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daughter, occupy the same desk. In Jersey City the attendance of the girls was better than that of the boys. In the girls' school one-sixth of the average attendance were never absent. One of the girls, who was obliged to walk a distance of more than two miles, was never absent. In Providence many attend these evening schools, going directly from their work in the mills, or other places, without waiting for their supper, and making greater progress in five months than others attending the regular schools in a year. “A young factory girl, Miss Eliza A. Boyle,” says the Providence report, “has in this way, in four years, acquired an education equal to that of the graduates of the high schools." One young man, a mechanic, is mentioned, who is studying with a view to enter college. He commenced arithmetic the previous year, finished it last year, and made considerable progress in English and Latin grammar and algebra. Another is reported as “working diligently at his trade, that of a belt-maker, improving his leisure hours by study, and attending evening schools with persistent regularity.” In three years he finished a preparatory course in Latin, Greek, and mathematics, and entered Brown University.
In the evening schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, 43 of the operatives who made their mark upon the pay-rolls” in November, wrote their names at the February payment following. St. Louis affords opportunity for special instruction in German in evening schools.
Half-time schools or partial-time schools, so common in European cities, have been attempted in this country only to a limited degree. They have been conducted on various plans, and are intended to accommodate children who are compelled to labor for the support of themselves or their parents. The effort is made to give the children a fair compensation for whatever services they render. They are a part of the day at work and a part at school, the hours at school proving a genuine rest, the interest being so great that there is no truancy; and the owners of the mills reporting that where there was lost time before these schools were opened there is now none.
As showing the extent to which efforts are made by a modification of the regular school system, and by the establishment of schools of a peculiar character to accommodate the laboring and depressed classes in Europe, I introduce the following extract from the reports of her Majesty's diplomatic and consular agents abroad, respecting the condition of the industrial classes in foreign countries in 1870:
GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS AFFECTING THE INDUSTRIAL CLASSES IN FRANCE.
Crèches.-M. Marbean, to whom the establishment of this institution is due, opened the first at Paris in 1844, and, invoking the Divine protection, called it crèche, or manger, Children in arms are received from half past five in the morning to half past eight in the evening, for 20 centimes (20.) a day, or 30 centimes (3d.) for two children of the same parent. The mother brings her child every morning on going to work, returns to suckle it during meal time, and can pursne her calling without anxiety for its wolfare. There are at present seventeen crèches at Paris; on Sundays and holidays they are closed. They form the link between the sociétés de charité maternelle and the salles d'asile.
Salles d'asile.—An institution for the education of children of both sexes from two to seven years of age. They are very generally gratis, but in places where there is a small expense attached to admission children whose parents are unable to bear it are received gratis. They are frequented by a great number of children whose parents willingly afford the small outlay required, which varies according to the resources of the commune. The lessons do not last more than fifteen minutes at a time, and are varied by bodily exercise. In 1867 there were in the department of the Seine 187 salles d'asile, giving instruction to 25,424 children. The city of Paris, where they are all gratis, paid £39,510 for their support, and by rural communes, £805. The total number of children in the salles d'asile throughout France was 432,141 in 1866.
Écoles primaires. — The next step in the life of a child belonging to the industrial classes is his admission into an école primaire. At the crèche he was simply taken care of. At the salle d'asile his tender years did not admit of his being much taught. At the école primaire he receives moral and religious training, and is instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, the elements of French, and the knowledge of weights and measures. These form the usual course, but the physical sciences, history, geography, mathematics, and surveying may be studied in addition, and even drawing, foreign languages, bookkeeping and geometry.
The instruction is given gratis throughout the country to children whose parents are not able to pay; in Paris, gratis to every one.
The principal laws regulating the école primaires are those of the 15th of March, 1850, and the 10th of April, 1867. The latter extends and makes proper provision for the education of girls, which had before been rather neglected.
In 1866 1,732,412 boys and 1,578,290 girls attended these schools. Of the population of France, of 38,067,094 souls, 397,062 are children between seven and thirteen years of age.
