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same classes. The smaller proportion, as compared with the last Report, entered as attending on the Sunday the places of worship connected with the Established Church, results, your Committee would have it remarked, not from the slightest departure from the unsectarian character of the school, but from the increased endeavour of the inembers of the Establishment to gather together, into their own week-day schools, the children who had previously attended only their Sabbath schools.
“To the importance of the sound education of the working classes it is unnecessary to refer. An enlightened self-interest is appealed to by every aspect of our social and political affairs. On one hand, we see the military defence of the country confided to its peasantry; and on the other hand, its manufactures depending, not merely on the labour, but the opinions of the British artizan. In reference even to the suppression of crime, all have at last agreed that the most summary is not the most effectual way, and that education must mould the character, since punishment cannot control the conduct."
SYDENHAM BRITISH SCHOOL. “ The year has been one of trial. The severity of the past winter, the high price of provisions, and the large amount of sickness which has prevailed, at times, have exercised a depressing influence upon the school; yet having passed through these untoward circumstances, we are happy to state that our numbers are undiminished, and our income unimpaired, and that the school continues to be highly estimated by the parents of the children, and to receive the liberal support of its subscribers.
“ The number of boys upon the books is 102, and upwards of 80 the average attendance. As regards the general character of the school, your Committee cannot do better than quote the following remarks from a letter addressed to them by Mr. W. R. Baxter, one of the Inspectors from the British and Foreign School Society, who recently spent a few hours at our school-room. He says—The state of the general instruction, and also of the children's knowledge of the Scriptures, is very good indeed, and displays the result of very much care and perseverance on the part of the master. The order and discipline of the school are in a state of great efficiency; and the manners and habits of the children are very commendable. The school operations appear to work smoothly, and the moral forces are in the ascendant.'
A public examination, held in the month of April last, was exceedingly satisfactory. Several prizes were distributed to the boys for proficiency in geography, composition, drawing, and general good conduct. Alterations, repairs, and improvements in the play-ground and school-room have been effected, which have proved highly beneficial; and when the Committee shall be enabled to furnish new and suitable desks, which they have long had in contemplation, the advantage to the teacher and the comfort of the pupils will be greatly increased. The Inspector before named strongly recommends tbis step, and says, “The school really deserves the best conveniences it can have, and promises to stand high among schools of its own kind.'"
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE.-MADRAS. The Committee of the Society have had much pleasure in responding to the request conveyed to them in the following letter. A grant of books and school materials has been forwarded to Madras, through the London Missionary Society, for the use of the Institution referred to.
“ Two years ago the Institution was commenced, with a view to bring the Gospel to bear on the most respectable classes of the Hindoo community, who are otherwise completely inaccessible to the Christian missionary. The highest castes among the Hindoos are exceedingly anxious to have their children educated in the English language, which is the only road to affluence. They are bitterly opposed to the Gospel, but still are willing to send their children, at an age most susceptible of impressions, to such an Institution as this, where, among other things, they are daily instructed in the truths of the Word of God. We hope, through the Divine blessing, that many of the young people may be converted to Christianity, and eventually devote their lives in proclaiming the Gospel among their benighted countrymen.
“We have now 300 young men and boys in daily attendance in this school. They all display an intense desire to learn the English language, and more than two-thirds of them can speak it very well. We also give them instruction in their own languages, and Tamil, Telogor, and Hindustani, are taught in our Institution by Moon. shees. In these languages, as well as English, they daily read the sacred Scriptures. The pupils here are of all ages, from seven to twenty-seven-at least fifty of them are above twenty years of age. We have all castes of Hindoo society, a considerable number being Brahmins, whose parents are engaged in the service of a very large temple of Sion, not more than fifty yards from our school. About sixty Mahom. metans are at present attending school. The fruits of our labours are now appearing in several young men being anxiously inquiring into Christianity. We hope that some of them will soon openly renounce heathenism.
• My predecessor, Mr. Baylis, has already partially introduced the books of the British and Foreign School Society into our schools, and I am particularly anxious to do so to a much greater extent, having bad ample proof of the usefulness of your books in a large mission-school among the negroes of the island of Jamaica, where I formerly laboured. We have very great difficulty in procuring suitable books for the use of our scholars. They are, for the most part, very unwilling to bring them, and in general think it enough if they bring an Indian edition of 'Murray's Spelling Book,' or some book of this sort, with them to school.
“ I hope that the Committee of your Society will kindly favour us with a grant of books and school materials, to help in carrying on the work of Christian education among the most interesting and hopeful young people, through whom much good may yet be done for the 500,000 heathens of this great city.
