1870 - Taylor, W. The Education of the People: Ten Letters... - THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE, p 7-32

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  1870 - Taylor, W. The Education of the People: Ten Letters... - THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE, p 7-32
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Sir,--Your accession to the office of Superintendent of this province must be regarded as a most fitting opportunity for the exercise of sound judgment and of introducing wise measures, which shall confer lasting benefits upon the people.

There is no subject, which can be of more vital importance to the prosperity, order, and happiness of the people than a well-digested scheme of education.

Long experience in the actual work of teaching, both in England and in this province, together with the deep interest which I take in the general diffusion of education, is the only apology I need offer for addressing these letters to your Honour.

I need not inform you of the sad state to which the education of the people of this province has been reduced during the past two years--chiefly, it is alleged by those who originated the movement through its impecuniosity. It is well known that schools have been closed; that teachers, who remained at their post, have been almost starved; and that necessity has driven others from the province. To act, in conjunction with your Council, so as to alter this state of things, and to raise education from the degradation to which it has fallen, is an object worthy of your best attention.

The following letters have been penned with a view to promote this object; to clear away some of the objections which exist to religious instruction; to assimilate, to some extent, the education of this province to that of the "old country;" to bring it to bear upon the criminal and the Arab; to extend the benefits of the Grammar School to every part of the province; to suggest a liberal scale of payments of teachers; to see that their work is well done by a system or results ascertained by inspection; and finally, I have ventured to suggest that the inspector, in addition to other qualifications, shall be one who has passed through the work himself.

Aware that my opinion, on some points, differs from that of others, especially on what is commonly called "secular education," I, nevertheless, conscientiously maintain that no system of education is worthy of the name which excludes morality and religion, and that any system must be imperfect which leaves untouched the conscience and the heart.--I have, &c.,

St. Matthew's School,
Hobson-street, January 4, 1870,

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Prior to the year 1846, the state of England with respect to the education of the people was most deplorable. The Parliament had done very little. Occasionally a "Queen's Letter" had been squeezed out of the Ministry of the day, under which collections were made in the churches, which found their way into the coffers of the National Society for educational purposes; and I believe that the British and Foreign School Society received some assistance from the Government. But these sums were far too small--only spasmodic in their nature--enabling the Societies to put forth some energy, but leaving untouched the scattered millions of the rural population. 1 In the manufacturing and mining districts as well as in the over-populated cities, whose slums and streets swarmed with children, no efforts had been made to bring them within the means of instruction. It was a social evil. France, Germany, and America were ahead of us. Commissioners, amongst whom was Mr. Lingen, were sent to report upon the state of education in these countries. Parliament interfered; the Committee of Council on Education was appointed, and the famous Minutes of August and December, 1846, came into operation.

My design is not to enter into details, but to give an outline of the system thus inaugurated.

I was at my first school in the county of Derby, when the Minutes were sent flying throughout the country from the Council Office. I well remember the day. The effect was that of an electric shock. Teachers soon collected together to talk over the provisions of the Minutes; resolutions were made to adapt themselves to the new plans by preparing for examinations; and at Easter, 1847, as the result of the first examination for certificates, the calendar, if I remember rightly, numbered one hundred and thirty-five names of masters and mistresses who had successfully passed through the ordeal.

To secure properly-qualified and a better paid class of teachers was the first object of the Minutes of 1846. The apprenticeship of pupil teachers, over thirteen years of age, who were bound by indentures to their respective masters and mistresses for a period of five years, was

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another most important part. A subsequent training for two years at one of the Normal Colleges established at Cheltenham, Chester, Battersea, York, the Borough Hoad, Hammersmith, and a few other places, completed the scheme.

It thus required seven years fully to develop the plans laid down by the Minutes. At the end of that time, when the apprenticeship and training of the first batch of pupil teachers were over, and they came forth from the colleges, and were spread over the country in charge of schools, were brought to maturity the plans so ably laid by that sincere friend of education, and for which he was afterwards knighted by her Majesty, Sir J. P. K. Shuttleworth.

Year by year the number of pupil teachers whose training was completed increased, and the country, in improved and multiplied schools, reaped the benefit. The standard of education was very much raised and rigidly inquired into. The impetus already given moved onward. Edifices for school purposes, some of chaste design, and at great cost, were erected. Private benevolence, in some instances, found the money, but the greater part were built at the joint expense of the State and of local contributions. The country, except in remote, poor, and friendless localities, became studded with schools and teachers. Gradually the stigma that England's rural population was the worst-educated in Europe was wiped out, and the blessing of secular combined with a religious education, for the most part, was secured for the benefit of the rising and future generation of our country.

I do not intend to show how it was that in a few years the Minutes of 1846 were altered so as to curtail their operation, to diminish the number of pupil teachers, and alter the principle of payments from the national purse. It became necessary to codify the regulations of the Council Office, and to pay in one sum the amount to which each school was entitled. The re-arrangement of the whole machinery, in the midst of determined and organised opposition, was effected by Mr. Robert Lowe, and resulted in the Revised Code of regulations, according to which the annual grant is now distributed according to the principle of "Results."

As might be expected, the Minutes of 1846, involving operations so extensive, entailed a heavy expenditure upon the country. About five years ago the vote amounted to about eight hundred thousand pounds per annum. 2 I will only indicate the principal items under which the grant was distributed:--

a. Office expenses, including all officers of the department--inspectors, examiners, clerks, &c.
b. Grants to normal schools.
c. Grants to national and other schools for their erection, furniture, and books.
d. Grants to teachers.
e. Grants to pupil teachers.
f. Grants to schools of design.
g. Grants to union or pauper schools.
h. Grants to the science and arts department.
i. Grants to naval schools.
j. Grants to museums.
k. Grants to schools for scientific objects.
l. Grants to schools for drawing.

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The above-named large sum only represents the amount paid annually by the British Parliament in aid of local effort. Fully twice the sum was raised locally to meet it, and thus the gross amount spent upon the education of the people will be represented by nearly two-and-a-half millions annually. But this sum does not represent any money spent in Ireland.

To the various denominations the Minutes of 1846 gave full liberty, and every possible concession. Many feared the religious element would be an insuperable objection to the application of grants to schools not connected with the National Church; some absolutely rejected all aid because they feared a little meddling. This matter, however, was set at rest by the appointment of lay-inspectors to the schools not connected with the Church, and inspectors from their own communion were appointed to the Catholic body. It was a principle laid down that the lay inspectors should only examine into and report upon the secular education in schools connected with the British and Foreign School Society. The Church of England maintained her position, and insisted that the education of her children should include the early inculcation of religious truth. Church of England teachers were subjected to a rigid examination in her history, articles, and doctrines, as well as in the Scriptures. The same was demanded from pupil teachers in every stage of their progress. The Catholics also demanded a religious training for the children who attended their schools. 3

But a difficulty arose in respect to this question of religious teaching. The majority of schools were Church schools under the clergy, some being placed where no others could be maintained, and where parents resided who could not agree with her catechism and liturgy. How could such children be exempted from this instruction? My Lords of the Privy Council insisted that, in cases where Church schools were erected in part by the State, there should be inserted a clause in the trust deed known as the "Conscience Clause." By this provision all Denominational children were exempted from such religious teachings as were repugnant to the consciences of their parents. It was tolerant on the part of the Government to insist upon the insertion of this clause, and, I think, equally intolerant on the part of those who opposed it.

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Thus we have the Church of England and the Catholic body firmly maintaining the religious element in their schools. On the other hand, the promoters of the British and Foreign schools were seemingly opposed to it. I fail to see, however, that the promoters and teachers of such schools reprobated the principle that their children should be religiously brought up. I know they did not; and recent intelligence from England strongly confirms this. At a meeting not long ago held at Manchester, under the presidency of Sir J. Morley, and attended by Dr. Urwin, president of a Theological College for the training of young men belonging to the Nonconformist body, Mr. Baines, of Leeds, and other gentlemen, resolutions were passed agreeing to accept State aid for the purpose of education, on the assurance from the Privy Council of no interference in the matter of religious instruction. And I am happy to observe that at this meeting the chairman and Mr. Baines spoke most emphatically in favour of religious instruction in their schools.