The law of 1850 also provides for the establishment of schools for adults over eighteen years of age, and apprentices over twelve. The latter are open in the evening from 7 to 9, after the apprentices have finished the labor which they owe to their employers.
In close connection with this matter of foreign education and foreign inquiries is the subject of teaching foreign languages in our country; more especially the teaching of German, on account of the preponderance of the German-speaking element over those of our foreign population speaking other than the English language.
Reference is made to the article on this subject among the accompanying papers.*
* Professor John Kraus, some of whose suggestive paragraphs are there quoted, in another communication to the Washington National Republican, offers the following observations:
"In regard to our public schools, no teacher should be deemed competent to instruct in the German department unless proficient also in the English.
“ The German language has actually become the second language of our republic, and a knowledge of German is now considered essential to a finished education.
“ It seems entitled to this appreciation, as it is the mother of Anglo-Saxon and modern English, and is spoken in this country by six millions of the people.”
Mr. Kraus, in this connection, calls attention to the statement of a distinguished grammarian, that “three-fourths of the English language at present consist of words altered or derived from the Teutonic dialect."
NON-ATTENDANCE, ABSENTEEISM, AND TRUANCY. The immense amount of illiteracy in the country is a most significant fact, pointing to non-attendance. This prevails alike in country and city, though with great differences in results. The large country districts, sparsely settled, present formidable obstacles to the location of schools so that all can attend. The rural occupations of such a population and absence from special vices of the town expose them less to the injuries of ignorance. All enterprise, however, all high products of industry, all proper development of civilization, must suffer in such communities. But this non-attendance of the population of school age in our cities, increased by absentees and truants, is the grand source from which are supplied all the developments of vice and crime against person and property. These three evils are noticed in some form of complaint in almost every State and city report. Each is sufficient to imperil the interests of any community.
It is estimated by the city superintendent of San Francisco that there are at least 2,968 children in its streets who are leading idle or dissolute lives. So great has become the crowd of young lads prowling around the streets, that it is a question of the highest importance to the future welfare of society, “What shall be done to check this fearful tide of depravity which is sweeping over the city, wrecking so many noble youth and blasting the fond hopes of so many anxious parents ?" He calls for truant laws similar to those in force in Boston and other eastern cities.
Hon. A. J. Craig, late State superintendent in Wisconsin, in his last report, observes:
Making a liberal allowance for the number who have previously attended school, and for those who were so situated that they could not attend, there are still remaining more than 50,000 youth in the State, growing up in ignorance; more than one-eighth of the whole school population, and about one-sixth of the number that could be reasonably expected to attend school. What would be thought of the parent who having six children should entirely neglect one of them, giving it no care, training, or education? Would he not be held to be inexcusable, criminally negligent of his sacred duty, and would not his negligence be all the more criminal if the neglected one, of all his children, most needed care and oversight? Yet this is just what the State does.
The State superintendent in Pennsylvania reports 75,000 children thus growing up outside of the schools. In Philadelphia alone, the census taken by the police a few years since showed 20,000 who were neither in any school nor engaged in any useful employment.
In New York City the number of children who have no place in school nor any home worthy the name, nor any useful employment, cannot be determined. The estimates of the number range from 20,000 to 60,000. Can murders like that of Mr. Nathan be the occasion of any surprise in such communities?
For these evils, already so rast, and still growing with such rapidity in most of our cities, many causes are assigned. The indifference or the poverty of parents, the inconvenience of location of school-houses, the unattractiveness of the school-houses, the insufficiency of school accommodations, and the inefficiency of school teachers, are among those generally given. But the causes are sufficiently apparent in any community to those who will look after them carefully.