“If they do so, may I take the liberty of specifying some of the books which are most suitable for us? I should particularly wish to have a few of • Daily Lesson Book,' Nos. III. & IV. Nos. I. & II. of your series are not so useful here; all boys, in that stage of English reading, must have vernacular translations interleaved, and this we get done here. We have at present six or seven kinds of English Grammar, printed either in England or India. I am very anxious to have only Allen and Cornwell's in school, and a supply of large grammars, and grammars for beginners, would be very acceptable. I also wish to introduce Cornwell's Geography.' I brought a few of all the above books a few months ago from England with me, and have since that time received some bought from your Society by my predecessor, Mr. Baylis, so that they are already partially introduced into school.”
WEST INDIES. In acknowledgment of a supply of books from the Society, Mr. Hillyer, the master of the school at Clarendon, Jamaica, sends a letter containing some particulars as to the state of education in that island, and the difficulties under which it is carried on. He writes :
“ The articles were just what I required, and will enable me to carry on the school more efficiently than I have hitherto been able to do.
“ I am thankful to be able to state that the school here continues in a prosperous state. Until the outbreak of the cholera in this district, about two months ago, the number on the books was 140 of both sexes, with an average attendance of 90 to 100; but since this fearful disease has been prevailing the numbers have decreased. One little girl died after a few hours’ illness ; she lived five miles from the school, and I did not hear of it until she was in her grave. Many have had it in their families; and parents in the more healthy districts have felt unwilling to send their children to school, lest they should take the disease from others. I trust, a merciful God will speedily remove this fearful scourge from us, and that we shall see His work reviving in our midst.
“It will be observed that the number of absentees is about a third ; this is beyond the average of most schools in England; but I think it is the case with most of the schools in this island. In this locality the people are almost entirely dependent on their provision grounds for support; and, consequently, the children are frequently kept from school to · Look Biltle,' which means, to go to their grounds, which in many cases are from two to four miles from where they live, to dig up their provisions, either for home consumption, or for the market, where the children are generally sent.
“ Since my return to this country and station, I have met with some pleasing indications that our former labours among the young have not been without the Divine blessing. Many of the children are the offspring of those whom we taught the alphabet when we came to the country; and I find, in most cases, that those parents who have been from their youth under moral and religious instruction the most willing to have their children instructed. This is encouraging; and although the people in many instances have not given us the encouragement our hearts have wished, there is great improvement; and we trust the time is not far distant when we shall see the whole of the rising race under religious training."
THE LATE MR. HENRY ALTHANS. We regret to announce to our readers the decease of this gentleman, so well known for many years as the Inspector of British Schools in London, and for his zeal and activity in connexion with benevolent and religious societies, and especially his interest in Sunday Schools. Mr. Althans closed his long and honoured life on Sunday, the 4th of March, after a very short illness. We understand he had been actively engaged in Sunday School examinations and correspondence until within two or three days of his decease.
The Committee of the East London Sunday School Union, of which Mr. Althans was president, attended his remains to the grave, on the 13th of March, and were accompanied by a large number of the prominent friends of religious education in the metropolis.' Dr. Fletcher performed the funeral ceremony, in the presence of several hundred persons; and, in the evening, a public fuceral sermon was preached at Whitechapel, by the Rev. C. Stovel.
During his long connexion with the British and Foreign School Society, as Agent and as Inspector, he laboured most conscientiously to promote the efficiency of the schools within his district, devoting special anxiety and attention to the religious instruction, to the improvement and extension of which his personal influence greatly contributed. We are sure that most members of Committees and teachers of London schools will share the respectful regret with which we announce the removal of so useful and valued a man.
EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA. From a Council Paper recently presented to the Legislature of New South Wales we glean the following interesting particulars, respecting the state and prospects of education in that colony ::
The progress of education, in connexion with the Denominational School Board, during the year 1853, was highly satisfactory, as indicated by the comparative number of schools and scholars for successive years :
Schools. Increase. Scholars. Increase.
54 27 3,870 1,274 1851
74 20 4,999 1,129 1852
89 15 6,836 1,837 1853
125 36 9,517 2,681 The amount placed at the disposal of the Denominational School Board for 1853 was £35,000. The amount contributed locally for school purposes was £23,194 ls. 10d., or two-fifths of the whole, arising from school-fees to the amount of £11,440 10s. 4d., and contributions in aid of school buildings to the amount of £11,023 14s. 7d.