An inquiry into the effect produced in schools where religious instruction was sedulously given, its influence, if any, upon the minds of children, and its bearing upon other studies, would be deeply interesting. The testimony of inspectors is greatly in its favour; their reports would bear me out in asserting that, wherever this part of the instruction is well attended to, there also will be found the best secular knowledge. I quote from the Rev. Mr. Norris: "Spend an hour or two in one school, and you feel all the while as one feels who is confronted for some time by a sad countenance. Go into another, and all is right and healthy again; and, even before you inquire what branches of instruction are taught, you are convinced that it cannot but be well for children to spend their time in so bright and wholesome an atmosphere. Where there is always a high moral tone, there the intellectual instruction is nearly always of a good kind."

If, therefore, we view rightly the history of education in England during the past twenty-five years, and draw from it lessons for our own guidance in New Zealand, we cannot, I think, ignore the principle of religious instruction. The great heart of England beats warmly in its favour; and her voice over sixteen thousands of miles of ocean whispers to her sons: "Separate religion from your schools, and you raise up a barrier to your progress and your intelligence."



I now come to the question of education in this province. On my arrival in 1865, I found the Act of 1857 in full operation. I obtained my present appointment in a few days, and began teaching on the 29th May. The following month I obtained my certificate from the Board. I confess to some annoyance on finding that a first-class certificate from the Board of Education in England had no force in this colony. Prior to leaving home I had become acquainted with the main provisions of the above Act by direct correspondence with the late Inspector, Henry Taylor, Esq.; and also from a pamphlet by A. F. Ridgway, Esq., Agent of the Provincial Government, known as "Voices from Auckland." These voices uttered the chief provisions of the Education and Waste Lands Acts.

There can be no doubt that the Act of 1857 worked very beneficially for this province during the ten years of its existence. It was the means of raising a considerable number of teachers, many of whom

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came from the mother country, where they had schools and incomes which were given up--they were induced to sever ties and break up homes for the greater benefits held out to them. Teachers whilst employed under the Act were generally satisfied; few complaints were heard except from places where the pupils were too few to enable the teacher to obtain his £50 per annum, even under the provision of clause 8. When in full operation the Act supported about 70 schools at a cost of nearly £1,000 per annum. 4

In June, 1867, a circular was issued by the Board of Education announcing to the teachers that the salary for the quarter ending December 31 of that year could not be paid, owing to the insufficiency of funds placed at their disposal. This quarter's salary was afterwards paid by a special vote of the Council. During the same session the Act of 1857 was repealed, receiving the Superintendent's signature some time in March. Great stress has been laid upon the notice above alluded to, and much misconception has arisen therefrom, and a great handle has been made of it against the teachers by those who opposed their claims. I say simply that the notice only referred to the non-payment of the quarter's salary, and contained no allusion to a total severance of the teachers from the Board.

The effects produced by this measure were disastrous. Sheer necessity compelled several teachers to leave the province in consequence of one half, and in some cases three-fourths, of their income being cut off; others clung to their schools in the hope that the Council would yet make some allowance for education, living for the time upon a few shillings per week until compelled to abandon their work for other pursuits. At the present time I can scarcely number twenty of the old teachers in the province remaining; certainly, not in charge of schools. Several schools were entirely closed, and the pupils scattered. An acknowledged political duty--that of providing the means of education for her sons--was neglected by the State; and the teachers who had been drawn by its own acts and agents to the shores of New Zealand, were cast aside without any compensation; and their last quarter's pay ungenerously refused, although voted by the Council, by the late Superintendent. 5

The same session which repealed the Act of 1857 introduced the Education Act, 1868. That Act, along with its fellow the "Poll Tax," may be found in the archives of the province, but will never be known in her history, except for their unpopularity and worthlessness. The Common Schools Act, 1869, was an improvement upon the Act of 1868. I purpose, however, going more fully into details in my next letter.



This Act, as stated in the preamble, was intended to supersede that of 1868. That Act was useless; this Act, because of recognising the principles of assistance, is somewhat better, though much hampered with unworkable clauses, as Dr. Nicholson remarked at the North Shore: "I like the principle of the Common Schools Act, but

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I abominate its details." Very little thought, indeed, could have been given to the subject when the bill was being drafted by our late Law Adviser. There had been a considerable outcry from the people on the matter of education. Our rulers, unable to supply the want, found a dusty copy of the Otago Act; this, with a few trimmings and clippings, was sent up to the Council and accepted by them, time not being allowed for the consideration of its provisions. 6 The non-acceptance of this Act by the people; its want of adaptation to the outlying districts, where hard toil and small earnings are daily occurrences; its interference with settlers in the management of their schools; its injustice in imposing fines; its meanness to teachers; and its thorough unworkableness except under Clause 40--these are its principal self-condemnatory features. And not only so, but wherever meetings were held to consider it, it was condemned by the inhabitants as unsuitable to the locality. The value of the one single clause just named was discovered when the Superintendent and his Executive were at Wellington. Up to this time letters had been sent for aid from Parua Bay, Tapu, and a few other places, to which unsatisfactory replies had been returned. Now, under Clause 40, grants in lump sums are made to schools varying from £30 up to £60. It is refreshing to see that on one Board-day (December 14) grants were made to sixteen different places. Thus, something has been done, but according to what rule--why the grant should be £20 here, £30 there, and £45 in a third place--does not appear.

It would serve no useful purpose and take up too much space to go through this Act clause by clause. I have read it through carefully several times. It is exceedingly cumbrous and wordy; indeed, not easily understood. It might be described in two sentences. It assumes too much; it gives too little. The powers of the Board run through 75 per cent. of its clauses, whilst the modicum of benefit bestowed is not worth the trouble, the time, and the responsibility incurred. I find, however, five new points in the Act which merit a few remarks, namely:--

I. Pupil teachers.
II. Itinerant teachers.
III. Public libraries.
IV. Endowments.
V. Recognition of other certificates.

I. I cannot see that the time has arrived for the employment of pupil teachers in this province. In large schools there must be assistants of some kind; and I think that young persons, of both

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sexes, can be met with for this purpose, if a sufficient salary can be paid them. When we have very large populations, and employment plentiful, and a training school of our own necessary, then we may begin to think of the pupil teacher. 7

II. The itinerant teacher, in thinly populated localities, would, I think, be very useful to the province.

III. In centres of population, the public library, under proper regulations, would confer a benefit. 8

IV. As to the endowments, I cannot see their present value for educational purposes; and it occurs to me that they would be more utilised by being handed over to local trustees than being kept in the possession of the Board. The teacher might occupy these lands during his term of office, and the annual value be considered as so much money raised locally towards the equivalent required by any Act to be raised for the purpose of education. The teacher's house might be built on the land; he might bring it into cultivation, and increase its value. The endowments seem to contemplate a state of things not at present existing. Some generations hence they may become very valuable, when populations have gathered around them. But their present value is small indeed, and does not justify the boast, "that the Education Board was the richest corporation in the colony." Let us endeavour to have these lands, be their value little or much, utilised at once, so that passers-by may not point to this or that allotment as a "valuable endowment," which does not produce one penny towards the object it was intended to promote.

V. I have already expressed my feelings on this point, and I am glad to see recognised in this Act that certificates granted by the Committee of Council on Education are allowed to stand in lieu of certificates issued by the Board of Education here. I think there should be a mutual understanding also between this Board and the several Boards in the colony, and also in Australia, on this point. At present no certificate granted here will be recognised in Australia.



I have now the pleasure of going over the Act of 1857, which is by far the best Act on education yet introduced into this province. There is no family likeness between it and the other Acts, though introduced during the administration of the same Superintendent. I purpose taking this Act clause by clause, commenting, altering, or expunging, as the case seems to me to require.

