« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
influence that such a College will exercise on native education generally, and the opportunity thus afforded of arriving at some common basis of educational policy for the whole of South Africa. How much this is to be desired all students of the subject can testify. For while in most countries it is accepted as a guiding principle that education should be framed to meet the social and economic requirements of the people for whom it is intended, native education in some, at least, of the older South African Colonies has not been so dealt with. The same course of instruction, the same system of examination, is devised for both black and white. No account is taken of the difference of language, of environment, of future position in the country. With delightful frankness the Cape Education Department in an article appearing in the Education Gazette of April ist last, alludes to its policy in the following terms: “ The native population is the problem of Africa ; and the crux of that problem, if it is rightly considered, is the question of the proper educational policy to pursue. In Cape Colony this question was never formally dealt with. The early missionaries, who of course were not educationists, felt first the need for teaching reading to the children of their converts, and having begun this added in time a little of the other R's. As for the State it may be said to have simply refrained from interfering. As a consequence of this policy of drift two general principles came to regulate State action in this matter; first, that all native schools should be under the management of one of the missionary societies; second, that the instruction given should follow the lines of the elementary course prescribed for European schools, but that no assistance should be given in aid of work higher than the fourth standard, except in the case of candidates preparing for the teaching profession.
While it is true to speak of the College as a natural development of the work carried on by existing institutions, in another sense it is a new venture, an experiment which must be conducted under the most favourable circumstances and by men unfettered by tradition. To this end the co-operation of all the States is desirable, who should nominate a Governing Council independent of the control of their respective Education Departments.
All courses of higher work must at this stage in the development of Native education be tentative and so framed as to be capable of reconstruction again and again if necessary. At the same time some who have closely studied the subject, and have had unique opportunities of making experiments in it, have arrived at a few guiding principles which may be found to be of general application to all native education. They are briefly stated here in the hope of their being tested in a wider field of educational thought than they have yet entered; and with more confidence than would otherwise be justifiable, since they have been thought out independently, and applied with practical results in the native school system of Central Africa, which affords instruction to over sixty thousand children.
The first of these is, that a curriculum of native higher education should be framed, not only to meet the present needs of the people, but also with an eye to their future. This means that the ultimate standard and ultimate aim of native education must be the same as that for Europeans. In a country circumstanced as South Africa is, there cannot with any safety exist two ideals of civilization. Sooner or later they would be bound to clash. The European and Native child have different starting points and may require to travel for some distance by different routes. This will probably be the case with the majority for many years to come. But these roads must converge, they can never be parallel. In framing therefore what would develop into a full “ Arts” course one should remove the disabilities under which the native at present labours owing to his language. By having to work in English, which is to him a foreign tongue, and will continue to be so for centuries to come, and having to force his way through the medium of this foreign language into all the mysteries of Latin Syntax before he can establish himself upon the path of a College training, he is hopelessly handicapped. This alone accounts for the failure in the past of the majority who have attempted to attain to the status of a University Student. If this College is to aim at leading native students to the standard of attainment required by a University, there will have to be a widening of the existing approaches to the Degree examination in South Africa.
Nor is this necessary only because of the language difficulty. On account of his past, with its inheritance of grossness and superstition, and on account of his environment and lack of early training, there are certain lines of study which are of far greater importance in the education of the native than in that of the European. Indeed they may be said to be essential. Nothing but a constant appeal to nature and to the unvarying truths which determine the phenomena of nature will eradicate the native's deeply rooted belief in witchcraft, which is perhaps the greatest obstacle in the way of his advancement, intellectual and moral. In other words, general science in all its more important branches-Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geology and Astronomy-would have to form part of any liberal course of education.
For the same reason, if we are to produce really educated men, that is, men fitted for the duties devolving upon them as leaders of a race emerging from barbarism, and if we are to develop their highest usefulness, a carefully planned and progressive course of manual instruction should be given side by side with the literary studies. As training for the hand and eye, from a health point of view, and in creating and strengthening moral character it would prove invaluable. But it is in the after life of the student when his example as a civilizing agent amongst his own people is needed, that its full benefits will be seen.
In one other direction native higher education may have to differ from that given in the average European University. It may not be the duty of the State to provide for the religious training of the young, but few will deny that it is the duty of those responsible for native education to make every provision for the moral
training of the student. We cannot afford to reproduce Frankenstein's creation in South Africa. And in the present stage of their development the teaching of ethics cannot be divorced from religion, nor a moral character produced without reference to an Unseen Being. Not that the questionable dogmas of the Churches should be perpetuated, but that the native student should learn the secret of all moral victory from the example and sympathy of men with high spiritual ideals.
Yet another principle that should guide in the framing of a native college course is that, while the education provided should aim at the widening of the student's mental horizon and the deepening of his intellectual capacity, it should after a certain point lead in the direction of specialised training. Whatever Arts course is framed should be followed by courses with distinctly professional and utilitarian aims. We want to produce a class of men who can turn their education to practical use in the work of uplifting their own people. There are at present openings for such, whether trained as better class teachers, or as agriculturists, or in the direction of sanitary reform. Indeed it is questionable if, at least for some time to come, a degree should be conferred upon any native student who has not successfully completed some such professional course.