Thus it appears that more than one-third of the cost of erecting buildings was borne by the people (and the total cost is in many cases not submitted to the Board), while nearly the half of the cost of instruction was provided by the fees of the scholars.
The cost of instruction of each child to the State was £1 5s. 8 d., and to the parents £l 4s. 0}d., or in all, about £2 10s. per head; a moderate amount, con. sidering the low value of money in the colony, and the large expenditure on other and inferior objects.
The number attending each school is satisfactory, considering the circumstances of the colony, which, in this respect, will bear comparison with most new countries; but there is great room for improvement in the proportion in regular attendance compared with the number on the roll, a point which indicates the assiduity of scholars and the interest of parents more than any other. To effect improvement in this respect the discipline of schools should be strengthened, and the importance of the brief period of education impressed more deeply upon the minds of parents. A shorter period of continuous training is more valuable than a longer period of desultory attendance.
The average number of days which each scholar has attended throughout the year 1853 was 136, having been 135 in 1852, the usual number of school days in a year being about 240. Continuous attendance for eleven months, allowing a month's vacation, is not easily procured in such an unsettled colony as this ; but in comparing the state of education in this colony with other countries, as the United States, it must be borne in mind that the number reported as attending school are often there for only a small portion of the year.
At the end of last year there were 10,220 scholars in denominational schools, 1,800 in schools under the National Board, and probably about 3,500 in private schools (although the data for this number are quite imperfect), making in all about 15,520 children at school, leaving about 5,000 to be accounted for.
The state of education of the inhabitants of this colony may be gathered from the following facts :--Out of 14,578 assisted immigrants who arrived in 1853, 53 85 per cent. could read and write, 16.45 per cent. could read only, and 29.72 could neither read nor write, of whom half were probably under seven years of
age. The proportion of English who could read and write was 614 per cent.; of Scotch, 484 per cent.; of Irish, 44} per cent. The proportion of all over 45 years who could read and write, was 59 per cent. ; 21 to 44 years, 72 per cent. ; from 14 10 20, 66} per cent. ; and from 7 to 13 years, 28 per cent., indicating superiority of education in adult rather than in early youth.
The liberality of the Legislature, in granting £10,000 to the use of the Board in October, enabled them to increase the salaries of their teachers 25 per cent. for the last six months of the year; but, even thus, the rates as stated above were not as high as well-educated teachers might justly expect, and many were unprovided with either accommodation or house-allowance.
At the beginning of this year, the Board published, with the sanction of the Government, a scale of allowances at the following rates :
80 Male assistants..
100 80 to 90 Female assistants.
70 50 to 60 Sewing mistresses.
15 to 30 15 to 30 House rent
30 During the last twelve months, the position of teachers in this colony has been improved, and many persons of superior qualifications have been employed in denominational schools, but much still remains to be done. The teachers of youth, as a body, are still underpaid with reference to the position they ought to occupy in the social system. No great change, however, can take place in the character of the instruction given, unless sufficient inducements are offered to those who have had the advantage of high training in England, Scotland, or Ireland, to come out here with the prospect of superior emolument.
The Board therefore wish to provide salaries for the future, ranging from £100 to £200 per annum, according to the classification of teachers, and they propose, under new rules, to require a teacher's residence to be provided, wherever new schoolhouses are erected, with their assistance. House-allowances will also, in due time, be discontinued, with a view to residences being provided in every case.
The educational system of the colony, however, cannot be considered complete without normal institutions; and great attention is being paid by the Government and friends of education to the means of supplying this want.
The course suggested to meet the case is :-1. To procure the introduction of the best possible teachers from the numerous training establishments of the mothercountry. 2. To encourage the youth of this colonyto enter the profession of the teacher, by providing for them a system of training under elementary teachers of eminence and skill, or in superior schools, with a fair prospect of future honour and advantage. 3. To procure the services of a highly-qualified normal professor to superintend the training system, to conduct examinations, and give lectures on the science of pedagogy.
A normal establishment is already being formed by the Commissioners of National Education in Victoria; and there can be no doubt that, before many years are over, normal establishments will be required, although at the present time the supply of the practical wants of the people, in their various localities, is of much greater importance.
In England, industrial art and science have lately been made a department of the State, in connexion with the Board of Trade ; and arrangements have been made for encouraging the formation of schools of design throughout the country. In this colony the Board has introduced the study of drawing, with the same object in view, and two highly qualified teachers have been engaged for some time in giving instruction in the principal schools in Melbourne and Geelong. These gentlemen have also formed classes for teachers, which are likely to be valuable, if not by enabling them to instruct others in drawing, at least by giving them a facility of