Clause 1. The Superintendent and his Executive possessed the power to appoint a Board for three years. I prefer a Board of this description to an annually elected one; and I should also suppose a

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smaller number than nine members sufficient; three, instead of five, to form a quorum. They should be men who know something of education themselves, and who have time to devote to the duties of the Board. During the past year several meetings have been called, without a quorum to transact business. I question if the Superintendent even is the proper person to act as chairman, because of his other important duties, especially if he has to go to Wellington three months every year.--Clause 2 to stand.-- Clause 3. Music cannot be taught in all schools; it must depend upon the teacher. The subjects for instruction enumerated in this clause are those commonly taught, and cannot be well exceeded, except by devoting extra time to them. The teacher is not limited, however, nor should he be.--Clause 4 to stand.--Clause 5. This may be called the toleration clause. It maintains the same principle as that for which the Committee of Council contended when the "conscience clause" was required to be inserted in the trust deeds of Church of England schools. Parents who do not care for religious instruction for their children can have them excluded.-- Clause 6. Every school receiving aid should be open to some inspector. There should be no distinction betwixt Catholic and Protestant. The previous clause only requires the secular instruction to be such as shall satify the inspector; and, so long as that is inquired into, no exception can reasonably be taken to it.--Clause 7 requires amendment. Too large a sum was required as local contributions to meet the grant. One-half could not be raised in all cases. I think, as hereafter recommended, one-third raised locally is enough; and, to make up this sum, payments of pupils, subscriptions, donations, rent of house (if any), and income from any other source whatever, might be allowed. Any surplus of local income should not be applied as the committee "see fit," but be allowed the teacher as a part of his income.--Clauses 8 and 9. To be omitted for reasons hereafter assigned. Vide appendix.--Clause 10 to stand.--Clause 11. Much improvement may be made in the registers. The old form was very awkward, if only on account of size. Should my suggestions hereafter be adopted, other forms will be required, which should be kept with care, neatness, and accuracy. 9 Clauses 12 and 13 to stand.--Clause 14. A vacation of six weeks during the year is not too much. It may be allowed at Christmas or at other times, as the committee and teachers can arrange. But in no case should this time be exceeded without special and sufficient cause being shown. In the absence of such cause a corresponding decrease of income to be made by the Board.--Clause 15 to be expunged. Vide appendix.--Clause 16. "Grants shall be awarded to all well-conducted schools." There is too much generality here. Great complaints were made formerly that the town schools received nearly all the grants, and this was occasioned through the Board having no power to refuse aid to any school which sought it, being, or reported to be, "well-conducted." Two or more schools in one street, or in close proximity, could claim a grant. The Board had no discretion. To remedy such an evil, power should be given to the Board to refuse applications for aid from all newly established schools, unless it can be shown that a necessity existed for such schools, and that no other school would suffer which had a prior claim from being longer established. The decision of the Board in all such cases to be final. If no limit be placed to the grant, any one assuming the profession may set up next

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door to an old-established school and claim assistance on similar grounds, provided he possesses a certificate.--Clause 17. Perhaps this was necessary in the early stage of education. I would recommend that no teacher be now employed, or receive any grant from the Board, without a certificate of fitness for moral worth and intellectual attainment. Ability to impart instruction in a pleasing manner is another thing, and can only be found out by actual inspection. Moral worth must depend upon character, which can in most cases be ascertained; intellectual fitness can be brought out by examination only. Practical success is the result of ability to impart instruction. Vide appendix.--Clause 18 to stand.--Clause 19. The salaries of teachers granted by the Board, exclusive of school fees, should not be less than £120 per annum to a master of the first class, and £100 per annum to a mistress. Second-class teachers to receive £100 and £80 respectively. 10 Such salaries to be paid quarterly in accordance with the principle of results. Vide appendix.--Clause 20 to stand.--Clause 21. The alteration I suggest here is that certificates of the second degree, after a residence of three years at the same school, may be raised to a certificate of the first degree, provided such school has been taught to the satisfaction of the Inspector, and successfully according to the scale of results given in the appendix; such promotion to be made without re-examination by the Board. This promotion for success in teaching would stimulate exertion, and is in accordance with the "Revised Code" of regulations in England. I do not see that a second examination is desirable, on any ground whatever. Let an examination be made once for all, so as to satisfy a definite standard of fitness in the candidate for his work. That examination should be rigid; it should exact accurate knowledge of the subjects enumerated, which, when once ascertained, should be applied to the pupils. This application of knowledge is the teacher's real work, and to success in which he should look for promotion and reward.--Clause 22 to stand.--Clause 23 to stand, excepting that assistant teachers should be allowed £60 per annum from the Board, instead of £30. Ninety pounds per year is not too great a salary for any young man. An average attendance of 100 children requires three teachers; i.e., a principal with assistants.--Clauses 21 and 25 to stand.--Clause 26 to be expunged, for reasons given under clause 23.-- Clauses 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36, to stand.--Clause 37. The proviso about Special Inspectors to be expunged.--Clauses 38, 39, and 40, to stand.--The following are worthy of incorporation in any Act, viz.:-- 1. Endowments of Common School Act. 2. Itinerant teachers of Common School Act. And I would suggest the advisability of adding the following as within the scope of aid by the Government:-- 1. Grants towards the erection of teachers' residences, as well as schoolhouses. It is neither decent nor proper, and certainly not conducive to health, that the teacher should have, at the close of his labour in school, to shut himself up in a corner of the same room for his nightly rest. And, if he have not to do this, is it an inviting place for any one to go to, on being told: "Here is the schoolhouse for you, but there is no house in which you can live?" The only resource in such a case is to be driven to an hotel, or into private lodgings. The hotel is on many grounds

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objectionable. Better to provide a house, which the teacher will know all the more to value should he be a married man. This is a matter which neither committees nor the Government appear to have thought of.--2. Book Grants. I have felt unwilling to recommend this, because of injury to the bookseller, who has his living to make by his trade, like another citizen; but I have found the supply so irregular, and the difficulty of obtaining them at all times so great, that I am obliged, though unwillingly, to place this matter on my list. I know it is discontinued in England; but England and New Zealand are not in parallel in this respect, as everybody knows. Direct grants of books, maps, diagrams, school furniture--as desks, easels, blackboards, &c., would be very useful. These could be obtained direct from England, and sold at cost price to school committees, or even less--the loss to be considered as a grant by the Board. Teachers would know how to value such assistance, as it would place the means of education more readily within their reach, without which they cannot be expected to succeed.


Some points under clauses 8, 9, 17, and 19 seemed to demand a few special remarks, which I have thought fit to collect under this head. They refer to--

I. Teachers' qualifications.
II. Teachers' salaries.
III. Payment for results.

I. The Act of 1857 contained no syllabus or standard of attainment fixed as a guide to the candidate in his studies, except that which, by inference, he was able to draw from clause 3, where the subjects to be taught his pupils are named. I think it will be conceded at once by all teachers who know their work, that these subjects are not sufficient. A Teacher having any pretension for his profession, should be able to take up more subjects at his examination than are here enumerated. Yet a thorough acquaintance with few subjects is to be preferred to a superficial knowledge of many. For instance, take geography; I should expect a teacher to understand its mathematical aspect; he should be able to account for its physical changes as in climatology, dew, hail, snow, the phenomenon of tides, the vicissitudes of seasons, &c.; he should be able to draw maps from memory, as indicating an exact knowledge of topography, and the outlines of political boundaries. In arithmetic, he should not only be able to teach the four rules, but to show the rationale of the process; as for instance, to explain the process of a sum in simple subtraction or multiplication. It may seem strange to anyone who has not attempted this for me to put such simple matters forward. Let such an one try his hand, and if he be unacquainted with De Morgan or Tate he will find a more difficult task than he expected. So in grammar: A teacher should be able not only to parse correctly, but to analyse and paraphrase; he should know something of the history and growth of our language as well as its literature. Another subject of importance is the theory and practice of teaching, or what is more generally called "school management." I am glad to see this subject mentioned by a writer in one of our daily newspapers, but he can hardly expect teachers in the city to give lessons in "method" when they have plenty to do in their own schoolroom. The subject can be studied from books to some extent, as from Dunn, Stowe, Gill, and

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Dunning, but more can be learnt from practice. It should be the aim of candidates to inform themselves upon it, and such books as I have named, as well as others, should be kept by the Secretary of the Board in stock, and I presume they would be gladly bought by those who come up for examination. I must repeat, the examiner should prefer thoroughness to diffusiveness. A man able to parse, "John broke his arm," merely, should not be thought a good grammarian if he bungled at--

"The star that bids the shepherd fold
Now the top of heaven doth hold,"

or any such piece involving only an ordinary difficulty. Nor should one able to work a decimal be considered a good arithmetician if unable at the same time to explain a simple proportion. As arithmetic is the "boy's Euclid," the better it is known the better it can be taught. I contend for the mastery of principles in a teacher. I recommend, therefore, the following subjects for examination, to be required of all candidates for certificates in connection with the Board of Education:--

1. Second grade or lowest certificate: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Arithmetic, English Grammar, History, Composition, Geography, School Management, 1st Book of Euclid, and Algebra as far as Simple Equations.

