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North Otago Times. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2. 1886.

There are now, for the purpose of primary public schools, thirteen education districts in the colony of New Zealand. Last year the levenue c,f those distriots amounted to L 399,693 10h 9d, and their expenditure t<> L 397.657 13a lid. Of the revenue, the sum" of L 365.580 17s Si was contributed by the Government, L 29.761 lla 2d waa derived from education reseiveß, and L 4,351 2a 6d from local sources, etc. The expenditure is given under five different heads, the chief of wbich is designated " maintenance of schools." It means, we suppose, tbe payment of the salaries ot teftchers. The expenditure under it, at any rate, amounted last; year to L 310,968 9s lid. School buildings absorbed L 64.821 15s 4dj the expenses of Education Boirds, L 10,551 0a 7d ; the inspection of schools and examination of teachers, L 10,039 14s 4d ; and

miscellaneous payments, L 1,258 13a Bd. These amounts are bo large, and they go on increasing from year to year at such a rate, that it is imperativelyincumbent upon the public to pay the closest attention to the working of our educational system. The public, wft' fear, is discreditably apathetic in the matter, and does not realise how disproportionate to the capacity of the country is the cost of the system, nor care to cast about for wayb to modify tbat cost or to escape from it altogether. The neceesities of tbe case are felt, nevertheless, and for proofs that they are we need only turn to the indirect attempts which have lately been made by Parliament to throw the cost of Bchool buildings upon local bodies.

Perhaps if tbe public were to look more into tbe details they would have a keener apprehension of tbe main drift of the question. That drift is, in outopinion, an ever-increasing expenditure on a system of education r/hich, is deceptive, impolitic, and unnecessary. But let our readers themselves look at tbe details. We have already given last year's revenue and expenditure, with their sources and objects. Other facts, however, may bb es"ential to a proper consideration of the question. Well, last year the number of public primary schools open in the c;lony was 1,021, at which there were employed 2,619 teachers. Of these teachers, 1,158 were males, and 1,461 were females, and these female teachers were, we are told, exclusive of 148 sewing mistresses. The male teachers were classified under^three heads ; namely, masters, 823, assistants, 166, and pupil teachers, 169. What strikes us most in this place is the rate at wbich the female teachers ara supplanting the male teachers. It is true that the masteas are still more tban twice as numerous as tbe mistresses, the latter as yet numbering only 378, but in the clasaes of assistants and pupil teichers, the females are far ahead of the males. Lsat jpar the female assistants num- | bered 390, and the female pupil teachers, 693 ; so that, even allowing for all the changes that obviously or possibly tend to take girls and women away from tbe profession, it is not likely to be long before the business of teaching in the public schools devolves almost altogether upon females. But to leave reflections for the present, and to continue our examination of details. Tho pupils taught last year on tbe colony's 1,021 schools, by the 2,619 teachers, numbered 102,407, and the subjects of instruction were reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar and composition, geography, histcry, elementary science, drawing, objectlepßonp, vocal music, needlework, and domestic economy. These details are probably Bomcwbat bald, and, considered strictly by themeelves, they perhaps do not lead to very much. To know really how we stand, or rather to know how the country would stand wera education left, as it should be — namely, to private enterprise — we would require to institute a close comparison between tbe colony's public Bcbools and the private schools which the public system has, happily, not yet been able to destroy. This we are, unfortunately, not in a position to do. We know that there are altogether 280 private schools in the colony, with 11,989 pupils and 115 malo and 530 female teachers ; but the statistics are silent as to the cost of education and the subjects taught at those schools. That information should be forthcoming, and we daresay it will be by-and-by ; for tbe iron force of circumstance seems to be pushing us on to a time when the State, insisting that all children shall be taught, shall yet leave the work and the payment of teaching to piivate teachers and to parents, only providing out of education reserves for training colleges perhaps, and for the schooling of orphans and the children of the incompetently poor. Fall details of the cost and working of private schools would help the country to look forward to tbat change with intelligence, perhaps with eagernesa.

We omitted to mention that Mrs F H. Townsend, of Oamaru, took first prize for freth butter at tbe Timaru show. There were 11 entrie«. The acting-Mayor requests the citJZ3SB to observe half holidays to day and tomorrow, in ooaaequenco of the Oamaru Jockey Club racea. Mies Ada Campbell, the freethought and social lecturesß, is expected to arrive in Oamaru at the close of this week, for the f.n-poae of giving »• thoit aeries of lecture. Miss Campbell is reputed to be a fluent forccfu 1 , and eloquent speaker. At the Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday, before Mr Robinson, R.M , the following cattle trespass oases brought by Constable Strain were disposed of: J. J. Ardagh waa fined £a for allowing two horses to wander at large at Ng»para ; Jatre f'rbel, 2a 6d for cno horos • Pabiick Treahy, 5. for ona cow; John Boyl*, 2s 6i f>r cne horse. A meeting of the Fire Brigade wai held last n'ght, at which it waa proposed t > arrange for an attractive concert on the night of the 18th instant; This waa decided on, owing to rbefuods cf t*--e Brigade bavi« g been expended on the purchase of necessary plant, and bb other appliances are greatly I wanted it was thought the public would render a cordial assistance. The Fire Brigade la a very deserving body, and it is anticipated that its necessities will be liberally met by the public,

