Page images
PDF
EPUB

#

[merged small][ocr errors]

der instruction during the previous year. The number of schools in which singing was taught was 218. Drawing was taught in 156 schools by 14 visiting teachers and 80 members of the ordinary staff ; 20,462 children were under instruction in this subject, and the cost of teachingit was 3,9631 108 8d. The attendance at the classes for instruction in military drill, which was taught in 195 schools, was 11,464, and shows a slight increase on the attendance over the previous year. Instruction in gymnastics was given in four schools. On December 31, 1883, there were employed in state schools 1,734 head teachers and 2,450 assistants. In 1871 there was one teacher, classified or unclassified, for every 52 children in average attendance, one classified or partially classified teacher for every 57 children, and one certificated teacher for every 132 childreu. In 1883 there were no longer any unclassified teachers, and the supply of classified teachers had so far improved as to provide one classified or partially classified teacher for every 46 children in average attendance, and one certificated teacher for every 100 children.

The relative proportion of male and female teachers has undergone no marked change, but the latter are continually being introduced to a greater extent, as has been the consistent practice of the department.

The average salary received by teachers, exclusive of any sum earned as fees for instruction in extra subjects, or as bonuses for the passing of pupil teachers, or for teaching singing, drawing, or drill, was, for head teachers, male, 1711 168 4d; female, 1011 128 7d; for assistants, male, 1551 18; female, 1191 18 9d. Where residences are provided a small rent is charged. Bonuses are paid to Victorian teachers for giving (if qualified) instruction in singing, drawing, drill, or gymnastics, and for passing pupil teachers at their annual examinations. They also receive the fees paid for instruction in extra subjects. Last year 87 qualified teachers earned a bonus of 101 per annum for teaching singing, and 80 a similar amount for teaching drawing. The total amount received by teachers for giving instruction in drill and gymnastics (2,8771 18 9d), for passing pupil teachers (2,8841 28 8d), and for teaching extra subjects (4,8321 98 78), was 10,5931 148.

Notwithstanding the rapid increase in the number of new schools, there still remain some sparsely populated localities where it has hitherto been found difficult, and sometimes impossible, to provide facilities for education. In such districts, wherever practicable, half-time schools bave been established, 140 localities being thus provided for. In the case of small settlements widely separated from each other, an extension of the half-time principle has lately been adopted, by which the schools are taught week and week about, instead of on alternate days, or at alternate school meetings, as ordinarily. In still more thinly populated districts it is intended to employ ambulatory teachers, who will pass from one group of families to another, teaching a month or so at each center. The number of such localities, where the children are at present deprived of all means of education, is, however, believed to be very small. The establishment of schools in remote districts has been greatly facilitated by the assistance freely rendered by boards of advice, and the parents providing rooms or buildings for school purposes, often at a nominal rental.

Mention was made in the last report of the department that, in order to cope more effectually with the evil of truancy, an addition was made during the year to the number of truant officers. Some of the larger districts were therefore reduced in size, and four new districts were constituted. The number of trnant officers employed at the end of the year was 30.

Subsequently, in March of the present year, it was determined to adopt further measures for maintaining a more complete surveillance over children of whom from time to time complaint was made that they might be seen loitering or playing in the streets during school hours. Four officers were accordingly appointed for the special purpose of traversing the streets, parks, and public gardens of the city and suburbs, with instruction to accost all children apparently of school age met with during

school hours, and ascertain by inquiry of them and at their homes the reason of their absence from school.

The labors of these officers have been fairly successful, and have resulted in the detection of several children who never attend school, and the prosecution of the offending parents. On the other hand, their reports show that the great bulk of the children seen daily about the streets do attend school with greater or less regularity, and that their absence is due to causes of a temporary, and generally a legitimate nature.

The total expenditure under the vote for the department of public instruction and under loans was 604,8711 98 2d, and, as compared with the expenditure for the previous financial year, shows a decrease of 9,4041 188 10d. Deducting the grants to the schools of mines and schools of design, the grant of 2,0001 to the Melbourne University, and the sum spent in the erection and maintenance of school buildings and for rent, the expenditure was 531,9121 38 8d, and shows an increase of 4,8961 58 9d.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA, British colony: area, 1,057,250 square miles; population (1881), 29,708. Inspector

of schools, W. Adkinson.

The following information is derived from the report of the inspector of schools for the year 1884.

The number of elementary schools at the close of the year 1883 was 91, viz, 75 government schools and 16 assisted schools; of these, 89 remained in operation to the close of 1884.

The average number of scholars enrolled in 1884 was 4,156, and the number in average attendance 3,167, or 76 per cent. A comparison of the standards attained in 1884 and 1874 shows that while the number of schools had only risen from 84 to 91, the number presenting scholars in the three higher standards had more than doubled.