2. First grade or highest certificate: In addition to the foregoing subjects. Euclid up to Book III., Algebra as far as Quadratic Equations, Mensuration; Drawing or Latin as an alternate subject. No certificate to be granted for the higher subjects only, as to pass well in these would be no guarantee of ability to impart elementary instruction to a child.

II. I have insisted that a teacher should be fit for his profession, that his moral character should be approved, and that his work should be thorough and well tested. I have now to contend for the counterpart--that he shall be well paid. The saying I heard not long ago is not far wrong--"The teacher should be treated like a gentleman, and paid like a lawyer." Everybody is willing to admit the importance of a teacher's work. It sounds from the pulpit, the platform, and the Council, but yet how seldom is that work rewarded! How seldom is it paid for even in proportion to its value, relatively! I take the Common Schools Act as a notable example. What do we see there? A minimum salary of £75 per annum, to be supplemented by one-fourth additional by the Government, or £93 15s. total income; and the minimum for a mistress in like manner £75 per annum! The estimate here places a teacher and his work on a par with the miner, the labourer, and in some cases even with a charwoman. It is not paying him "like a lawyer." And when I refer to the fact that in some instances teachers have been drawn away from their distant homes, by the allurements of agents and the tempting baits of Provincial Acts, to find themselves "cut adrift" from all aid, I ask, have they been "treated like gentlemen?"

For the sake of comparison, I will go to England. The average salary of a first-class teacher at home is about £100 per annum for masters, and £75 for a mistress, in addition to a house and garden rent free, as well as fuel. Reckon £15 per year extra, or about £115 and £90, respectively. Now, considering the cheaper manner of living and clothing at home, and the heavy amounts paid here in rent and fuel (at least in town), a great disparity will at once appear. I quote from memory only, but I believe the above sums are rather below than above the mark. My own was above it. By naming the sums under clause 19, therefore, I am not asking too much for the teacher, considering his position and his work. I feel persuaded that

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the teachers would be satisfied with it. It would be a great boon to them compared with the paltry starving incomes they have received during the past two years, which, in some instances, have not reached fifteen shillings per week. Can it be wondered at if they have not "kept the wolf from the door?"

On the question of school fees I will remark that it should be left with the local committee and the teacher to arrange what these shall be. By the Act of 1857 the maximum was one shilling; by the Common Schools Act it is sixpence. Both are wrong, because there are some parents, especially in country places, who can pay one guinea or two guineas per quarter; both Acts prevent the teacher accepting such fees. In town schools, the usual fee is still that of the old Act. I have declined several offers of higher fees, and in no single instance have I received more for the usual weekly course of instruction. But I have frequently taken a lower one. If the subject of fees be left open, and no interference with the teacher's liberty be made in this matter, I think it will not be found hereafter as a matter of complaint that advantage has been taken of it. I have put a very wrong estimate upon the teacher's honour and sense of fairness, as well as sympathy for the poor, should it prove to be so.

It is a somewhat delicate matter for me to write upon, having a personal interest in it, but I cannot allow the subject to pass from under my pen without expressing a hope that an adequate requital for important work done will be the principle, in dealing with teachers, of any future legislation upon education. If education is to be a lever for the moral and intellectual elevation of the people, surely the agents for such elevation should not be treated as they have been.

III. Payments for results: I wish to propose a definite standard of attainment for children of the same age, according to which all payments shall be made to teachers for the coming year, as ascertained by inspection. No child to be included who is under four or over twelve years of age; each school to be divided into grades, according to age, for examination by the Inspector, thus: From 4 to 5 the first grade, and from 11 to 12 the eighth or highest grade. 11 I would require 230 attendances each year as the minimum, morning and afternoon reckoned as two. No child who has attended 230 times during the year should be absent from the examination, except for satisfactory reasons, as in cases of illness. 12 I would fix the satisfactory result at 75 per cent.; and, in such cases, the teacher to receive his full income. In case of the result falling below 75 per cent., the teacher to lose one-fourth of his income. The per centage fixed upon is by no means excessive, as I have known 90 and in one instance 98 per

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cent, passing the examination satisfactorily in England. The subjoined cases will sufficiently explain the working of my plan.


In this case, out of 28 children presented for examination, only 16.49 passed the examination satisfactorily. The master, Mr. Brown, although a first-class man, and entitled by his certificate to receive £120 a-year, will only receive £100, because the result has reached 59 per cent, instead of 75. There is evidently something wrong, indicating a lack of energy in the teacher. The result in reading and writing is only just over 75 per cent.; the attendance is very bad, and, by timely remonstrance with the parents, might have been rectified. Should such an unsatisfactory result occur three years in succession, there would be evidence of the master's unfitness to hold his certificate, and it would be reduced to one of the second class. I do not think the reduction would be made a second time. Doubtless, the teacher will become more industrious, and more individual in his work against the next inspection.


In this case Mr. Jones has worked up his small school of ten pupils so as to pass a very satisfactory examination, giving a result of 91 per cent., and well earning his £100 as a second-class teacher. Should he go on successfully for three years at this school, his certificate will be raised to one of the first-class.

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In this large school of 110 boys, 87 per cent, passed the examination. Both Mr. Robinson and his assistant, Mr. Smith, are entitled to their full salaries of £120 and £60 respectively.

The above cases are sufficiently explanatory, and I cannot see any difficulty in carrying them out. Teachers will know beforehand what to go through, and a timely notice of the Inspector's visit will give them every opportunity of preparation. I propose, however, to make an alteration in favour of the itinerant and Arab teachers, by requiring only a result of 50 instead of 75 per cent. It will be accorded that there are special circumstances to warrant this: in the first case he will have less time with each pupil; and, in the second, bad material to work upon.

I have said nothing about time in school. I do not see but that four hours at one session of the school might be reckoned for two attendances; but this should only be allowed for small schools in the country, where it would be advantageous to the teacher to be at liberty one half of the day. 13 He must, however, look out for his results, because I would not lower the standard for him.

It will be seen that I propose to take geography and grammar only when the pupil begins his eighth year. The results, as in England, might be limited to reading, writing, arithmetic, and attendance, whilst the examination could be extended to grammar and geography. Again, if the ages are too high, the groups can be limited to six, and the age to ten. I do not mean to exclude children of any age, but that only those whose ages are agreed upon shall be examined as a test of the teacher's diligence and success.

In the case of very young children, as in grades 1 and 2, very little can be expected. Many schools will be without them, as in No. 2 above. Properly, such little ones should be in an infants' school, were there only such to send them to. The absence of such schools is my only plea for including them.

In the subjoined syllabus I have named reading books. Nelson's series are nicely graduated, and I cannot see that any objection can be made to them. There should be uniformity in this matter, for the Inspector to have one standard for all schools. I have just seen Mr.

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Bowden's book of New Zealand Geography, which is full, and quite an acquisition to teachers in the colony. 14











4 to 5



To count.
Make figures.





5 to 6

Should be able to
read monosyllables
from large type, and
"Step by Step,"
Part I.

Write monosyllables,
and capital letters

Able to write
down numbers
from dictation.





6 to 7

"Step by Step,"
part II.

To write short
sentences on
slates, from

To add and





7 to 8

Sequel to
"Step by Step"

Writing in

Addition and
on slates.





8 to 9

"Young Reader."

with neatness

First four rules,
and pence tables.





9 to 10

"New No. IV."

Ditto, with

Compound rules,
tables of weights
and measures.


Prepare lists
of nouns
and adjectives.

of the Globe.


10 to 11

"Fifth Book"

Great neatness
to be expected
in copybooks.

and proportion.


To point out
the parts of
speech in a

of Europe.


