« AnteriorContinuar »
assumed that the discipline in the schools is on the whole creditable. A little more direct training in good manners in all schools, and, in certain schools, the substitution of a generous and sympathetic treatment of the pupils instead of severe measures, are desirable and will doubtless be obtained in time.
10. Instruction.-Taking the whole range of instruction as laid down in Instruction. Schedule V. of the Regulations, the results obtained by the District Inspectors in State schools range from fair to very fair, and in Provisional schools are nearly fair. The work got from the several classes is becoming more even from year to year, but at present the lowest class (Class I.) and the highest class (Class V.) give somewhat higher results than the intermediate classes.
The comparative degree of success with which the several branches are taught is indicated in the following statement in which the subjects are named in the order of excellence indicated by the marks awarded by the inspectors in 1889 :
The characteristics of the teaching in each of these branches are fully set forth in the several reports of the District Inspectors appended to this Report.
Considering the satisfactory average professional qualifications of the teaching staff, the good buildings, furniture, and apparatus provided, and the searching periodical inspections, there is every reason to look for work equal in quality to that done in primary schools elsewhere; and the general popularity of the State schools with all classes of the community, the success of our Grammar School Scholarship boys in public examinations, and the opinions of competent judges acquainted with schools in other colonies and countries, all tend to the conclusion that the primary education of the colony is proceeding satisfactory.
11. Parents. The complaints that reach the office from parents, either Parents. directly or through the visiting inspectors, are very few. They generally relate to matters of discipline or to the lack of progress made by their children. All such complaints are closely inquired into, and, if necessary, an investigation is made on the spot by an officer of the Department.
Although it is certain that the parents value the schools, there is no doubt that they could do much more than they do at present to forward the education of their children. They should see that their children attend as regularly as possible, even though it costs themselves a little self-denial. They should heartily second and support the teacher's authority and influence over their children in school and on their way to and from school, and co-operate with him in all that he does for the education of the children, and especially in his efforts to train them to habits of self-control, industry, respect for public and private property, and regard for the feelings of others.
12. Compulsory Education.." The Education Act of 1875" provides that compulsory the compulsory clauses shall be in force in such parts or districts only of the colony as the Governor in Council shall from time to time notify by proclamation. No Minister has yet seen fit to recommend the application of these clauses. It is difficult to ascertain the facts on which compulsion must rely, and an error in giving effect to these clauses "might render the administration of the law odious"-to use the phrase of Sir John Robertson in his report as Minister for Public Instruction in New South Wales in 1881. The
The clauses as framed apply only to children between the ages of six and twelve
At each inspection of a school the teacher is required to give, if possible, the
The records of the census of the colony, taken on the 1st of May, 1886, give the number of children in the colony of statute age receiving no education as 1,101, most of whom live in districts in which schools are from necessity few and far between. From the Report of the Minister for Public Instruction in Victoria for 1887-88, the following figures are taken referring to the year 1887, the last for which all the statistics are at hand.
Percentage of average attendance to net enrolment :
These figures show that in Queensland, where the compulsory clauses are not enforced, 64.1 out of every 100 children would be present on any given day, while in New South Wales, where compulsion is in force, only 57.81 out of 100 children would be present. This points to a greater regularity in the attendance in Queensland, though, of course, it does not touch the question of enrolment.
The experience of New South Wales in applying compulsion is instructive but not encouraging. In July, 1887, after six years' trial, it was decided to abolish the school attendance branch, and to reduce the number of attendance officers from 51 to 26, thereby effecting a saving of nearly £7,000 in salaries, and a considerable amount in travelling expenses. In 1888 the number of attendance officers was further reduced by five. The duty of reporting defaulters now rests with the teachers in most cases, who report to the District Inspectors, by whom action is taken. In the Report for 1888 this plan is said to be working "tolerably well," but the Minister adds, "The efforts of the Department's officers to bring neglectful parents to punishment are to a great extent rendered nugatory because of the many loopholes for escape afforded by the defects in the law," and proceeds to point out these defects.
