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160 Praiseworthy Efforts of the Emperor. teachers of public schools ; and, what is an improvement on the Prussian plan, if the teacher of a private school becomes superannuated, or dies, in the service, his family are entitled to the same privileges as that of a public teacher, and receive pensions from the government adequate to their support and education. All teachers throughout the empire, according to an ordinance of February 26, 1835, receive their salaries monthly, that their attention may not be distracted by family cares. For the encouragement of entire devotedness on the part of teachers, and to prevent all solicitude for the maintenance of their families, the Minister of Public Instruction is authorized to grant to the widows and orphans of those teachers who have particularly distinguished themselves, not only the usual pension, but a gratuity equal in amount to an entite salary of two years. Thus all classes of faithful teachers are regarded and treated as public benefactors, and considered as entitled, not merely to a bare support, while toiling and wearing themselves out in the public service, but to national remembrance and gratitude after their work is done.
The Emperor of Russia is exerting the same laudable zeal to provide teachers for Poland, as for any other part of his dominions. It has been found exceedingly difficult to obtain teachers who are willing to exercise their calling in the cold and inhospitable regions of Siberia. To facilitate this object, special privi. leges have been granted to Siberian teachers. Siberian young men are admitted to the University of Kasan, free of expense, on condition that they devote a certain number of years to the business of school keeping in Siberia. To forward the same object, a Siberian gentleman, by the name of Ponomarew, gives 6000 rubles* a year, for the support of the parish schools at Irkutzk, quite to the northeastern extremity of Siberia, and has obligated himself, for 10 years, to pay 500 rubles a year more, for the encouragement of the pupils of those schools.
Teachers from foreign countries are welcomed, and special provision is made that their religious sentiments be not interfered with, as well as that they do not impose their peculiar religious notions on their pupils. For the perfecting of teachers in certain branches, they are often sent abroad, at the public expense, to study in the institutions of other countries, where these branches are most successfully taught. Of these, there were in 1835, thirteen in Berlin-several in Vienna—and one in Oxford, England.-School examiners and school committees, as well as school teachers, are required to hold frequent meetings for discussion, and for mutual instruction and encouragement.
• A ruble is 57 cents.
Efforts of Individuals.
161 It is peculiarly interesting in noticing the efforts of Russia, to observe that the blessings of a good common school education are now extended to tribes which from time immemorial, have been in a state of barbarism. In the wild regions beyond Mt. Caucasus, comprising the provinces recently acquired from Persia, the system of district schools is efficiently carried out. Ag early as 1835, there were already established in those parts of the empire, fifteen schools, with sixty teachers, and about one thousand three hundred children under instruction ; so that in the common schools of this new and uncultivated region, one teacher is provided for every twenty scholars. Besides this, there is a Gymnasium at Tiflis, in which Asiatic lads are fitted to enter the European Universities.
The model institution for teachers at St. Petersburg has been already mentioned. In 1835, seventysix teachers were graduated, and the number is every year increasing. Under the influence of this school, and other governmental arrangements, the methods of teaching are continually improving ; and, in his report for 1835, the Minister observes, that the moral improvement of both teachers and pupils, is such as to encourage the most pleasing hopes, that within the last two years, the national interest in the subject of education has very greatly increased, and that it has now become a matter of the deepest interest to the whole people.
Many facts are stated in the last report, in respect to the growing interest in the minds of the Russian people, on the subject of education, illustrating the important fact, that among whatever people a good system of instruction is efficiently carried out, a deep and general interest will be excited. The nobles and the commons appear to emulate each other in the advancement of this cause.
The nobility of Novgorod voluntarily contribute more than twelve thousand rubles a year for the gymnasium in that place, and at Wologda the nobility contribute, for a similar object, nine thousand a year. At Cronstadt, the citizens volunteered to sustain a school at their own expense. At another place on the shores of the White Sea, the citizens have not only volunteered to maintain the school, but have also, of their own accord, entered into an obligation to erect a large and handsoine stone building for the accommodation of the teachers and scholars.-This was brought about by the zeal and activity of a single individual, whose name, though a barbarous one, ought here to be mentioned, —Wassiligi Kologriew. This gentleman volunteered as an agent to promote the cause of education in the place of his residence, and besides giving his time and efforts,
Means of Supporting Schools. bore an equal share in all the expenses, and in addit ion made a distinct donation of 2500 rubles for the advancement of the cause.
Another gentleman at Archangel, by the name of Kowalewsky, made a journey to a distant neighborhood inhabited by Samoiedes, Sirianes, and other half barbarous tribes, to explain to them the advantages of education, and endeavor to establish a school among them. In this he was warmly seconded by the clergyman of the place, and as the result of it, a single peasant or farmer, by the name of Anuphriew, engaged to support the school entirely for two years, and after that, to contribute 300 rubles a year for five years longer, and, in addition to this, he contributed 1500 rubles for the erection of a school house. The chief magistrate of the place also contributed, and allured by these examples, the Sirianes put down nearly 15,000 rubles; and as soon as the requisite preparations could be made, the school was opened with great solemnity, and appropriate ceremonies, in the midst of an immense concourse of intensely in. terested spectators.