11 to 12

"Junior Reader,"
No.1, or No.2

Ditto, to write
from dictation
with correct

Compound proportion
and higher rules
of arithmetic.


To parse
any simple

Geography of
New Zealand.

TEXT-BOOKS.--Arithmetic, by Colenso; Geography, Anderson or Cornwall; for New Zealand, Mr. Bowden's, or Mr. Mason's outlines; Grammar, McLeod's, in Gleig's series.

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On School Inspection.

In my former letters I have advocated that schools should be well supported; that teachers should be acquainted with the principles of their work, and not merely able to subtract and multiply; that they should not be taken as it were from the highway, from amongst the lame and the halt, as was the case at one time in England, and put into a school because they are unable to do anything else; but men certified by attainment, which must be thorough so far as it goes, and proved by their actual success. Having obtained such men, or with a view of obtaining such men, it is necessary to have an Inspector who can test their work, and find out their qualifications.

Under the Act of 1857, the Board appointed an Inspector, subject to the veto of the Superintendent. The Board, under the Common Schools Act, possessed the sole power. This cannot be objected to.

It is important, however, that any one holding the appointment of Inspector of Schools should be a gentleman, a scholar, of sound judgment, and above all that he should be a teacher, and approved of generally by the body of teachers.

I am warranted in making the above statement, and in asking the appointment for some teacher, by the fact that in England teachers have been appointed to sub-inspectorships. In Victoria also teachers have been made inspectors. In England I have seen schools examined to a great disadvantage by a young man, fresh from the University, being sent out as inspector. Much may be said of the high mental attainments of such men, and that they give an elevating tone to the department and education generally. But when we speak of the work of an inspector in England and the work of an inspector in New Zealand, the two things are not very similar. There, everything is made ready for him--I have known two schools inspected in a day; here, it may take two or even three days to reach a school. There, the train or the trap is ready for him; here, some days of weary bush travelling. The inspector's work in New Zealand resembles that which was undertaken at one time by the National Society, and carried on by agents called "organising masters," such as Harris and Tearle, who remained a week or so at one place, arranging the details for starting a school, getting the master into harness, and then off to another place for a similar purpose--and for such a work we need a practical teacher.

I must speak here upon the appointment of the present gentleman, who is now the Secretary and Inspector of Schools; and, in doing so, I beg to assure him that I have no hostility of feeling to him personally. I have every wish to see him in his old position as Clerk of the Council, and as Secretary to the Grammar-school; but I, as a teacher, decidedly object to him as Inspector of Schools, on the ground that he is not a practical teacher. I am not alone in this opinion. A friend said to me the other day; "Mr. O'Sullivan's appointment was an insult to the teachers of the province." I do not know that it was an insult, like some other acts which could be named; but I do think it was a great blunder. I believe, however, the appointment was temporary only, and my hope is to see some one in the position of Inspector who has the confidence of teachers, and who is able to fill the office with credit to the department and benefit to the province. 15

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I offer a remark upon the Inspector's salary. The payment of inspectors in England, is as follows:--

Chief Inspectors... ... ... £800 per annum.
Assistant Inspectors.........£400 per annum.

In both, cases all travelling expenses are paid, and an extra allowance of 15s. per diem personal expenses when on duty inspecting schools--about 200 days every year--making a total of £950 and £550 respectively, with all travelling expenses paid. I think it will be admitted that, at least, the services of an inspector of schools are as important to the province as those of the Provincial Secretary, and that the two salaries should be equal.

If anything like an Education Act is to be passed this session now coming on, supported by adequate funds and requiring the Inspector to be often in his saddle, I cannot see how he will be able to discharge the double duty of inspector and secretary without an assistant. Much time must be taken up in travelling; he will have to visit Mangonui and Tauranga, the East and West Coasts; at times he must rest, like other men. Inspectors at home are allowed a month each year to prepare their reports, besides a regular vacation. But what kind of assistance he will require, whether as assistant inspector or as secretary to the Board, will be the work of time to show. For a time, therefore, the two may go as at present. But to continue the arrangement by which the Clerk of the Council, the Secretary of the Grammar School Commissioners, the Inspector of Schools, and the Secretary of the Board of Education, are all represented by the same person, is simply absurd.



Two questions frequently alluded to at meetings, and in the Council, are the secular and denominational aspects of education. I fear a great deal of misconception exists as to the exact meaning of these terms, and it is of no use writing or talking about them unless upon some satisfactory and well-defined basis. It is difficult perhaps to give an exact definition of anything, a definition which no one can take exception to. Scarcely anyone, when speaking of secular education, attempts to explain what is comprehended under such a term. Some people seem to understand that secular education is the very opposite of all that is included, or meant to be included, in the word "denominationalism," and vice versa. A teacher said to me the other day, "He would consider his school a secular one if he used the Bible in it." The Rev. B. Kidd, who is generally thought to be a high authority in these matters, is reported to have said at the Grafton-road Sunday-school anniversary--"Secular instruction, in the proper use of the term, led to correct views of Nature and Providence; it looked upon man as a denizen of earth, trained his intellectual and emotional faculties, and taught him to look from 'Nature to Nature's God.'" I have purposely gone through the speeches of candidates for the Provincial Council, delivered at the hustings, with the view of discovering what they meant by secular instruction, but in vain, indeed, so very little can be gleaned from the speeches made, that I fear very much for the cause of education during the session now coming on. The framers of the Common Schools Act seem to include "morals" in their "purely secular"

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scheme. One gentleman said at the hustings, "He did not wish to see religious squabbles in the schools." And a writer in the DAILY SOUTHERN CROSS (December 1) remarked that if the Provincial Council built its future Act on education upon the Common Schools Act, "Auckland would, in future years, be a stranger to the unseemly and unchristian strifes and bickerings which so often make civil and religious liberty an unmeaning phrase, if not a keen satire." I draw this inference from the two last quotations, viz., that secular education is the panacea for all "unchristian strifes and bickerings," and that religious instruction (denominationalism) is the cause of "religious squabbles" in our schoolrooms. I think these are fair inferences, and I ask the writers to establish them by facts.

If I could believe in the definition of secular instruction given by Mr. Kidd, or in the good results ascribed to it by the Cross, I should be only too happy to lay aside any hostility of feeling I may possess towards it. I am open to conviction for the correction of any errors into which, by false reasoning or bad judgment, I may fall. To put an end to "religious squabbles" and "unchristian strifes and bickerings," would be a delight to me; and to be engaged in leading children to have "correct views of Nature and Providence," as well as to "train their moral and emotional faculties," and to lead them from "Nature to Nature's God," has, I trust, been one object with me during my career as a teacher for the past 25 years. But I cannot classify myself amongst the secular teachers, nor can I approve of begging the question of religious instruction by mixing it up with manifestly secular ones. It seems to be temporising with a popular idea. There should ever be drawn a clear and distinct line between the secular and religious elements.

The word secular, as I understand it, refers to matters connected with this world; secular affairs are affairs of money, business, pleasure, amusements. Secular instruction, then, will consist of the common subjects of daily routine, as grammar, geography, arithmetic, the events of history, &c. Is it possible that such subjects can give "correct views of Nature and Providence," or teach us "to look from "Nature to Nature's God?" It cannot be so meant. I will not deny that, in "the higher forms that cultivation glories in," there are lessons of wisdom and humility. The dewdrop, the nectar of the flower, its odour and its beauty, may give us "emotional feelings," just as the stars sing; "The hand that made us is Divine." But are these "beauties of the wilderness" enough of themselves to teach us such lessons? If so, how was it that Paul at Athens had to teach the philosophers on Mars' Hill of Him "who made the world and all things therein?" And, if so, how is it that in our day, as in St. Paul's time, educated nations, as Chinese and Hindoos, require the enlightenment of Christianity?

Our elementary teaching must, for the greater part, consist of facts, as the facts of history, geography. Arithmetic itself is a beautiful arrangement of facts. The tender ages of our pupils forbid us to expect the development of their reasoning powers, except to a very limited extent. It is impossible to go abroad to teach them the majestic lessons of astronomy, or the marvels of scientific observation, or microscopical discoveries. The minds of children are not ripe enough for such lessons in "Nature and Providence." But, even if they were, I should hardly like to be the teacher unless I were able to place alongside this Book of Nature--nay, ahead of it, as of greater value--the Book of Revelation. What I fear is, that the secularism or rationalism of our day would have us cast this aside as of but little value, and substitute in its place that erring guide--human reason.

