £350 a year ditto 100 ditto 200 do ditto 250 ditto 150 do ditto 400 ditto 100 do ditto 500 ditto 50 do ditto 100 ditto 40 do Making m all £144,000. This would give, at the rate above mentioned, £1500 a year ; the landed proprietors, paying on an income of £350, would only pay a tax of £3 12s. lid. ; and the less prosperous individual, at £40, would only pay Bs. 4d. ; and for this latter sum a family of any number could be educated.

I may be considered premature in advocating any extended scheme of education ; notwithstanding, I beg to record the following remarks for your Honor's consideration. I would first suggest that one government school in Napier, Waipawa, and Wairoa, should be capable of giving a limited few the opportunity of a superior education to what is generally termed elementary, which merely comprehends reading, writing, and arithmetic ; and these, even when effectually taught, constitute but a branch of education, being merely instrumentary accomplishments, the acquirement and cultivation of which tend in a certain degree to improve the intellect.

It is admitted by all that the object of education should be the development of the physical, moral, and intellectual powers. With regard to the former, it is not necessary to offer any remarks ; nothing more than a sound and vigorous body being required as an essential concomitant of a sound condition of the mind itself.

What man becomes, depends in a great measure on the discipline to which he is subjected in youth ; as his infancy is, so will be his youth ; as his youth is, so will be his manhood ; and as his manhood is, so will be his maturity. If youth be passed in idleness, ignorance, folly, &c, how can one hold his way in the world side by side with the intelligent, the worthy, and virtuous ? On the other hand, if infancy be devoted to the reasonable expansion of the physical and intellectual powers, how simple will be the task of the teacher afterwards.

Tho duty that man owes to himself requires that he should improve his faculties, and should avail himself of all the opportunities given for that purpose. The hours then, which are permitted to slide by without any improvement, are lost ; in so losing them, he breaks the law of the Creator. Apply this to the avocation, mechanical or scientific, in which ho may be called upon to labor in after life : when he sees himself surpassed by others, nnd left far in the rear ; when he is called on to measure himself against another ; and when he sees that comparisons are mado between him and others greatly to his disadvantage, he may feel (and most men do feel) that they are thus depreciated, and to some minds tho suffering from such causes is extremely acute.

I think this a most fitting opportunity to draw the attention of parents to the sad consequences resulting from irregular attendance of children at schools. In many instances, tho children are not more advanced than they were twelve months ago, and I feel confident that it is mainly owing to their very irregular attendance. It matters not how superior the master or mistress may be, I dofy them to have a creditable examination if parents do not perform their share in obliging children to learn their lessons at homo and attend school regularly.

The training of our moral nature is that branch of education which the great majority of those who have reflected on the subject consider by far the most important. This is the part of education which, in a national system, would call for the most attention. To every class a right and moral development is of the utmost importance, both to themselves and the society of which they form a part.

It may be true that intellectual development is not expressly moral development, but it must be clear to every candid person that the refinement and expansion of mind obtained from intellectual culture aye favorable to the moral nature. The religious training of the children is so amply provided for by the Sunday schools in connexion with the various churches, that all sectarian difficulties are dispensed with.

Intellectual education properly begins vith the infant, and the period from two to five years, it is presumed, has been spent in an infant school. Tho effect which such a preparation has in facilitating tho subsequent operations of the teacher is so great, that every effort should be made to give children the advantage of it.

Progressing onwarclly, I will suppose that the pupils have made sufficient progress in the elementary portion of education, and propose that those who have proved themselves of superior ability should be introduced to the sciences. They have hitherto been conversant with the external features and objects and "the ordinary uses to which they are put ; now they may be gradually introduced to philosophical principles, and a connected and systematic view of nature.

I here come to the most important step in education — Algebra and Geometry. The first of these must be considered as one of the most important departments of mathematical science, on account of the extreme rapidity and certainty with which it enables us to determine the most involved and intricate questions. Geometry may be said to be the best and surest guide to the study of all sciences in which ideas of dimension or space are involved ; almost all the knowledge required by navigators, architects, surveyors, and engineers, in their respective occupations, is deduced from geometry and other branches of mathematics.

Any young man who has the intellect and can devote the additional time to these latter branches, and whose • parents cannot afford a more liberal education, should be instructed at the Government expense. This would be the means of creating a little wholesome competition, especially if they were told that, with energy and perseverance, they might obtain admission into the Civil Service of the colony.

