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School is to carry on education up to the point at which it becomes possible to select by examination those who are fit to profit by the instruction offered in a Secondary School in Classics, Mathematics, English and modern languages, or in a properly equipped Technical School. The number of Board Schools in which more is or may be done, is so small that they can count for nothing as supplying a basis for a general scheme. That our educational fabric may be symmetrical and complete, we require three kinds of schools. For the sake of clearness it may be well to say here that, by a Technical or Science School, we mean such schools as the Watt Institution in Edinburgh, Allan Glen's, the College of Science and Art, and Anderson's College in Glasgow, and by Secondary, such schools as the High Schools and Academies of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Kelvinside and Albany Academies in Glasgow, &c. One set of schools should be in the main primary, but providing a certain amount of initiation in secondary instruction, of either a literary or scientific kind. Overlapping to some extent is not only desirable, but inevitable. A second set should be strictly scientific, and a third strictly secondary; or a school might have a bifurcation, one side being scientific, and the other literary. At as early an age as possible, perhaps not later than twelve, the élite of the Primary School, if a separate institution, should be transferred to the Technical or Secondary School, according to choice and capacity. To stimulate work, encourage the best brain power, and secure a high level of ability, bursaries should be offered for free competition. The value of these should, in every case, cover the school fees, and, where the means of the parent are ascertained to be narrow, the amount should be increased, so as to compensate him for the loss of his child's labour. School Boards and the teachers of higher class primary schools will probably object to their best pupils being taken from them. They will say, and with truth, that the character of the Primary School will be somewhat lowered. A genuine educationist will accept this result with equanimity, if he can reply that the change is distinctly in the interest of improved education. He will say
that schools ought to exist for the pupils, not for the masters, that each class of school has its own special work, that his concern is how all branches may be taught to the best advantage, and that to secure this each kind of school should have its main aim constantly in view.
For the commercial success of the school, and for its efficient organisation, it may be necessary to have in these higher schools an elementary department preparatory to the upper section. Custom both in this country and in Germany certainly points in this direction. The school thus becomes
from bottom to top a complete unit. The pupils identify themselves with its whole economy, and an esprit de corps is created of the greatest value in every educational institution. But there should be a clear line drawn at which the pupil, whose aim is advanced instruction, starts upon a distinctly scientific or literary course. The cramping restrictions of standards must be removed, and the general current of his thoughts turned towards his ultimate aim. We see no reason why large and superior Primary Schools should not adopt this arrangement, and so retain their most promising pupils.
The school course being finished, other bursaries tenable at the University should be offered also for free competition. That the Primary and Secondary Schools should work harmoniously into each others hands, and the latter again into the hands of the University is of the utmost importance. While the claim of some School Boards to superintend all education, primary as well as secondary, cannot be entertained, it seems not only according to the spirit of the Act, but desirable in order to secure harmonious working between the different parts of a graded system, that School Boards should have a substantial representation in the new governing bodies of Educational Trusts. The passing of the Act is a condemnation. of the present management, and amounts to a demand for liberalising it. The Commissioners will no doubt take care that this is not lost sight of.
That it would not be safe to place the encouragement of Secondary Education entirely or even principally in the
hands of School Boards, is evident from the action of some of the Boards in Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray. In these counties education has for a long time maintained a higher level than elsewhere, due in great measure to the supplementary emoluments from the Dick Bequest attracting a superior class of teachers. So little was the importance of this appreciated by not a few School Boards, that, in the settlement of the emoluments of old parochial teachers in the passing of the Act of 1872, they proposed that as so much was got from the Bequest, so much less should be paid by the Board. It would be difficult to give a stronger proof of the unfitness of the average rural Board to foster higher education.