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The utmost I care to contend for is that no teacher shall be debarred from imparting religious instruction to his pupils from the Scriptures at stated hours, to which--any parent objecting--his child need not attend. I do not fear "squabbles," or "unchristian strifes and bickerings," arising from it. Such instruction to be given by the teacher or minister of the district in which the school is situated. 16 The Catholic body, as a matter of course, will use the Douay Bible, and the Jewish children the Old Testament only.

As to Denominationalism, I suppose this long word refers to that kind of religious teaching the tendency of which is to prop up the different denominations which exist amongst us. I have heard several epithets applied to it, as priestcraft, proselytism, and, lastly, the long word above. The Act of 1857 has been looked upon as a sort of bugbear:-- "That is the Act which encouraged the denominational spirit." Let us see with what truth this sweeping allegation is made. It is neither more nor less than a charge against all schools and teachers bearing the name of Church, Catholic, Wesleyan, or Presbyterian--a charge that they have been made the vehicles of fostering this spirit of party. For myself, I deny it in toto. During a period of five years, no distinctive or dogmatical instruction of any kind has been given in my school, but only the simple reading of the Scriptures twice every week. Religious lessons do occur in our reading books, which we cannot avoid; but these are not of a dogmatical character. I am happy to know that I have had pupils of all denominations, and I am not aware that fault has been found with the religious element above named. The old Act allowed religious instruction, as I think all Acts should do; it does not follow, however, because a school is near a church or in a chapel, that the teaching must be denominational.

I was asked the other day by a friend with whom I was speaking upon this question, What have the denominations done for education? I reply, Not so much, perhaps, as they might, or as they ought; but it cannot be said they have done nothing. The Church has done a good deal. 17 St. Matthew's, St. Paul's, St. Mary's, have provided school-rooms free of charge to the teachers, in which large numbers

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of children are taught daily. So also with the Catholic body. At the present moment St. Matthew's vestry is expending upwards of £100 in altering and repairing their school-room in Hobson-street. It is a liberal donation from the parochial funds to the cause of education. As to the Wesleyans and Presbyterians I cannot speak so favourably. The Wesleyans have closed their schools in Hobson-street, High-street, and, I believe, at Parnell also. The Presbyterians, I believe, make a little profit out of their teachers; but their schools are active and their teachers energetic.

It is an outcry--a mere fiction--so far as my experience carries me, to say that the schools under the old Act fostered a sectarian or a denominational spirit; and if but a fair and impartial investigation could be made on this point, I believe the verdict would bo one of acquittal.



Under this head I intend to touch upon reformatories and schools for the poor and destitute. Much has been said in favour of the former kind of institution for this place. Reformatories have been established in England for some years past, but with what success I am unable to say. I see from the Times newspaper for September 30, 1869, that one of the subjects for discussion at the Bristol "Social Science" meeting was: "What have been the results of the Reformatory Schools and Industrial Schools Act?" The question, however, had not been brought on at that date, and I have not seen any subsequent account of the meeting. The principle for the establishment of such schools is excellent, and recommends itself with equal force to us in New Zealand as it did to our fellow-countrymen at home. A desire to reform the vicious and to save the fallen emanates from the best principles of our nature; and it is the duty of the State, for its own interest, economy, and preservation, to step in and endeavour, by the inculcation of corrective principles, and instruction, to reform those juvenile offenders who are so frequently brought before the Justices, and as (Dr. Nicholson says) are "pardoned because they are so young." It is not within the scope of this letter to inquire into the causes which lead to juvenile crime. These young criminals are in our midst, scattering wide the seeds of evil-doing; and the Justices have frequently lamented over the want of an institution for their reformation, and it now well becomes us to initiate one where an effort shall be made to do so. The objects of

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our solicitude have already broken the laws; they are adepts in the arts of deception, trickery, and robbery, and addicted to lying, blasphemy, and filthy conversation. How can we reform such youths? What means are at our disposal, and how can we apply them to bring about so desirable an end?

The means are of a twofold nature. We want properly qualified instructors, and it will not be an easy task to find such. We want also the funds with which to erect, or otherwise adapt, buildings suitable for our purpose. Plenty of land exists near this city which can easily be obtained by the Government, and I think the best plan would be to enclose a few acres for the industrial occupation of the inmates, and upon them erect buildings of a suitable character for the object contemplated.

This done, and a master and matron appointed, I presume the object of the Reformatory to be two-fold, viz.:

1. The correction of vicious principle.
2. The inculcation of industrial habits.

1. It must be evident that a considerable amount of time will be required in order to indulge the hope of any success. It may vary according to the subject, heinousness of the offence, age, aptitude, and might depend partly upon the recommendation of the master and matron.

I know of no power so potent for the correction of vicious principle as that which I have already recommended as the most important element in the general education of our children, viz., a virtuous and godly training. The holy teachings of the Bible purified the heart and made clean the life in the days of the Apostles. We require the same remedy now, unless it can be shown that men have grown better in our day, or that some other remedy is more powerful. The old hardened criminal, who is condemned to death, and about to expiate his crimes on the scaffold, is invariably told "to prepare for death," and "to meet his God." The Bible is placed at his elbow--a book which in many cases he cannot read--a minister has at all times access to him; in his case especially "the consolations of religion" are recommended. Alas! for our consistency! If we had but been equally solicitous when he was perhaps a juvenile criminal! But shall we not adopt the plan now in the case of those we are anxious to train for the journey of life through the world? If we make the Bible a sine qua non at the end of a man's life, is it not equally so at its beginning? I am now only contending for this as a principle. I know it may be said--these young people are not able to read; but the point being granted, I would proceed to impart those branches of elementary knowledge which are the basis of an after attainment within the reach of all who use them rightly.

2. The industrial element is perhaps almost as important as the one previously touched upon. I have indicated that land should be attached to the Reformatory for the purposes of cultivation. A few acres to be brought by degrees under the spade, and used for the purposes of floriculture and horticulture, would afford abundance of recreative employment to the inmates, save money by the growth of vegetables, induce habits of taste, thought, and care, promote health, and train for future usefulness. In addition to the garden, other occupations might be thought desirable: as shoemaking, tailoring. One half of the day should be spent in the school, the other employed in the garden or workshops. Drafts of boys to be employed in fetching water, cleaning, splitting wood: whilst the girls (if any) would be employed in work suitable for them,--as in washing, cooking, &c. Under strict surveillance, proper instruction, and a training which shall induce habits of industry, taste, order, cleanliness, and

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the cultivation of relative duties, I should hope for much good to arise to society from the establishment of a reformatory and industrial school for our juvenile criminals.

I now come to the Arabs.--To those who, as yet, have been detected in no crime, their case only differs in degree from the criminal; they have but to go one step further and then on to the Reformatory; their tastes, their habits and language, are thoroughly akin to those already there. Shall they be sent there too? I think not. Though we endeavour to turn the Reformatory into a blessing to the inmates, it is a place of penal servitude, and some disgrace must be attached to those who enter. We should endeavour to show our Arab what a wide degree of distinction society bestows upon those who have broken and those who have kept the law.

My conviction is that we ought to have two schools in Auckland for our Arab and pauper children--such schools to be free, and to have some designation applied to them indicating the class of children expected to go there. 19 Such schools should be under efficient and well-paid teachers, and placed near to the centres of population, one in City East, and another towards Freeman's Bay. Respectable citizens, who can afford the fees charged at other schools, would not enter their children here. The police might have authority to take any children to these schools who were found wandering about during school hours. It might be necessary that parents should be allowed to keep their children from school above a certain age, say, ten years; also, that absence be allowed for sickness, or other reasonable causes. Admission to such schools to be made through some Minister or Magistrate to whom the cases are known. 20



My remarks under this head will be few. A great deal has been written about the Grammar School since its first start into life six months ago. Nearly every one condemns the locality chosen for its situation. It has been said that no difference exists between the Grammar School and the school formerly known as the Collegiate School, or Wesley College, except that the head-master has a regular income, independent of fluctuations or parental fancies; and that the fees are nearly as much now as when we were without a grammar school. The gist of all the complaints seems to be this: the establishment of the Grammar School has conferred no benefit whatever upon the public.