A merchant by the name of Pluessin, in Lialsk, made a donation of 10,000 rubles for the foundation of a district school in that place, and offered in addition, to have the school kept in his own house, and to furnish it with firewood for three years. Tschistow, a citizen of Moscow, gave 2300 rubles for the purchase of school books, to be distributed among the poor children of the first school district in that city.
Numerous other instances might be mentioned of donations from persons in all ranks of society-in money, books, houses, fuel, or whatever they had it in their power to give for the support of schools; but the above may be sufficient.
It must be observed that the government makes provision for the maintenance of all the district schools, gymnasia and universities ; and that this liberality of private citizens arises from pure zeal for the cause, and is applied to the extending and increasing the advantages derived from governmental patronage, to the purchase of books and clothing for the poorer children, the establishment of school libraries, and the providing of suitable rewards for meritorious teachers and pupils, and securing the means of access to the school house, and proper furniture for it. Every effort is made to provide a plentiful supply of good school books, and to establish suitable libraries for the use of teachers. Quite recently, a Russian lady, a Miss Darzoff, received from the government a premium of 2500 rubles for compiling a little work, entitled Useful Readings for Children.'
In view of such facts as these, who is not ready to exclaim : Well done,cold, semi-barbarous, despotic Russia ! may other nations more favored by nature and Providence emulate thy example !
Fellenberg's Establishment described.
RECENT VISIT TO HOFWYL.
The following extract from the private journal of a traveller in Europe, will give the reader, in a familiar style, some idea of what is going on at this princely establishment. Surely, if we do not need Hofwyls and Fellenbergs in a republic, we need institutions as happily adapted to the supply of our physical, intellectual and moral wants, as those of Hofwyl are supposed to be to the supply of the wants of an aristocratical or monarchical community. The extract, we copy from the Sunday School Journal. The visit was made about the end of last summer.
* The buildings of the school make a little town. My driver set me down at the gate of the Bureau, and asked whether I might see the establishment. I was invited in, and presented with a book in which to write my name. I opened it at random, and saw two American names, which, as is usual in such circumstances, seemed to be the names of ancient friends, although their owners were not personally known to me.
• The person in attendance could speak tolerable English, and obviously preferred it, in the present case, to French or German. He took me first into the School of Schoolmasters, where a number of men were in preparation for active duty; then led me by the Female School, and Fellenberg's own house. He then showed me the school for what he called 'great boys,' i. e. gentlemen's sons ; of whom there were eightyfour. The classrooms were ordinary apartments, with the usual complement of black boards and benches.
• In the drawing-room' I saw numerous plaster models of noses, eyes, hands, &c., as well as casts of the Apollo Belvidere, and other statues. There were also portraits of several of the boys, painted by the drawing-master. In the Chapel there was a sort of clothes-press or cupboard, containing an altar, for the edification of the Catholic pupils, which is carefully locked up when the Protestant boys come in to prayers, the worship of the two sects being perfectly distinct.
• I was then introduced into the dormitories, two large halls communicating with each other. I admired
I admired very much the regularity and neatness, as well as the plan of these apartments. Provision is made for warming the whole in winter, and the teachers are so placed as to be at once retired and with the boys.
Before I left this building, I was led into the music room, where I found two boys, one about twelve or thirteen, performing on the piano-forte, and another, somewhat older, looking on.
Necessity of training Teachers. The music ceased when we went in ; but as we left the room, my guide informed me that the younger boy was an American. This of course took me back again, to talk with my young countryman, who told me that he was of New York city, and that there were several other boys from the same place.
• I then went to the machine-room, and saw various machines, constructed here, most of them agricultural. I likewise visited the blacksmiths', carpenters', shoemakers' and tailors' shops, and the bathing-place-a noble artificial basin. I was then taken into a cellar, where I saw a number of large shallow tubs full of fine rich milk.
• By a natural transition, we then proceeded to a stable containing fiftyone cows. I also paid a visit to the twenty oxen, the sixteen working horses, and the eleven riding horses ; the riding-house, the wash-house, the gymnasium, and the poor boys' school. In the latter, there was a room adorned with columns and festoons of flowers in a very tasteful, though fantastic manner. This was done by the boys in honor of their master's birth-day, or perhaps his saint's day. The bed-rooms of the 'poor boys' appeared very clean and comfortable. In passing through the house, I saw the workmen and servants at dinner, about sixty in number. On asking whether there was any thing to pay, my guide allowed me to contribute something to the poor boys' fund.
· As I returned through the play grounds, the boys nodded, and some doffed their caps, with a civility entirely European.I learned that there were pupils on the ground, from Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, North and South America, and two from Tifflis. Belonging to the establishment, at that time, were 400 pupils, 100 teachers, 300 acres of land, and 18 inhabited houses.'
IMPORTANCE OF TEACHERS' SEMINARIES.
The subject of Seminaries for Teachers is fast gaining ground among us; and we cannot but hope the time is not now far distant, when these invaluable institutions will be as common here, as normal schools are in the old countries. There is no reason arising from the nature of things, why the proper training of teachers, male and female, should not be a matter of as much importance on this side of the Atlantic, to say the least of it, as on the other.