I would here wish to say a few words in reference to the present position of tho Government teachers in this province. Although there has not been any complaint made, I have ascertained for a fact that some of the masters are almost entirely depending on the support received from Government, which I do not consider sufficient to maintain them respectably. When I requested them to state exactly the amount received from the parents, I found that the greater proportion did not pay anything; and, to show bow miserably paid the teachers are without the authorized assistance of 2s. a head per week from parents or guardians, I will quote the Clive school, which has the largest daily average attendance of any of the country schools, viz., 19 §; and, provided there was no decrease in this attendance, the master would receive from Government a yearly income of £91 9s. 6d. Take for another example, Petane, that has an average of only 5, and mark tlie result ; the master, in this instance, can only receive from Government £60 10s.

I consider the position of the schoolmaster with the parent of a pupil a veiy delicate and false one. If a complaint is made in reference to the weekly charge not having been paid, the parent threatens to withdraw the child, the result of which would be a double loss to the unfortunate teacher, who is obliged to sign a declaration at the end of every quarter tbat the charge made to parents or guardians does not exceed 2s. each per week; but there is nothing to show how many refuse to contribute anything whatever.

I conceive that the master or mistress should be relieved from this false position, and the only effectual means that I can recommend is for the Council to levy a reasonable educational rate. . Parents would then be more particular in sending their children regularly to school, by which the province would be a gainer, inasmuch as the standard of education would be considerably raised ; and, further, the province would be enabled to pay the masters more liberally, and provide tlie schools with the necessary maps and material, which are very much required. I would further suggest that, in the event of any improvement in the status of the teacher in a pecuniary point of view, some system of classification and graduated payments should be adopted. Such a system would, without doubt, have the effect of encouraging teachers to improve themselves, and thereby increase their efficiency. The next point for consideration is, whether or not all Government schools ought not to be insured by the trustees or managers. In most instances, Government has been called upon to pay a grant in aid of building each school-house, and should one or more of them be destroyed by fire, the Government may again be called upon for a similar grant for a new building, whereas for a small annual outlay this could be avoided. Numbers attending school, with the daily average for the quarter ending Slst December, 1867 :—

Dr. Livingstone. — Sir Roderick Murchison has announced that in letters received from Africa he has news of a white man travelling in the neighbourhood of Lake Tanganyika, who, it is pretty safe to infer, must be Dr. Livingstone. This news lends confirmation to the opinion expressed by the Rev. Dr. Wilson of Bombay, that as uone of the native African converts who accompanied the zealous explorer had returned, there was good reason for believing he had not perished, as was reported. Extraction op Gold. — A highly important paper has been read at a meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria, at Melbourne, " On the Extraction of Gold," in which the author, Mr. H. A. Thompson, describes a method for preventing the great loss that now takes place iv extracting gold from the ore. In old mining works, the loss has long been estimated at twenty-five per cent. ; in California, it is eighty dollars in every ton of ore ; and in Australia, thirty-five per cent, of the whole amount of gold contained in the quartz. Hence, that which the miners fling away as waste would yield a large fortune to a metallurgist clever enough to get all the gold out of the stone. Mr. Thompson shews that this can be dono. Tho exceedingly minute particles of gold found in the quartz, and in the- pyrites which forms so largo a part of the auriferous deposits, and which at present are either not separated or are washed away, can bo separated and retained by an improved process of roasting in a new oxidating furnace. Iv this, the sulphurous and arsenious acids arc driven off, the pyrites is brought into a state of complete disintegration, and gives up its gold readily. In addition to this improved process of roasting, a new percussion table has been introduced, with which tho valuable portions of the ore are more effectually separated and kept from washing away, than by any other mechanical appliance hitherto tried at the mines. The result is eminently satisfactory : the loss of gold, instead of being an ounce per ton, was reduced to three pennyweights ; and if this method can be brought into use throughout the colonies, the" yield of Australian gold will be increased by one million sterling a year. v; .

Highest number Daily average on Books. attendance. M. P. TOT. M. F. TOT Meanee South ... 12 12 24 9 SJ 174 Mcanee North ... 11 9 20 8 4$ loj St. John's 34 ... 34 29J ... 20JPefcane 2 3 5 2 3 5 Waipawa 10 12 22 SI 9 I7i Olivo 18 12 25 10 9| 19 J Clyde 9 9 18 G| G Hi Havelock 7 6 13 6} 5 ll| Waipukurau ... 5 4 9 4i 4 8| Napier Girls' ... 12 38 50 9 2C 85 St. Mary's 48 ... 48 33J ... 335 St. Joseph's 51 51 ... 37 37 Hampden 8 4 12 5 3J 8J Eastern Spit ... 11 11 22 7 7 14 Puketapu 8 10 18 4} 6 10 JNapier Grammar... 45 ... 45 43 ... 43J 235 181 41 6 183 J 129 3h'J

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/HBH18680418.2.19

Bibliographic details

REPORT ON EDUCATION., Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume 12, Issue 935, 18 April 1868

Word Count
2,540

REPORT ON EDUCATION. Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume 12, Issue 935, 18 April 1868

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