One of the chief objects for starting the Grammar School was, I believe, the utilisation of the endowments, which amounted to about £1,100 per annum; this large sum might have been usefully employed by establishing a few scholarships open to boys from all parts

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of the province, such boys to be admitted only by a competitive examination. This seems to be the point most desired by the people. I do not mean to say that the whole endowment ought to be spent upon scholarships. Other subjects will demand the attention of the Commissioners, such as lectures on science, and University scholarships. 21

My conviction remains that, notwithstanding anything that can be done by the Provincial Government--and a much better state of things can be brought about than we have at present--the education of the people must be defective unless a national scheme be introduced by the General Government. Now, each province has its own scheme, and we run the risk of losing them for lack of means, as Auckland teachers fully know.

Our great wants seem to me to be:-- First, a thoroughly good and permanent system of elementary education, adapted to the wants of our people, and extending from the North Cape to Stewart's Island. Secondly, the Grammar or Middle Schools, in which the languages (chiefly modern), mathematics, and science, would form the main branches of instruction. Thirdly, the University. Free scholarships to the Middle Schools and to the University, to be obtained by a competitive examination, would complete the scheme. The poorest boy in the Colony would thus have a chance of being elevated to the highest point of honour and office.



Nothing can be done without the "sinews of war;" and the war against ignorance is no exception to the rule.

Unless the attendance of all children were made compulsory, and the money for educational purposes raised by rate--which does not appear probable, judging from the voice of the people in this respect--I do not see, at least for some years to come, that the mode of paying teachers can be altered from the plan of the Act of 1857. The payments of pupils will constitute "local contributions," and the Government subsidy, the major part of his income.

It has been said that the Government has £52,000 at its disposal, which might be devoted to an Educational Endowment Fund. If this sum could possibly be secured and invested for such a purpose, the accruing interest would largely aid in this work, but would not be sufficient without an annual appropriation.

Supposing my plans adopted by the Superintendent and Council at the forthcoming session, and that, all at once, we return to the same number of schools and teachers that existed at the close of 1866, viz., 77, there would then be required for teachers' salaries, as under:--

Mistresses.--First Class

6 at £100


Second Class

12 at 80


Masters.--First Class

20 at 120


Second Class

39 at 100




I think; it is clear that this sum is in excess of what would be required; for, until examinations are held, the present rates of payment would continue; and after they were over I do not calculate that there would be above sixty, if indeed so many, to receive any

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grant. There would, however, be a few assistant teachers, and the Inspector's salary to pay. Altogether, I think £7,000 would meet all demands for the first year; and ultimately not more than £10,000 per annum would be required as an annual appropriation. If Tasmania can devote about £11,000 per annum, and Otago upwards of £14,000, 22 surely the sum of £7,000 per annum is not too much for the province of Auckland, with her rich goldfields, her increasing population and trade, and consequent revenue, to devote to the education of the people.



I am tempted to extend my previous remarks under chapter IX. on the question of a colonial system of education. Since the time those remarks were written this question has assumed a more definite shape, and a larger proportion of importance has been given to it than I had previously expected would take place in so short a time. In our Provincial Council, on the motion of Thomas Ball, Esq., member for Mangonui, it was affirmed that the matter of education was a colonial rather than a provincial subject for legislation. The same gentleman had, in his place in the House of Representives, carried a motion of like import. When the Premier--the Hon. Mr. Fox--was on a visit to Auckland, a deputation of teachers was appointed to wait upon him to ascertain his views on this question. Unfortunately, circumstances did not favour the interview; but the following extract from his letter to me upon the occasion conveys his own opinion at that time:--

"Government Offices,
"Auckland, 23rd March, 1870.

"SIR,--As I leave for the South on Thursday, it will I fear not be in my power to appoint a time to see the deputation; but, if I rightly understand your object, I may take the liberty of expressing my opinion, that so long as Provincial Institutions exist, Education seems to me to be precisely one of the subjects which ought to be administered by them; and that peopled as the colony has been, and divided as it is, it would probably be altogether impossible to devise any scheme which would be universally acceptable, or which could be administered better by the General Government than the Educational Institutions are now by the provincial authorities in some of the provinces."

"I have, &c.,
"(Signed) WILLIAM FOX."

It appears to me, that our Premier makes one or two tacit admissions in the above extract:--

1. That Provincial Institutions are not long destined to survive.

2. That some of the provinces have well attended to the matter of Education; and, consequently that other provinces have neglected it.

The third point: "The probable impossibility of devising any scheme that would be universally acceptable, on account of the manner in which the colony has been peopled, and into which it is

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divided," has yet to be tried. I remark, then, that Provincialism must fall. This seems to be now generally acknowledged; but, until we have "something better," the Provinces must be kept up. The process is in operation; Southland is dead, and Canterbury longing for annexation to Otago. The smaller provinces, as if by a natural law, are attracted to the larger ones, and we shall see the whole combine into one general, or at the most into two insular governments. I say such opinions are general; but, it is whispered, let the fall of the provinces be gentle, and their dying pillows be as soft as down can make them.

But since the downfall is sure, and the death certain, if not very near, I ask, would it not be wise on the part of the General Government now to take in hand what they must do when the provinces expire? Would it not be one way of smoothing their pillows? If left to the provinces, Otago, Canterbury, and Nelson, now far a-head in the van of intellectual progress, might go on; Auckland will follow, but yet remain far in the rear; as, at the present time, what we have is imperfect and inefficient. Indeed the whole of the North Island, is an intellectual desert. The Middle Island is well-watered and fertile.

Mr. Fox admits that education has been well-administered by only some of the provinces, and that it is a subject that "precisely ought to be administered by all of them;" and since it is so, it is precisely one of the subjects that should be undertaken by the General Government. Can a paternal Government see the mal-administration of some of the provinces in this important manner, and calmly and quietly look on without interference? Is it not a subject which demands immediate action? Can they see a gigantic evil like that of ignorance festering in our midst, sending out its pestilential influence, endangering good order and obedience to the laws,--an influence inimical to morality and our social ties,--an influence acknowledged on all sides to be beneficial only for intemperance and crime, which fills our gaols, and permeates society to the deterioration and ultimate destruction of the body politic;--Can they look on all this, and not provide a remedy?

That there would be difficulties to get over in arranging any scheme for a colonial system of education I am free to admit; but I cannot see that nationalities, or creeds, or sects, need present an insurmountable obstacle, if we only set about it in an earnest spirit; for we should blend our nationalities and sink our differences in the common good.

I am glad to record my conviction that the growth of public opinion is very rapid in favour of the principle of colonial education. The resolutions above named indicate a change in the old opinions of our legislators; and I believe the present Government have agreed upon appointing a Commission of Inquiry into the state of education throughout the colony, with a view, I trust, not only of gathering information, but of taking action in the cause of a colonial system.

It would be presumptuous as well as premature on my part to attempt to indicate the nature of any colonial system of education, but I will just say that it ought to embrace the following leading principles:-- Christianity, Uniformity, Efficiency, and Permanency.

