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OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
(DOMINION OF CANADA : NEWFOUNDLAND: WEST INDIES).
Presented to botb houses of Parliament by Command of ber Majesty.
And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from
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[Introductory Letter to Volumes 4 and 5 of the Series.] To Sir G. W. KEKEWICH, K.C.B.,
Secretary of the Board of Education SIR,
I HAVE the honour to present to you the accompanying volumes of Special Reports, descriptive of the Educational Systems of the chief Colonies of the British Empire.
In 1897, after the celebration of the completion of the sixtieth year of Her Majesty's reign, it was decided that steps should be taken to prepare a series of reports on Colonial Education. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, when approached on the subject by the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education, approved the plan and forwarded, with a covering letter, to the Education Departments of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, North-West Territories, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, British Guiana, Cape Colony Natal, Malta and Ceylon,* a letter in which their Lordships requested the favour of the co-operation of the Colonial Authorities in the preparation of the projected reports.
With a view to facilitating a comparative survey of the systems of education now in force in different parts of the Empire, it was suggested that each report should give a short history of the growth of the present system, and refer, if possible, to the following subjects:--
(1) The central and local administration of education; the number of children and students at school or college; regulations for school attendance, and the methods by which they are enforced.
(2) Finance; the cost of education to the State and the amount of such cost borne respectively by the central authority, by the local authority, by the parents of scholars, or by voluntary subscribers, as the case might be; and the amount of school fees, if any are charged.
(3) How far private schools of different grades and types exist outside the State system of education.
(4) The arrangements made for the inspection of schools and the method of appointing the inspectorial staff,
(5) The provision made for the teaching of singing, drawing, cookery, and domestic economy; for manual training and practical instruction, and for drill and physical
exercises. * The selection of the above mentioned Colonies was made on the advice of the Colonial Office. It is hoped that a later volume will contain accounts of the educational systems of Mauritius, the Straits Settlements, Hong Kong, the Gold Coast, Lagos, and Sierra Leone. Students of education desiring information about education in India will find a valuable summary in Mr. J. S. Cotton's Progress of Education in India, 1892 3 to 1896-7; Third Quinquennial Review. (Cd. 9190, 5/51.) 1898. 4226. Wt. 25798 3000-3/01. Wy. & S.
The method of their paym. how far bachers; the Pitha
(7) The method of appointing teachers in the elementary schools, the scale of their payment, the arrangements made for their professional training; how far there prevails a system of pupil teachers or apprentice-teachers; the proportions, respectively, of men and women teachers, and the arrangements made for pensions for teachers in elementary schools.
(8) How far, if at all, free meals are provided for needy scholars in elementary schools, and, if so, at whose cost.
(9) The arrangements for continuation schools or classes, where such exist.
(10) The provision of higher (including University) and secondary education, and how far such are subsidised by the State, and how far under its inspection and control.
(11) The arrangements for technical, commercial, and agricultural instruction.
(12) Reformatory and industrial schools.
(13) Schools for the blind, for the deaf and dumb, and for mentally defective children. It was also suggested that each report should embody (preferably in the form of an Appendix) such part of the elementary school Code as dealt (1) with the course of studies, and (2) with regulations for the building and equipment of schools.
To the invitation thus given there was a cordial response, and in the course of the following year reports were received from sixteen out of the twenty-two Colonies approached.
In the remaining cases, however, long delay supervened and circumstances at length made it necessary to prepare a certain number of the reports from official materials supplied by the Colonial Authorities and supplemented by other documents available for the purpose.
In the meantime, however, considerable changes had been taking place in the educational systems of several of the colonies from which reports had been received in the course of 1898. Many of these changes were of an important character and of general interest to students of education all over the world. In several cases, also, important reports on education had been issued by the Governments concerned.
The whole series of reports, therefore, has been revised and greatly enlarged, and the statistics, as far as possible, have been brought up to date. Notices of material changes in the courses of study or in methods of educational adininistration, together with abstracts of recently issued official papers on colonial education, have been embodied in the reports, and some additional articles have been prepared on recent developments in agricultural education and manual training. It is hoped that in their present form the volumes may prove useful to those interested in studying and comparing the educational systems of the chief British Colonies.
As the work has proceeded, those engaged in the preparation of the reports have been increasingly impressed by the varied interest of the subject and by its growing importance. The inost striking features of the reports, taken as a whole, may be summarised as follows:
(i.) During the last two or three years there has been an evident growth of interest in educational questions in nearly every part of the Empire. Within the last twelve months there have been remarkable and significant changes in the educational systems of some of the Colonies.
(ii.) The chief characteristic of education throughout the British Colonies is the freedom with which it has been allowed to adjust itself to the different needs experienced by different parts of the Empire. There has been no centralised control over educational policy, though literary and other traditions have naturally had a strong influence on the scope and methods of instruction. The educational systems described in these volumes are marked by the utmost variety of legislative enactment.
(ii.) But, at the same time, it is impossible not to be struck by indications of an increasing sense of the importance of united effort in such branches of education as bear on the economic welfare or collective interests of the Empire as a whole. This shows itself in an evidently growing desire to compare notes on educational matters and to benefit by the educational experience of other parts of the Empire where similar difficulties have been encountered.
(iv.) There are many signs of uneasiness as to the possible dangers which may result from a tendency to bookishness in elementary education, and from a divorce between school studies and the practical interests of daily life.
(v.) As a corrective of what is hurtful in such a tendency, and in order to secure what is in itself a valuable and generally attractive element in education, there is a vigorous movement in favour of the introduction of various kinds of manual training and of simple forms of technical education into primary schools.
(vi.) There are indications of difficulty in regard to the aim, scope and subject-matter of the education of native races, and some signs of disappointment at the ethical and social results of purely literary forms of primary instruction.
(vii.) Speaking generally, there is comparative weakness in the provision of higher education, and especially of that type of secondary education which in this country is given at the great public schools. As a rule, secondary education has hitherto been left in the main to denominational and
private effort. I desire to take this opportunity of acknowledging the courtesy of the various Colonial Authorities in furnishing reports for publication in this volume, and for their assistance in many