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the school, as well as to the improvement of the scholars, consists in the periodical award of • Certificates of Merit.' These are divided into three classes, and being chiefly designed to secure punctual and regular attendance, are given as follows:
“The first class, to those of the scholars who have not been absent from school more than four days during the year; the second, where the absence does not exceed ten days; and the third, where it does not extend beyond twenty days. During the last year, no less than sixty of these were gained. They are fully appreciated by the parents and children, and in most instances are neatly glazed and framed. They are given only to those scholars who have been in the school from January to December, as an inducement to secure a more lengthened stay at school. Your Committee deplore the existence of a disposition on the part of the parents to shorten, as much as possible, the period devoted to education. Considerable advantage has been derived from the monthly and quarterly reports of attendance and progress which were referred to in the last report, and which still continue to be regularly forwarded by the master to the parents of each child.
“The cultivation of provident habits, it will be readily admitted, forms one important branch of education. Under this impression, about three years ago, a savings' bank was established among the boys, to which the old scholars are allowed to con tribute after they have left the school. The amount paid into the bank since its establishment has been £150, and 5 per cent. interest is paid upon the deposits, without any charge whatever upon the school funds."
In the Warrington school, in which a high state of practical efficiency has been reached, the effect of improved discipline, and of a generally enlarged course of instruction, has been highly favourable to the attendance.
“ The ordinary attendance during the year has been 310 boys and 90 girls. The number admitted has been 241 boys and 83 girls, whilst the number that has left has been 222 boys and 73 girls; showing a gain of 19 boys and 10 girls, and making a total of 1,939 boys, and 1,366 girls, who have passed through the schools within the last seven years. In nothing is the altered condition of the schools more evident than the increased regularity of the attendance, and the lengthened period during which the pupils remain. In 1848, the proportion of absentees in the boys' school was from twenty-five to thirty per cent., it is now from eight to ten per cent. Then, also, more than twice as many boys passed through the school in the year as now do, though the number in the school is now much higher. The scholars also stay to a greater age than formerly, and at present there are 16 pupils over thirteen years of age, and 12 over fourteen."
TESTIMONIAL TO THE MASTER OF THE EARITH BRITISH SCHOOL. -- On Thursday afternoon, the 20th March, the pupil-teachers and scholars of the Earith British School assembled in the school-room to present, as a token of their esteem and affection, a massive and beautiful gold pencilcase to their teacher, Mr. George Pegler, who is about to resign the office of superintendent of that school. He has conducted the school to the satisfaction of the trustees, and with credit to himself, for nearly ten years. The following address by the scholars was inclosed with the pencilcase:
“Respected Sir, “ It is with the deepest regret that we think of your leaving our school, and we are fully convinced that you have done your duty towards us ; and though at times we have thought you rather strict, we are now persuaded it was all for our good. As a token of our esteem, we hope you will condescend to accept the inclosed;
and that in the future part of your life you may live happily, and your future endeavours be crowned with complete success, is the wish of every right-minded Earith British School-boy."
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE.-BERBICE. The following testimony to the value of the Society's assistance is from a missionary in Berbice, and will be read with interest :
"I now beg to thank you for the gift, and have great pleasure in stating that the schools are still going on as formerly reported. The one under my more immediate care at Fyrish, was examined a short time ago in the presence of the district magistrate, and other gentlemen and ladies in the neighbourhood, who expressed their satisfaction with the general appearance and knowledge of the children.
“On the books, 125-— daily attendance, 108. More than half the number are reading in the third and fourth class books; some fifty are writing and ciphering; a few are in proportion and practice.
"I think you are aware that all pay for their books, from the least to the greatest; we only provide ink, sheet lessons, &c., &c., free.
“On the other side of the sheet I send an order for books, and if you can afford me a few books or medals to give away as prizes at our next examination, I shall be greatly obliged by a small donation of such articles.”
A missionary, in another part of the same colony, writes to the same
“With very great pleasure I place before you a brief account of my schools. The first school I opened was in 1851, immediately on my appointment to and settling at this station. It contains at present 62 boys and 39 girls ; total, 101. Of this number, there are reading in the 4th Class Book Daily Lessons
Sequel to.. 11
44 “Two of my senior boys are engaged as assistant teachers, the one at Orange assists the teacher, the other has the charge of the infant school at Sandvoort.
"I again thank you for the grant of Maps your Committee made to my school. They reached us just in time for our last examination. I also feel very grateful to you for your continued readiness to aid us."
SOUTH AFRICA. From the letter of a correspondent in South Africa some idea may be formed of the difficulties under which the work of education is carried on in that country, and of the encouragements by which the labourer is occasionally rewarded.
“After the war, I and the people of my pastoral care again returned to this our place, and we were for a long time not able to do anything towards the education of our children beside a Sunday school, which is well attended both by adults and children, in which great progress has been made by old and young--by both Hottentots and Fingoes, who disclose an earnest desire for learning.