The receipts for school purposes during 1884 amonnted to 3,9381 138 6d, and the expenditure to 1,9001 98 2d.

TASMANIA, British colony: area, 26,615 square miles; estimated population (1883), 126,220. Capital,

Hobart. Chairman of the board of education, Henry Butler.

The following information is derived from the report of the board of education for the year 1884.

During the year 1884 there were 191 schools in operation; the total number of distinct children on the rolls for the year was 14,846 ; the average number on the rolls from month to month was 10,134; and the average daily attendance, 7,297. As compared with the previous year the number of schools has increased by 8, the total number of children on the rolls by 605, the average number on the rolls by 426, and the average daily attendance by 257.

Grant for education. The total expenditure in aid of public schools amounted to 21,2791 18 10d.

Building grants.-During the year the sum of 14,9351 118 7d was appropriated, under the provision of the public school erection acts, in aid of the erection of school premises.

Three night schools for males were maintained, with an average attendance of 37 scholars, for the three quarters during which they were in session.

The board paid on account of these scholars 201 28, and the receipts from scholars were 351 98 9d.

RECOMMENDATIONS.

The organization of the educational museum in connection with this Office, which I have had the honor to recommend, now constituting a collection of great value and more and more visited and studied by teachers and school officers, should have a sufficient appropriation to enable it, by exchange and otherwise, to supply similar

collections in the offices of the several State superintendents and the leading cities
when desired. A new and important additional demand has been made upon the
collection for supplying exhibits where educational collections are presented in
State and other expositions. There can be no question of the effective aid these
collections would render to the progress of education. Through this Office the best
illustrations of improved appliances should be collected and distributed to all parts of
the country.

I renew most earnestly the following recommendations :
(1) That $50,000 be appropriated for the support of common schools in Alaska.

(2) That the office of the superintendent of public instruction for each Territory be created, to be filled by appointment by the President, the compensation to be fixed and paid as in the case of other Federal appointees for the Territories.

(3) In view of the large number of children growing up in ignorance in portions of the country, and in view of the special difficulties in the way of establishing and maintaining therein schools for universal education, and in consideration of the imperative need of immediate action in this regard, I recommend that the net proceeds arising from the sale of public lands be set aside as a special fund, the interest of said fund to be divided annually pro rata among the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia, or that an adequate fund be appropriated directly from the Treasury and expended under such provisions in regard to amount, allotment, expenditure, and supervision, as Congress in its wisdom may deem fit and proper. The returns of the last census emphasize the importance of this recommendation. The per cent. of illiteracy of persons 10 years of age and upward has decreased from 20.05 in 1870 to 17 in 1880, but the number of illiterates over 10 years of age has increased from 5,658,144 to 6,239,958 in the same period.

The delay in making some appropriate provision of national aid to education is constantly furnishing illustrations of the necessity and advantage of bestowing this aid, and is creating widely a sentiment in favor of a large temporary appropriation in aid of schools from the surplus in the Treasury to meet the present emergency. No appropriation could be made more effectually to assure the perpetuity of our institations.

(4) I recommend the enactment of a law requiring that all facts in regard to national aid to education, and all facts in regard to education in the Territories and the District of Columbia, necessary for the information of Congress, be presented through this Office.

(5) I recommend an increase of the permanent force of the Office. The experience of the Office indicates clearly that the collection of educational information and publication of the same, as required by the law regulating it, cannot be properly done with the present limited clerical force.

My resignation having been tendered, thereby removing all possible personal advantage in the objects songht, I add the two following recommendations, of great importance, I believe, to the edacation of the country:

(1) That the salary of the Commissioner of Education be $6,000 per annum.

(2) That immediate provision be made for the erection of an appropriate building adequate to the purposes of this Office.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

APPROPRIATIONS NEEDED.

The following letter, written in connection with the annual estimates of the Office, contains a full statement of my views in regard to appropriations needed for its support:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

BUREAU OF EDUCATION,

Washington, D. C., October 13, 1885. To the Honorable the THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, D. C. SIR: In submitting the estimates of this Office for appropriations for the year 1886–87, I may be permitted to add a word of explanation.

First. I recommend the addition of $200 to the present appropriation of $1,800 for the salary of the chief clerk. Two thousand dollars was formerly the salary of this office. The $200 was taken off of his salary several years since, wben the same amount was taken from the salaries of a considerable number of officers of the same grade. These salaries have generally been restored. Chief clerks of Bureaus are generally paid $2,000, and I fail to see why a chief clerk of the Office of Education, with all the most delicate and difficult duties of such a position, should be paid less than a chief clerk of the same grade in any other service.