Having got our pupil fit for entering a Secondary School, whether of the classical or technical type, we must face the question of his transference to such school. It is obviously impossible to plant Secondary Schools so thickly as to be within reach of all pupils from their own homes. It is clear that the expense of living from home would be an insurmountable obstacle to many parents who, in keeping their children at school till thirteen or fourteen years of age, have almost reached the limit of their powers. For all such, Secondary Education is possible only by the institution of bursaries, which must go a long way towards covering the expense. To furnish such bursaries, open to competition in a fair field, is the proper destination of Educational Endowments, which are not exhausted by the necessary charity aimed at by the founders. To employ endowments to cheapen fees or lower rates for a class who require no such relief, and for whom the founder did not intend his benefaction, is an obvious abuse. Funds destined for education are in that case doing no educational work. People able to meet all the demands of living, education included, receive help they do not need. Their children get no more education than they would have got had no such endowments existed, and in many cases the education is less valued, and of inferior quality, because it costs so little. In a considerable town which has the benefit of a large endowment fund, the school rate is only a farthing every three years, with the result that one of the Board Schools attended by a distinctly
superior social class, is a long way below the average merit of neighbouring schools whose whole expense is met by rates, fees, and government grants. There are, unfortunately, many districts in which, from the absence of endowments, the provision for Secondary Education will be very meagre, but all the stronger is the reason for utilising every shilling where such funds exist. The only means of supplying this want to rural districts that have no endowments, would be the passing of a supplementary Act, enabling several districts to unite for the establishment of a Secondary School. There will be in some cases difference of opinion as to the most suitable position, but the difficulty is not too great to be overcome wherever there is an earnest desire for such schools.
The Act of 1872 has so completely changed the educational conditions of the country, as to require a fresh interpretation of the wishes of pious founders. This is indeed the raison d'être of the Endowments Act. The founders did not anticipate that legislative enactment would make their benefactions to primary education to a large extent unnecessary. It is quite certain that, if they had anticipated this, they would not have made Primary Education the channel of their benevolence any more than boots or broad-cloth. Their aim, however, was educational, and as the primary branch has been to a great extent provided for by Act of Parliament, there is surely no object. more nearly allied to their original intention than the promotion of that branch of it for the proper equipment of which there is a lamentable deficiency. What then is the best use we can make of these funds? The cost price of Secondary Education under a staff of properly qualified masters, will, in the absence of endowments, be somewhat beyond the easy reach of a considerable portion of the lower middle class. To lighten this burden by providing from endowments for the supply and upkeep of suitable buildings, where they are not otherwise provided, is a desirable and legitimate use of such funds. This is done with George Watson's College Schools in Edinburgh, and will probably be done with Mr. Harris's magnificent bequest to Dundee. Another is to attract intellectual merit and reward industrious poverty by the institu
tion of bursaries, connecting the Primary School, the Secondary School, and the University, in such a way as to make our educational system symmetrical and complete. Pupils of a higher social class than those for whom the benefaction was intended, should be admitted, but should pay the full cost of the education. The tone and character of the school will be raised by the admixture of pupils from the outside public, and these outsiders themselves will reap the benefit of coming into contact and competition with boys of more than average ability, and with a strong motive to work hard. Whether, and to what extent, bursaries should be open to all, or confined to those on the foundation, will depend on various considerations, the character of the founder's will, the number of bursaries as compared with the number of candidates, &c. Care must be taken that they are not deprived of much of their stimulating power, by being made badges of poverty. Leaving the question of school bursaries to be settled according to circumstances, we have no doubt as to the expediency of making the bursaries tenable at the University open to all. After several years of school training under the same master, the poor and the well-to-do boys start on their University career on pretty equal terms, so nearly equal that it would do more harm than good to limit the competition to the former. The poor boy who cannot successfully face this competition, will probably find a more suitable sphere than an academical one for the exercise of his abilities.
The tendency of such an employment of endowments will doubtless be to injure schools that have been started by private enterprise. Some of them will go to the wall, just as many workmen were thrown out of employment by the invention of the spinning jenny, but we do not for that reason regard that invention as a permanent misfortune. Our pity is more required for those districts which have no endowments, and must continue either to struggle on under the too heavy burden, or forego the advantage of Secondary Education, if the State does not come to their aid with a general measure. It will, however, be only on inferior private schools that this aid from endowments will bear hard. The discontinuance of such