John Aloherley, who « fow day* ago we 1 brought up at the Resident Magistrate's Court; charged with being a lunatic, and discharged, attempted to commit suicide at Kedoaatle on Sunday. It appears that tome t<me »2° Aioherley was tm3loyed at Redaastle at cook, and leaving hh employment another man was pat in hid plao?i A few daya ago he vent btck to RedoMtle. and was pat on by the overseer to fell gum trees On Saud»y morning ALherley went to the door of a .room oocupie 1 by the assistant gardener and a shepherd, and after attempting to get in, a»lled out "Look what I hsve done " Tho men looked out and found thbt A'cberley had cue his throat, Dr Wait «nd the po \:r were immoiiacely sent for. Dr Wait eewed np the woimd, »nd Aloherley, being much better yesterday, was medically examined, and afterwards sent to Seachff Asylum.

Last Dight the Blue Ribbon meeting w»s well attended. Mr Hiillker presided, and read the Scripture lesson. After a few well-

timed remarks from the ciairm&n, Mr Hoashelwood w«h introduced, and gave a graphio description of a, ram seller's vlawd, and tha lags, wrotohedness, and ruin caaaed by tho trade. A veiy large minority of those under the oare of the State and the b°n volent RocleMes were the offspring of the diuoken and depraved portion of the o >mmunity. The speaker closed by reciting an original poem of his ova composition entitled "The Blue versus tho Yellow." Mr Oliver gave a short pathetic address, \n which he related suno of J. B. Gough'« experiences. Master Jfci. Leiihman reolfc A the :-■*• Voudc Recruit:," and Miss Reid, '■ Forget me-not," for which the was enr ?ed, boh raciterß being well received. As n^ual the I ohoir led the bymns, with violin and piano aooompaniccent. ■ An occurrence by which the dredge Progress narrowly escaped a serious calamity happened on Sunday marniag. The night wa'chman at daylight on Sunday morning noticed thy the dredge waa low down io the wat^r towardß the stern, and at once put eff to her. On awakening the two men on board it w*n found that the eDgine room was nearly filled with wa'--r. Stepi were immediately tskea to" 1 the vrssej'a safety, pumpi and backets fcoing need to get rid of the wa*er. AH hands were called, nod after a aho:j time a strong pump was borrowed from the W; ; roa, and the vesiel waß after some hard work relieved of the water We I -^lieve that the cause of the influx of water wi a dtfeotive pipe leading to the sea. This was dl»covercd when the watewn removed from the vessel, and repaired, and the dredge yesterday started work as uaucl. We may mention that had it not been for the Z3*l shown by the night watchmtn there is every probability that the dreJge would have gone down st her moorioga, and those sleeping on board would h&vo stood little chanca cf being saved from drowning. There is nothing whatever the matter with ths plates of the vesie), which I as sustained no injary. A meeting of the Oamarn Chamber of Commerce was held ia Mr Sanapter's office, Tyno street, yesterday efcernoou. Mr George Snmpter occupied the chair. The chairman intimated that he had reosived copies of the rules cf the Cmforbury, Inverojrgill, Titnara, and Dunedin Qhambera of Commerce. The rules of the late Oamaru Chamber of Commerce were compared with those received, and revised, a few slight altorations being made. Mr Chriade moved, and Mr Humphrey seconded. That the rules as amended be adopt '. — Curried. Mr Chiietle said he wished to mention that he was nerror whtu he stated that the railage on wool from the stores at Port Chalmers was 6 1 for 5 balea. The rate is 1b per ton, 5 bales averaging one ion, being double what he had previously sta*- 1. The secretary (pro tern.) waa requested to call a meeting of members for the purpose of electing office bearers, it whs resolved that Messrs Samptar, Barr, and Aldrioh be appointed a Bub-o immittee to report at next meeting as to what rooms are available for the purpose of holding tbeir meetings. Mr Barr { treasurer pro tern.) intimated that he had collected the sum of L3O for member*' subscriptions, and requested instructions as to how he was to dispose of it. Mr Humphrey proposed, and Mr Connell seconded, That tbs banking icoonnt be kept st the National Bank. — Carried. It

was resolved that the moneya in the hands of the treasurer be deposited in the name of the Oatnaru Chamnjr of Commerce, the mode of operating on the account to be arranged at next meeting. The uaual vote of thanks was passed to the cbair,

Peter Cormack, Tailor and Clothier, Tees Street, is now showing a Large and Well Selected Stock of Gentleman's Tweeds and Coatings, imported direct. Also, a Large Variety of Oamaru Tweeds. Suits to moature from 70^. Trousers to measure fforn 17a. Fife, Htyle, r.£^ Workmanship guaranteed. First-claaa Genta' Hosiery, Regatta Shirts Sea. To, Collars, etc. ; fc'je beet and chespcat In town. Petkr Cop mack, Teea Street,

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North Otago Times. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2. 1886. North Otago Times, Volume XXXI, Issue 6192, 2 November 1886

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