Such, briefly ted, are the aims of the present movement towards an extension in native higher education in the form of the establishment of an inter-State Native College. The College is certain to come. It rests with those who guide the educational thought of this country, so to shape its policy, that its highest potentialities may be realised.
By J. M. P. MUIRHEAD, F.S.A.A., F.C.I.S., F.S.S., &c.
For many years a body of men have come together in Great Britain annually to discuss the Advancement of Science, and now in South Africa this particular Association has been formed for the same purpose as the parent one in England, and I sincerely trust that it has a long life in front of it, and that it will be productive of considerable benefit not only to its own members but to the whole of this vast Sub-Continent.
Of all the branches of science which are likely to be discussed at the meetings of this Association, Statistics is probably the one which will arouse the least interest, and yet it is in many ways the most important.
I think it will be generally admitted that the most important discoveries in science have been the reward of careful measurement, and unwearied labour in sifting numerical results. Indeed, I might go so far as to say that Statistics form the foundation on which many other scientists work, and without which they would fail to be eminently successful. As Major Craigie, in his Presidential Address to this Section of the British Association, held at Bradford in 1900, stated: “We are the hewers of wood and the drawers of water for the economic controversialist of the day"; and Lord Kelvin says that “Measurement and comparison are the essential conditions of any form of significant discovery in the domain of science,” and the statesmen who sway the destinies of the country, and are guided by certain accepted theories which have been arrived at by the study of certain facts in life by the Statistician, must recognise that it is essential that the information on which they found their policy be absolutely accurate, and the figures supplied reliable. And, therefore, the Statistician becomes an important element in the Government of a country, and it is of vital import that he approach his work not only in a scientific spirit, but in one recognising the importance of what he is doing, and fully grasping the necessity for the most absolute accuracy in all his work.
It is hardly necessary to irritate you at this stage with an academic enquiry into the origin of the term “ Statistics,” and whether it is the duty of Statisticians simply to collect and present facts and figures and hand them over to other scientists to deal with, or whether the Statistician is allowed to go further and frame deductions on the figures he has compiled. Major Craigie, in referring to the previous view in his Presidential Address to the Royal Statistical Society in 1902, stated " he had the authority of the late Dr. Engel for declining this strict definition of our science, as he had nimself discovered in the writings of different authors over 180 different definitions."
There are so many interesting and valuable Statistical questions that might with advantage be placed before this Section that I have found some difficulty in deciding which to take, but there is no question whatever that the study of the numerous interesting details
concerning population has always been regarded as the most useful, the most valuable, and the most prominent field of Statistical enquiry, and therefore, as a humble student of that great and important science, it seems to me wiser, and with all modesty, to collect a few general figures, and also a few figures of local signification on this subject, which I may, for the first time I appear before you, deal with as likely to be not only of general interest, but possibly of permanent value.
I will therefore refer briefly to some features dealing with European population, and then deal with some purely affecting the Cape Colony. I may overstep the bounds of the legitimate Statistician by pointing a moral to adorn my tale, but I hope that may be forgiven, though the main object of my paper is more to present the figures, leaving others to point the morals; in fact, to be the hewer of wood and the drawer of water for those whose own scientific enquiries so fully occupy them that the Statistical foundation must necessarily be provided.
In referring to Statistics of European population, I may point out that the subject is so large that the figures of each country would require a separate paper, which would be full of interest, and therefore, with the exception of brief reference to some population questions of the British Isles, I can only simply point out the alteration in the importance of countries, caused by the increase of population during the last hundred years or so.
When we look back one hundred years to 1806, how important France loomed in the politics and history of the world, and countries like Italy, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, had also to be seriously considered as European Powers. . To-day, however, we look at the population of the principal countries in Europe, and we must also take into consideration that great Western Power which has practically sprung up during the last century, viz., the United States, and we find that, in the first place, the population of Great Britain has increased during the period mentioned from 16 millions to 40; the population of Germany from 20 millions to 55; of Russia from 40 millions to 135 ; and of the United States from 5 millions to nearly 80. On the other hand, France has only increased from 25 millions to less than 40; the population of Spain is to-day under 20 millions; the population of Italy about 33 millions ; the population of Denmark about 2} millions ; of the Netherlands a little over 5 millions; and of Sweden a little over 5 millions.
It therefore appears that, leaving out the question of the United States, there are only three European Powers who will be worth considering in the course of the next century, if they increase in the same ratio as in the past, viz., England, Germany, and Russia. France will be deposed from her present position by reason of the fact of her population being stationary, as it is surely obvious that population is the backbone of a civilized nation's power. And, in addition to the three European Powers mentioned, the other great World Power is obviously the United States.