Слике страница
PDF
ePub

reported, and communicated through some central authority, in writing, to the Board of Guardians.

It may be expedient that the visit to each workhouse school should occur after ten days' notice, in order that the chairman, vice-chairman, and school committee may be present with the chaplain during the examination, and that the necessary communications as to the state of the school may be made, in the first instance, personally to them by the Inspector.

The examination of the school, the personal communications with the chairman, vice-chairman, and school committee, and chaplain, would usually occupy at least one day, and, in some of the larger workhouses of towns, one day would be insufficient for an inspection of the schools. When one day was sufficient, the Inspector would still have to prepare his Report, either in the evening of the day, or on the Saturday, from his notes.

Supposing that the distance to be travelled from school to school interposed no serious obstacle to the visitation, these seven hundred schools could not be inspected more rapidly than at the rate of one school each day, during five days in the week, leaving Saturday for the collection of Reports, correspondence, &c. If forty-two weeks were thus employed, and one month assigned to recreation, another month to the preparation of a General Report, and a fortnight to occasional visits to London, 210 such schools might be examined in the year. Probably not more than 200 would be so examined. The inspection of 700 workhouse-schools would therefore, with the utmost facilities for travelling, require the services of three officers and half the time of another. The estimate of the number of Inspectors required for this service is grounded simply on the business of an annual examination of each workhouse-school, on the necessary interviews with the school-committee and Board of Guardians, and the preparation of the Report.

If any other duties devolve on the Inspectors, such as the organization of great schools of industry, like those of Norwood, Manchester, Liverpool, and Sheffield, or of a normal school and the annual examination of such establishmentssuch duties could not be performed without the addition of another officer, having experience in the administration of the Poor Laws, as well as the qualifications of an Inspector of Schools. Such an officer might reside in London, might have charge of a district of inspection of a somewhat smaller areamight assist in the organisation of the metropolitan district schools, and in the examination of the normal school, and be ready to visit any part of the country for similar duties.

V. The dismissal of schoolmasters for incompetency or misconduct should be vested in the Poor Law Commissioners.

If the examination of workhouse-schools, and of candidates for these offices, were confided to the Inspectors of Schools, the necessary communication with the Poor-Law Commissioners would be made through the office of the Committee of Council on Education; and with respect to the appointment and dismissal of schoolmasters, the Poor-Law Commissioners would receive the Reports of the Committee of Council on Education, who would award the certificates by which the salaries would be determined.

All communications to the Inspectors of Schools from the Poor-Law Commissioners would necessarily pass through the office of the Committee of Council on Education.

The schoolmaster should be amenable, as a part of the staff of the workhouse, in all respects, to the direct interference of the Poor-Law Commissioners; but in what related to school discipline and management, the Commissioners would seek information from the Committee of Council on Education.

I have, &c. The Right Honourable

J. P. KAY SHUTTLEWORTH. Sir George Grey, Bart., M.P.,

Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Brief Practical Suggestions on the Mode of Organizing and Con

ducting Day-Schools of Industry, Model Farm-Schools, and Normal Schools, as part of a System of Education for the

Coloured Races of the British Colonies. SIR,

Privy Council Office, Whitehall, January 6, 1847. The letter which, by the direction of Earl Grey, was transmitted to this office on the 30th of November, together with the despatches from Governors of the West Indian Colonies which accompanied it, have been under the consideration of the Lord President of the Council.

Under his Lordship's directions a short and simple account is now submitted of the mode in which the Committee of Council on Education consider that Industrial Schools for the coloured races may be conducted in the Colonies, so as to combine intellectual and industrial education, and to render the labour of the children available towards meeting some part of the expense of their education.

From this account will be purposely excluded any description of the methods of intellectual instruction, and all minute details of the organization of schools. Whatever suggestions respecting discipline may be offered will be condensed into brief hints, or confined to those general indications which are universally applicable.

It would be presumptuous to attempt to describe those varieties in discipline which might be suggested by a better knowledge of the peculiarities of a race which readily abandons itself to excitement, and perhaps needs amusements which would seem unsuitable for the peasantry of a civilized community.

While endeavouring to suggest the mode by which the labour of negro children may be mingled with instruction fitted to develop their intelligence, it would be advantageous to know more of the details of Colonial culture, and of the peculiarities of household life in this class, and thus to descend from the general description into a closer adaptation of the plans of the school to the wants of the coloured races. This, however, cannot now be attempted.

In describing the mode in which the instruction may be interwoven with the labour of the school, so as to render the connection as intimate as possible, it will however be necessary to repeat the illustrations in various forms, which may appear trivial. But this mutual dependence of the moral and physical training, of the intellectual and industrial teaching, and even of the religious education and the instruction of the scholars in the practical duties of life, requires a detailed illustration. Christian civilization comprehends this complex development of all the faculties, and the school of a semi-barbarous class should be established on the conviction that these several forms of training and instruction mutually assist each other.