How can they be overcome, and their consequences remedied! The public sentiment of each community must answer. Nothing adequate, however, may be expected if the facts are not looked up by the teachers, the police, and other city authorities, and brought home to the feelings of the citizens. It is useless to say that these evils cannot be removed. If they are irremediable, we must admit the alarming fact that many of our cities are fast becoming unsafe as places of residence for honest and decent people. Life would lose its security and property its value. The conduct of school officers and teachers sometimes, by their indifference, suggests that the remedy should begin with them. In these cases they conduct the schools as if they were intended only for their own convenience, and for the benefit of scholars that they may choose to retain within them. Too many reports never recognize this element, never in. clude the whole population of school age. Average attendance and percentage of attendance are made out on the basis of enrollment; whereas the standard in every case, for the system or the school, should be the education of the whole number who ought to be in school. Every system and every school should compare what it does with what it ought to do for the whole number of children for which it is responsible.
It is important to show the evils resulting from the running away or absence of those who are registered in the school; but the representation, if truthful and complete, would include the corresponding facts with regard to those who never appear in the school-room. Go up and down our cities, how few can even seat and how many less can give instruction to the total number of children of school age? Not a single State can do this. It may be said then, first, that the idea must be corrected in the minds of school officers and teachers; second, there must be ample instruction and accommodations for the entire population of school age; third, every appropriate measure must be adopted to overcome the indifference of parents; and, fourth, if the evil is not otherwise remedied, the law should imperatively require every child to receive instruction, at least in the rudiments of an English education, a certain number of months each year within the period of proper school age. These things not only ought to be, and are essential to the public good, but they have been done and well done. Boston long since showed, approximately, how education can be guaranteed to every child in an American city. Massachusetts furnishes a good law, and the respective municipalities put it into efficient operation. Municipal officers, teachers, police, heartily unite, and favorable results are reported. New York has a good law, but it is well-nigh without enforcement. Whatever operates against one of these evils has a favorable effect upon each of the others. The absolute prevention of non-attendance will gradually reduce absenteeism and truancy.
The superintendent at St. Paul, Minnesota, makes the following remarkable statement:
I have reason to believe that, through the public schools and the private schools of tlfe city, all the children of the city are in attendance upon a course of education.
With the concurrence of the chief of police and his force, truancy is scarcely known in the city during school hours. In no part of the city, neither in the town, nor the streets, nor at the depots, nor in the suburbs, will children be found during school hours. I take pride in calling attention to the fact, and have invoked the assistance of the police, on the assumption that a vagrant child is as much under their snpervision as a vagrant man, and I am happy to know that they are in full sympathy with myself on that subject.
The average cost of instruction in the public schools for the past year, per scholar, as enrolled, has been $10 55, but eleven cents in excess of last year.
WOMAN'S INTEREST IN EDUCATION.
Nowhere else in the world does education open to woman a sphere, on the whole, so attractive as in America. She has won for herself here acknowledged superiority over man in the primary training of children. Her supremacy in the profession of teaching has long been conceded in Massachusetts.* Her excellence as a teacher is more and more acknowledged from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and finds a fitting state. ment in the language of the State superintendent of California, who says: “ The functions of the teacher's office are especially suited to women. They are the natural educators of the young."
But woman's interest in education consists not merely in what has already been accomplished. Her disabilities and sufferings have not been so universally considered and relieved as have those of man. The honors and duties of the family state are not duly appreciated. Women are not trained for these and other duties as men are trained for trades and professions. Numerous institutions are richly endowed with money, with teachers of the highest talent and acquirements, extensive libraries, and abundant apparatus for the benefit of men.
“ Woman's profession, about which there is no dispute, embraces the care and nursing of the body in the critical periods of infancy and sick. ness, the training of the human mind in the most impressible period of childhood, the instruction and control of servants, and most of the government and economies of the household. These duties of woman are as sacred and important as any ordained to man; and yet no such advantages for preparation have been accorded to her, nor is there any qualitied body to certify the public that a woman is duly prepared to give proper instruction in her profession."
Why should not woman, as well as man, lave first a thorough elementary training; and if opportunities and circumstances like those of man suggest a liberal education, why should she not have also a thorough preparation and a fair opportunity for the highest culture she
* In summer tlio number of male teachers was 497, and of females, 5,540. In winter there wero 959 malo teachers, and 5,081 females.