Second. I have submitted an increased estimate of two clerks of class 4, $3,600; one librarian, $1,800; two clerks of class 3, $3,200; one copyist, $900 ; one copyist, $500,an addition to the clerical force of the Office. Those who have been familiar with the growth of this Office may have been observant of the fact that I have never submitted estimates of increase until that increase was clearly demanded and had become plainly necessary in the administration of the Office. The work undertaken under my direction has been kept strictly within the requirements of the law to collect "statistics and facts," and to diffuse “such information respecting the organization and management of schools and school systems, and methods of teaching, as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country.”

It is well known that the interests of war and commerce have forced the information touching these subjects into forms for generalization and the satisfactory drawing of conclusions. It is equally well known with reference to the subject of education that the data upon which conclusions depend bave only within a comparatively recent period begun to be collected in a form for purposes of generalization.

There is a lack of a common nomenclature. Even when this Office began its work the statistics of States and cities in the Union could be compared only to a limited extent. This Office, without authority, has fortunately been favored by the good-will of the administrative officers of education, and terms and forms of statement bave been so changed that there has been great increase in the possibilities of generalization and reasonable deduction. This good-will has been far more valuable than money. It has furnished in many cases information that money could not purchase; but it may be said, in a sense, to increase the obligation of this Office to be able to handle the material efficiently and satisfactorily vhich comes to it.

All the estimates made by me from time to time have been made with a view to these demands. Their growth from year to year will be apparent to any one who will become familiar with the facts. No remote, impossible theory of doing the work has ever been projected. Each step forward has been taken with a clear knowledge of what was to be done. No careful student of the work of the Office, coming from any part of our country or from any part of the world, that I know, has failed to approve its objects, its methods, and its administration. Everything about it is submitted to the freest scrutiny of every body. Again and again urgent demands for work by great interests of education are made, which it is impossible for the Office to undertake. The entire work of the Office is kept in the closest possible relation to the requirements of educational progress. No fanciful objects have been sought, no sinecures desired.

The presence of an idle person connected with the Office would be a personal annoyance to me.

The character of the work of the Office is not sensational, and should not be sensational if it would promote the most healthy progress of the care of the young; but careful inquiry from any quarter will readily ascertain what its methods and inerits are. It is to do more of this work required within the Office that these estimates for increased clerical force are made. The assistants now furnished are overtaxed, and much exceedingly valuable work remains untouched. The tasks which the Commissioner has been accustomed to carry in his own hands are too heavy, and they cannot long be performed by one man; they must be subdivided. Therefore the increase asked is mainly for a higher order of clerks, with an appropriate increase of copyists.

The friends and promoters of a variety of special departments of education are asking more attention to their specialties. Those engaged in the prevention of crime among juveniles, the management of orphan asylums and reformatories, those ongaged in the management of libraries, the promoters of industrial education and others, are urgently asking that one or more persons in the Office of proper competency be charged with special care of their respective subjects under the Commissioner. This can hardly be regarded otherwise than as a most reasonable demand. If there should be granted my request for the three $1,800 places, a movement of this kind in the organization could be begun.

One of these places I have specified as librarian. To the growth of the library I refer elsewhere. Clearly the handling of the material in the Office, cataloguing, indexing, and holding it in readiness for the use of the several departments of work in the Office, and the demands of educators from outside, is central to all that is andertaken by it. So far I have had to carry the work forward without specific provision of law. I ask for a librarian.

The museum of the Office, to which I refer elsewhere, has had rapid growth with slight expenditure, and has become especially helpful in conveying to educators ideas of improvements in appliances and conditions of education; and while I have deemed it best to manage it withont specifically asking for a director of the museum, I do need sufficient clerical force upon which to draw for its custody, and for explanations necessary to inquirers.

Third. I estimate for three watchmen, and may remark that when the Department of the Interior had an ample supply of watchmen, they furnished the watchmen for the building occupied by this Office; but since the superintendent of the Department buildings and of the force of watchmen has been so greatly called upon for service in the care of other buildings, it has been impossible, as he has informed me, to furnish the watchmen for this building in full, and since that date the time of two watchmen necessary for this building has been made up out of the time of laborers of this Office, voluntarily, in addition to their regular work. I may observe that the books and collection of educational appliances in the possession of this Office have become very valuable. Some of them, if destroyed by fire, could not be replaced. Though they have come to the Office by comparatively little expenditure of money, their purchase outright in the market would be very costly. Their loss by tire would be a great detriment to education. I ask, therefore, that the necessary watchmen for tbis service may be granted.

Fourth. I submit a recommendation for an increase of $500 to the present appropriation of $500 for the purchase of books for the pedagogical library. When my service here commenced there were not a hundred volumes in the possession of the Government for use in this work. The number of volumes now in the library is 18,216, and the number of pamphlets 47,800. Congress saw fit to give me annually $1,000 for this library. By the care with which this small sum has been expended, the library has come to be pronounced by foreign experts as unique.

Moreover, it is not only used primarily by the clerks of the Office for the techni

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »