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3 Charles K. Newcombe.... 1st Prof. $ 650 128 23 3D. A. Wickware...

5 W. A. Turnbull

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Report of the Commissioners of the Department of Education on the Collegiate Schools in Manitoba for the Year 1899.

Your Commissioners, in giving to the Department of Education their ninth annual report, close the decade which has elapsed since the passing of the Public Schools Act of 1890. In view of this year being the close of the century they deem it advisable to state the progress made by Manitoba in secondary education, since they have been called upon to supervise and report upon the Collegiate Schools of the Province.

In February, 1892, the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute was moved from the narrow quarters which it had hitherto used, to the plain but commodious and convenient building now occupied by it on Kate Street. The removal gave the school a more hopeful outlook. The school had already been in existence for years, and had done good work, but from this date its progress was marked.

The Brandon Collegiate Institute, on the first visit of your Commissioners, in December, 1891, hardly deserved the name of a secondary school, having only twenty-one pupils, and these very irregularly graded and poorly housed. The School Board was, however, at that time engaged in erecting a most commodious school building for a Collegiate and Central School.

Under instructions from the Department Portage la Prairie was visited by your Commissioners, and the School Board and a number of the ratepayers consulted as to the commencement of a Collegiate School. At that time the people did not feel able to meet the additional expense, and it was not until three years afterward that the Portage la Prairie Collegiate School was begun.


Your Commissioners recommended a new system of grants, which materially aided the Collegiate Schools. They were of opinion that the Collegiate School should be better supported, as its existence is essential to the whole Public School system, being the only available source for a supply of well educated teachers. As was once said by the efficient Superintendent of the Winnipeg Schools, "A school system that does not provide the machinery for putting itself into operation would soon become inoperative." On the recommendation of your Commissioners the grant was distributed on condition of certain teaching being given in Collegiate Schools. This was not what is called "payment by results," which, however well intended, your Commissioners believe to be a "hot-house" system, tyrannical to the teacher and bringing an un

wise pressure to bear on the pupils. Grants for fixed expenditure, attendance, number of rooms, teaching for first-class teachers and maintenance of a matriculation class, were judiciously distributed to make the schools efficient and well equipped. Your Commissioners, at the close of the decade, have to state that the plan has worked perfectly and given much greater contentment to the School Boards concerned.


While not in favour of a mere logical uniformity in the schools, your Commissioners recommended an entrance examination for the Collegiate Schools, to be conducted by the Department. This was not very well received in some quarters when first introduced. However, it has for several years been universally accepted and has had a most beneficial effect on the Collegiate Schools. The entrance examination has also exercised a salutary influence on the pupils of Grade VIII, who are leaving the Public School department to enter on secondary work. It has been a great stimulus to the teachers, and has relieved the principals of the Collegiate Schools of much trouble and annoyance.


Your Commissioners hold strong views as to the necessity of placing material in the hands of teachers and pupils for the study of literature and science. Ten years ago the libraries in the Collegiate Schools were trifling. Your Commissioners recommended, that on condition of the School Board spending up to $100 a year in reference books, a grant of a like sum should be given by the Department. The result has been wholly satisfactory. Winnipeg reports this year a library valued at $1,700, Brandon $910, and Portage la Prairie $408. The books in these libraries are well selected. While thus speaking of the excellence of these libraries, it is but right to state that to the minds of your Commissioners no better expenditure has been made in the Collegiate Schools than this. The devotion to literature, the larger acquaintance with the writings of the great masters of thought, the interest awakened among our teachers and pupils, especially in the great creations of Shakespeare and Tennyson, so observable in Manitoba schools and colleges in the last decade-such results have been largely obtained by the placing of good literature in the hands of scholars and teachers.


The utter uselessness of scientific teaching, apart from practical work in the laboratory, is now generally admitted. There is, however, a tendency on the part of teachers, in their hurry and fatigue, to neglect this practical work. Your Commissioners have used every means to secure practical work being done in botany, chemistry, physics and

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