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1   If, after twenty-five years, the following statement be correct, and I have no doubt whatever of its accuracy, what a state of ignorance must have existed in England prior to the date of 1846! Mr. Macnaught, writing to the Times under date Jan 13, 1870, says:-- That bolder and more vigorous efforts for the education of every child are required is confessed by your correspondents, as well it may be, in the face of such facts as these:-- Less than one child in three in our inspected schools passes the very moderate "highest standard" of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Of our recruits, 57 per cent, are practically illiterate. In our gaols 96 per cent, of the criminals cannot read, and write, and cypher with a facility useful to themselves. These criminals are costing us more than 3,000,000l annually for police, prisons, &c., to say nothing of their depredations. Meanwhile, we present the unrivalled spectacle of 1,000.000 paupers, costing the country some 11,500,000l. sterling every year. Moreover it is alleged by competent witnesses, that our industrial workers are being rapidly overtaken in their excellences by foreign rivals, and are making no progress towards overtaking alien competitors in those matters wherein they surpass us. This result in deficient primary and technical education gives no promise of diminishing our already alarming superabundance of pauperism and crime. No wonder that three influential associations are at work to procure the adequate teaching of all our children, instead of leaving some 2,000,000 juveniles, to all practical intents and purposes, as ignorant as if they had never been at school."
2   "The present expenditure on inspected schools is about £1,500,000 per annum."--[Mr. John Macnaught.]
3   In support of my statement, I give the following clipping from an English paper, without, however, endorsing all its sentiments:-- "The Roman Catholics and the Education League: Four thousand Homan Catholics met in the Town Hall, at Birmingham, on November 15, under the Presidency of Bishop Ullathorpe, to express their opinions upon the education question. The Bishop denounced the scheme of the Education League as Godless. The Bishop was enthusiastically cheered in denouncing every portion of the programme of the League. He maintained that the proposed schools would be the most sectarian of all schools, representing merely the irreligious minority, such as deists and secularists. Lord Edward Howard moved: 'That education, properly so-called, is inseparable from Religion.' He agreed on all points with the Bishop. The resolution was seconded by Canon O'Sullivan, and carried. Lord Denbigh expressed his concurrence with the previous speakers. He declared that nobody but a fool could think of educating mankind without definite, dogmatic, religious instruction. The secular system would produce clever devils. He would rather see children brought up in a false religion, than taught to be indifferent." I also quote under this head, the words of Father Hyacinthe: "We are behind-hand with Protestant nations, especially those beyond the Atlantic and the Straits of Dover. I have twice trodden English soil, and have come to the conviction that the strength of that country is from the Bible."
4   The number of schools aided in the year 1866 was 77. The average number of scholars was 2,102; and the total cost to the province £3,506 3s. 4d.--"Report of Education Board, 1866."
5   I very gladly acknowledge that the present Government have paid these arrears to the teachers.
6   The following extract from Mr. Hislop's report on the Otago Schools, for 1868, is interesting, as showing how the Otago Act was mutilated when presented to our Council, under the guise of the Common Schools Act. Mr. Hislop says:-- "The schools of Otago are wholly unsectarian. The Education Ordinance requires that the Holy Scriptures shall be read every day, immediately after the opening or before the closing of the school. With scarcely an exception religious instruction forms part of the work of every school, and it seems to be the endeavour of the teachers generally to make such instruction purely Scriptural, not sectarian. It is open to all, but not compulsory on any present who object to it. I am not aware of a case of serious difficulty having occcurred in connection with religious instruction in the schools of the province; and this gratifying result I am disposed to attribute mainly to the wise and liberal basis upon which the schools are established, the intelligence and prudence of the teachers, and the good sense of the people. I feel it due to the clergymen of all denominations throughout the province, to report that in no case of which I am aware have they unduly interfered with the school committees, the teachers, or myself, in the carrying out the provisions of the Education Ordinance."
7   The time here spoken of may not be far distant, inasmuch as the financial scheme of our Colonial Treasurer is likely to be accepted by the colony. The introduction of immigrants on a large scale will fill our towns, will swell our outlying settlements, and increase the demand for teachers. A system of pupil-teachers, similar to the one in England, would necessitate a normal school for their after training. Such a plan, however, is better adapted to a colonial than a provincial system of education.
8   Public libraries in the province of Otago now number 55, at a total cost of £3,131 18s. 5d.
9   A form of register drawn up by Mr. Worthington, of Papakura, is a great improvement upon the old forms used by the late Board of Education
10   Otago spent during 1869 the sum of £8,173 17s. 9d. in the payment of school-teachers' salaries; and in the table appended to the report of Mr, Hislop I find these salaries vary from £331 17s. 10d. at the Middle School, Dunedin, to about £70 or £80 at the "side" schools. Most of the teachers, however, have residences and glebes attached to them, averaging about £40 per annum in value. The amount spent by the Otago Education Board on school buildings was £4,315 7s. 6d. during 1869.
11   I know that practically age alone is not a good principle for classification, because boys' attainments may vary according to circumstances, irrespective of age; the grades, therefore, should be taken as a general classification, subject to special exceptions as may be agreed upon. No child should be examined twice in the same standard.
12   I fix the number of attendances by subtracting six weeks' vacation from the year, leaving 46 weeks as the school year. Reckoning 5 days or 10 attendances for each week, and dividing by 2, we have 230--thus; 46 x 10 equals 460, and 460 divided by 2 gives 230; or, 230 attendances is only one half of the year. A boy may thus be absent one half of the year, and yet come up for his examination on the occasion of the Inspector's visit.
13   In case the teacher is the owner or occupier of land--it may be the land set apart for "endowment"--it would be very advantageous to him to have one half of the day for his pastoral or agricultural operations. The stringency of the rule in exacting 75 per cent, of results would operate favourably upon the cause of education, by causing him to relax no efforts to bring up his pupils to the required standard.
14   A Manual has since appeared from our local press, by the Rev. P. Mason, which supplies a want long felt by teachers. It is concise and cheap. We now want a good Schoolroom Map of the Colony to accompany it.
15   I observe, in the Report of the Meeting of the Board of Education (April 22), that Mr. O'Sullivan has signified his desire to retire from the Inspectorship of Schools at the close of the present year. It is impossible for him to do all the work now upon his hands. Mr. Hislop, in Otago, was only able to inspect fifteen schools in 1869; whilst his assistant could only visit 50.
16   "I thankfully acknowledge that never has the question of education been brought before the people of England, that there has not been a demand that the Bible should be taught in the school.

"Mr. W. E. Foster, at Bradford, said: 'I am quite sure that public opinion will not allow the State itself to interfere with the religious education of any individual; and I am also sure that public opinion will not allow the State to interfere with the teaching any more than in preaching of religion. '

"I do most heartily and cordially endorse that opinion; and it is against the passing of a law that would compel the prohibition of religious teaching of any kind whatever in the schools for primary education in this nation, and in the interest of the Christian faith, which is common to us all, and, in the interest of that morality that has been best sustained by the teaching of religion--in the interest of all these things, that are of far greater importance than are the welfare and existence of establishments, I do most solemnly protest against a measure that will forbid religion and endanger morality."--Bishop of Peterborough.
17   Of course I mean here the Church of England. By simply stating facts which have come under my own observation I did not wish to disparage, in any way, the labours of other Christian denominations. I gladly acknowledge the zealous efforts of all. I cannot see that I lay myself open to the charge of "narrow-mindedness" in the remarks above made. And I most certainly do not advocate the denominational system in the manner indicated by a correspondent at Otahuhu.
18   Since these letters were written an effort has been made to provide a home and an education for the more destitute portion of our juvenile population. A large meeting, presided over by his Excellency Sir G. F. Bowen, K.C.B., and attended by the Hon. W. Fox, his Honour the Superintendent, and other gentlemen, was held at the Rooms of the Young Men's Christian Association, when a decided movement was started to make some provision for them. A subsequent canvass of the town showed the number of really destitute children who were without homes or without parents was under twenty, and it appears as if the strenuous efforts of the committee are insufficient to raise enough money to carry out their intentions. I fear the movement will fail, although inaugurated under such high auspices. I do not see that any efforts have been made to obtain assistance from the Government, although I understood his Honour to say such assistance would not be withheld. Eleemosynary aid seems unequal to the task of providing for even so small a number of the "waifs and strays" of society.
19   I am glad to see that in the province of Otago there are three such schools in the city of Dunedin, attended by 218 hoys and 197 girls. They are for "orphan and neglected children." There is also an Industrial School for the education and training of children of "criminal and profligate parents."
20   Just at the time of sending these papers to the press, I see that a Borough Schools Bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives; and that our Superintendent has also brought forward a measure for utilising the endowments near this city for the benefit of our poorer children. When we get our Corporation the two measures may accomplish what has been here recommended.
21   I am glad to learn that some such scheme is contemplated.
22   The sum here mentioned represents only the amount paid by Government, and not the sums raised by the people in the shape of school fees, subscriptions, &c., &c., amounting in the aggregate to an equal amount, or swelling the whole to about £28,000 per annum.

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