“We have not been able to open a day school here for our children until last month, owing to the scarcity of books and writing materials, &c., most of what we formerly had on the place having during the war been destroyed ; and which, although they can be got in some of the townships on the frontier, are very dear, which the impoverished state of the people in which the war has left them, does not allow them to purchase a sufficient quantity to serve a Sunday or day school.
“The people have, however, under their pressing and narrow circumstances, purchased a few books and sheets, and hired a schoolmaster at their own expense, and although the books are insufficient, and writing hooks, slates, &c., very few, the school has commenced on the first of last month, and the pupils are regularly attending, averaging from fifty to fifty-five daily; but an increase is expected. I regret to say that many parents, who are anxious to get their children educated, but who are poor and not able to subscribe towards the schoolmaster's salary and the purchase of books, are therefore prevented from sending their children to school.
“I think much good can be done by way of education among the coloured people here in this settlement, if good teachers are placed among them, well paid and with all the school necessaries at their disposal, under the superintendenceofaproper person, with a local school committee, to have charge of all the school affairs. It would be a great help to the people, if any of the friendly societies here or in England could give them some assistance, in one way or other, towards the education of their chil. dren, and, I dare say, will most gratefully be accepted. As the horse and long sickness have lately deprived them of nearly every horse, and, with few exceptions, nearly all their black cattle, the last-mentioned losses are very severely felt, as most of them are land-owners and cultivators, in which oxen are chiefly used, and from which most of their means of subsistence and capital are obtained.”
In Athens, an old and valued correspondent, Mr. Georgius Constantides, continues at the head of the Normal Seminary, and is still exercising a most beneficial influence throughout the Hellenic peninsula. He writes :
“ After the cholera morbus was over, I resumed my duties at the Normal school, and the result of it was that thirty teachers were added last October to those already in actual employment. In general the examinations were very satisfactory. All encouragement to the reading of the Holy Scriptures has been amply given. We have endeavoured to draw their attention to the love and fear of God, and to represent the sacredness of their profession, and to give them to understand that their chief object must be Christian education. I have reason to hope that some of them will in this respect be very useful in the places where they are appointed. Of these young men six are natives of Macedonia, and are educated for that province. This is not the first time that our institution has educated young men for Macedonia.
“ The late Baron Bellois, a native of Macedonia, has bequeathed a large sum for the education of Macedonian youths. Several young men are placed in the Normal School, in the Gymnasiums, in the University, and in Europe (chiefly in Germany), preparing for teachers. Ten of them have obtained the diploma of Doctor of Philology.
“Thus the sons of Hellas, thirsting for knowledge, run from all quarters to enlightened Europe for it; and then bring it to their respective towns. I have also trained eleven schoolmistresses, educated in the school of the Phil-education Society. Some of these young women are already employed. One of them is gone to Phillippopolis, in Thrace, to supersede an able schoolmistress, who taught for several years very efficiently indeed. The examination of many teachers of both sexes, who, having increased their stock of knowledge by private studies, applied for promotion according to law, occupied me for some time during the month of October.
“Our Chambers warmly supported this year and recommended education. The Minister asked permission to increase the salaries of the schoolmasters of the third degree (the lowest) by ten drachms per month, and they unanimously assented to it. They also accepted his proposition to assist by a sum of money the Phil-education Society, whose income bas decreased in consequence of the circumstance of the war, disease of the currant and vineyards, &c. Admirable speeches were uttered by Mr. Nantes, the deputy of Syra, and others, on the liberty of education. I was present at this debate, and was much pleased.
“But it is not mental education alone to which they pay attention. Moral and religious education is much desired and strongly recommended by all classes. The Word of God is always freely circulated, but with some objections to the translations made from Hebrew texts; but now one sees with pleasure that even this is distri. buted without scruple by the Government itself.
“Mr. George Psyllas, one of our best statesmen, and a senator, being last year Minister of Religious and Public Education, issued a circular letter urging the im. portance of scriptural education.
“Another Minister, Mr. Stavors Blackos, published, in 1853, a circular, by which he strongly recommends religious education, and enjoins that every Saturday the teacher should explain the gospel to be read in the churches on the next day. To conduct the pupils to the church, and after it, to return with them to school, in order to make them repeat the same gospel, and instruct them by enlarging on the moral parts which it contains. But if I go on bringing proofs that all the Greek nation loves the Word of God, the letter would become too long. We have now a new benevolent establishment at Athens,- ,-an orphan asylum of girls, under the protection of our Queen. The president of this institution is the widow of George Ypsilantis, and various benevolent persons are subscribers. It is called, after our Queen's name, Amaleion. It contains already upwards of twenty-five orphans, and is superintended by an elderly woman and directed by a committee of ladies. Those who have visited it speak very favourably of it. I have not visited it yet. Another establishment for the same purpose, but of the other sex (that is, to collect together and bring up abandoned boys), will begin next week. This last will be supported, it is said, by the money bequeathed by a Greek named Hostas."