Instead of setting forth this principle more fully, it is considered expedient to furnish numerous though brief practical details of its application, which may with local knowledge be casily expanded into a manual for schools of industry for the coloured races.

Even within the limits which will be assigned to the instruction of the children of these races in this paper, it may be conceived that, bearing in mind the present state of the negro population, and taking into account the means at present at the disposal of the Colonial legislatures in the different dependencies, a too sanguine view has been adopted of the amount of instruction which may be hoped to be imparted.

Certainly it is true that some time must elapse before the limits assigned in this paper to such instruction, even in the day-schools, can be reached; but less than what is described could not be regarded as a transforming agency, by which the negro could be led, within a generation, materially to improve his habits. If we would have him rest satisfied with the meagre subsistence and privation of comfort consequent on his habits of listless contentment with the almost spontaneous gifts of a tropical climate, a less efficient system may be adopted; but if the native labour of the West Indian Colonies is to be made generally available for the cultivation of the soil by a settled and industrious peasantry, no agent can be so surely depended upon as the influence of a system of combined intellectual and industrial instruction, carried to a higher degree of efficiency than any example which now exists in the Colonies.

Nor will a wise Colonial Government neglect any means which affords even a remote prospect of gradually creating a native middle class among the negro population, and thus, ultimately, of completing the institutions of freedom, by rearing a body of men interested in the protection of property, and with intelligence enough to take part in that humbler machinery of local affairs which ministers to social order.

With these remarks, I proceed at once to enter on the practical suggestions which I am directed to offer.

The objects of education for the coloured races of the Colonial dependencies of Great Britain may be thus described :

To inculcate the principles and promote the influences of Christianity, by such instruction as can be given in elementary schools.

To accustom the children of these races to habits of selfcontrol and moral discipline.

To diffuse a grammatical knowledge of the English language, as the most important agent of civilization for the coloured population of the Colonies.

To make the school the means of improving the condition of the peasantry, by, teaching them how health may be preserved by proper diet, cleanliness, ventilation, and clothing, and by the structure of their dwellings.

To give them a practical training in household economy, and in the cultivation of a cottage garden, as well as in those common handicrafts by which a labourer may improve his domestic comfort.

To communicate such a knowledge of writing and arithmetic, and of their application to his wants and duties, as may enable a peasant to economize his means, and give the small farmer the power to enter into calculations and agreements.

An improved agriculture is required in certain of the Colonies to replace the system of exhausting the virgin soils, and then leaving to natural influences alone the work of reparation. The education of the coloured races would not, therefore, be complete for the children of small farmers unless it included this object.

The lesson-books of Colonial schools should also teach the mutual interests of the mother-country and her dependencies, the rational basis of their connection, and the domestic and social duties of the coloured races.

These lesson-books should also simply set forth the relation of wages, capital, labour, and the influence of local and general government on personal security, independence, and order.

For the attainment of these objects, the following classes of institutions are required.

Day-schools of industry and model farm-schools. A training-school for the instruction of the masters and mistresses of day-schools.

[ocr errors]

The order in which these institutions are enumerated is that in which they may be most conveniently described.

A day-school of industry might, in the tropical climates, with the exception of a moderate salary for the schoolmaster, be made self-supporting. The school should be regarded as a large Christian family, assembled for mutual benefit, and conducted by a well-ordered domestic economy.

For this purpose, the children, having breakfasted, should be at school at a very early period after sunrise.

At this hour they should be assembled for morning prayer. The utmost reverence should pervade this religious exercise.

The work of the day would then commence. The scholars would have their dinner at the school, and in the evening would return to their homes immediately before sunset. The school would close, as it began, with prayer.

From sunrise until sunset their life would be under the
training and instruction of the master and mistress of the school.
Their labour would be principally devoted to the business of the
household and of the school garden. Their instruction would
be such as would prepare them for the duties of their station
in life.
To this end the school premises should comprise--

1. A house for the master and for the mistress.
2. A school-room for the boys, and another for the girls,

each convertible into a dining-room.
3. A class-room for undisturbed religious instruction.
4. A large garden-plot, sufficient to provide garden-stuff

for the dinners of the school during the whole year. 5. A tool-house and carpenter's shop. 6. A kitchen, store-room, larder, and scullery.

7. A wash-house and laundry. The training of the scholars in industry and in cottage economy would, under these arrangements, be regarded as second only to their instruction from the Holy Scriptures, and their training in the duties of a religious life.

In a race emerging from barbarism, the training of children in obedience and cheerful industry, in mutual forbearance and good will, and in that respect for property and care to use the blessings of Providence without abusing them, for which a school of industry affords an opportunity closely resembling the training of children in a Christian family, would greatly promote the success of the religious instruction.

Immediately after prayers the master would divide the boys into working parties under the charge of apprenticed monitors or pupil-teachers. The schedule of the school routine would describe the duty of each party, and the time allotted to it.

The garden should be divided into two principal plots. The

« ПретходнаНастави »