This important subject is attracting an unusually large share of legislative attention during the present session of Parliament. The Government has introduced a measure, providing for the appointment of a new officer, to be called the VicePresident of the Committee of Council on Education. This office is to be held by a Privy Councillor, who is to be vice-president only in relation to the Lord President of the Council, but who will be the actual president of the Education Committee, and therefore, practically, the Minister of Instruction. The whole of the education business now transacted at the Council Office will come under the control of this Minister, in addition to that now included in the department of science and art. Up to the present time, a somewhat anomalous arrangement has existed in relation to this latter branch of the public service. The department of science and art, and the entire machinery connected with the schools of design and art education generally, , have hitherto been subordinate to the Board of Trade, and have not been under the control in any way of the Education Committee of the Privy Council. Under the proposed arrangement, the Board of Trade will cease to exercise this supervision. Science and art are to be associated with the other business of the Committee of Council ; and the “Education Department” will thus become distinctly recognized as one of the prominent branches of the Government service.
Lord John Russell, also, has given notice that he will move a number of resolu. tions early in the present month. They are as follow :
1. That, in the opinion of this House, it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education.
2. That it is expedient to add to the present inspectors of Church schools, 80 sub-inspectors, and to divide England and Wales into 80 divisions for the purposes of education.
3. That it is expedient to appoint sub-inspectors of British, Wesleyan, and other Protestant schools, not connected with the Church of England, and also of Roman Catholic schools, according to the present proportions of inspectors of such schools to the inspectors of Church schools.
4. That, on the report of the inspectors and sub-inspectors, the Committee of Privy Council should have power to form in each division school districts, consisting of single or united parishes, or parts of parishes.
5. That the sub-inspectors of schools of each division should be instructed to report on the available means for the education of the poor in each school district.
6. That, for the purpose of extending such means, it is expedient that the powers at present possessed by the Commissioners of Charitable Trusts be enlarged, and that the funds now useless or injurious to the public be applied to the education of the middle and poorer classes of the community.
7. That it is expedient that in any school district, where the means of education arising from endowment, subscription, grants, and school-pence shall be found deficient, and shall be declared to be so by the Committee of Privy Council for Education, the rate-payers should have the power of taxing themselves for the erection and maintenance of a school or schools.
8. That after the 1st of January, 1858, when any school district, shall have been declared to be deficient in adequate means for the education of the poor, the quarter sessions of the peace for the county, city, or borough should have power to impose a school rate.
9. That where a school rate is imposed, a school committee elected by the rate-payers should appoint the schoolmasters and mistresses, and make regulations for the management of the schools.
10. That in every school supported in whole or in part by rates, a portion of the Holy Scriptures should be read daily in the school, and such other provision should be made for religious instruction as the school committee may think fit; but that no child shall be compelled to receive any religious nstruction, or attend any religious worship to which his or her parents or guardians shall on conscientious grounds object. 11. That employers of children and young persons between nine and fifteen years
should be required to furnish certificates half-yearly of the attendance of such children and young persons at school, and to pay for such instruction.
12. That it is expedient that every encouragement should be given, by prizes, diminution of school fees, by libraries, by evening schools, and other methods, to the instruction of young persons between twelve and fifteen years of age.
It will be seen that the object of these resolutions is, 1st, To codify the existing rules which have emanated from the Committee of Council, and to bring the administration of that department more immediately under the control of Parliament; 2nd, To make a thorough survey of the existing means of education, and of our present deficiencies, by very largely recruiting the staff of inspectors; 3rd, To render charitable funds, as far as possible, available for purposes of education; and 4th, To enforce a compulsory rate on the inhabitants of any district in which it is officially certified that education has been neglected, or its resources insufficient.
SCHOOL STATISTICS. We have already, on more than one occasion, drawn the attention of our readers to the results of the Census of 1851, and to some conclusions which have been founded upon the data furnished by the returns of the Enumerators. The accuracy of those conclusions has been, more than once, questioned ; and grave doubts have not unfrequently been expressed as to the soundness of the premises from which they were drawn. The truth is, that returns respecting education have hitherto been made in a very loose and unsatisfactory manner. Not that they have been unfaithfully computed in the gross, or that the official and literary persons who have made use of them have garbled or wilfully mystified them, but that the details of individual schools have too often been given at hap-hazard. Careful registration of attendance and progress has been attended to in so few schools, that, in fact, the materials for trustworthy general statistics on the subject of education do not even exist.
It is idle to talk of being right in the main if we are wrong in detail; and it is