The conditions surrounding this question in Queensland are so similar to those in New South Wales that there is little to encourage us to hope for more success in applying compulsion than the older colony has had.
The Conference of Teachers held in January, 1889, resolved, "That it is expedient that the compulsory clauses of the Education Act be put in force." The Conference of Inspectors held in March, 1889, passed the following resolution :— "That it is expedient to make education compulsory in Queensland," holding, however, that the clauses of the present Act do not go far enough, and, if applied, would at best enforce only an irregular attendance.
Till the necessity for the application of the compulsory clauses is more certainly established, and till it is shown that the benefit such application would confer warrants the sacrifices it entails, it seems to me right to defer a step which is sure to bring with it grave difficulties of administration.
13. Charters Towers Grammar School Scholarship.-in November, 1888, an application was made to the Department by the Day Dawn P.C. Gold Mining Company, Charters Towers, for leave to break the surface of a portion of the boys'
school reserve at Charters Towers. My predecessor granted the application on condition that the Company paid to the Department the sum of £1,000, to be used for founding a Grammar school scholarship at Charters Towers boys' school. The condition was accepted by the Company, the sum of £1,000 was paid, and a Grammar school scholarship established, of the value of £50, to be competed for annually by the boys attending the State school at Charters Towers. The money has been placed to the Minister's credit at fixed deposit in the Queensland National Bank. I have made regulations which provide that the examination will be the same as for State scholarships, and payment will be made to the holder of the scholarship in equal amounts at the end of each of two successive years, or, in the case of a boy who wins a State scholarship, at the end of three successive years. The scholarship for the year 1890 has been awarded to the holder of a State school scholarship who is attending the Rockhampton Grammar School.
14. Transfer of Ex-pupil Teachers. In the case of pupil-teachers of both Transfer of sexes, the practice of the Department has always been to employ them in schools teachers. near to their homes until the end of their course; but, until lately, ex-pupil teachers of both sexes who had obtained classification were, when necessary, transferred to places where they could be employed with advantage to the service. These transfers, especially in the case of female assistants, were regarded with much repugnance, and became a frequent source of complaint; and since I took office the practice has been to leave female ex-pupil teachers in schools near their homes, unless they desire a transfer; and, as opportunity offers, to transfer those serving away from the homes of their parents to schools near these homes.
15. Teachers from Great Britain.-During the year there arrived in the Teachers from colony two trained and certificated teachers, who had been sent out from Great Britain by the Agent-General at the request of the Department made in 1888. They are married men, and are now in charge of schools.
Since its establishment in April, 1876, the Department has received through the Agent-General 161 teachers, selected in Great Britain for the Queensland service. In view of the increasing supply of colonial teachers, and the proposed arrangements for their higher training, there is now reason to hope that for the future the schools can be efficiently staffed from within the service. For the present it is not intended to engage teachers in Britain.
16. Schools Opened in 1889.-Fifteen new State school buildings were opened Schools opened. during the year 1889. Of these eight superseded Provisional schools previously existing at Hermitage, Kilkivan, Lowood, Ma Ma Creek, Pittsworth, Wallangarra, Warra, and Yeppoon. The other seven are at Milton, Indooroopilly, Laidley North, Roadvale, Caboolture North, Glenmore, and Homebush.
Twenty-seven Provisional schools were opened in new localities, and four Provisional schools which had been closed were re-opened at Boyne River, Cape Bowling Green, Norwell, and Rosalie Plains.
Two State schools (Capalaba and Samford) were reduced to the status of Provisional schools on account of insufficient attendance.
The overgrown State school for girls and infants at Charters Towers was
divided into two departments-one for girls and one for infants.
In Table G, appended to this Report, will be found a list of all the schools opened during 1889, with particulars respecting the cost of the State schools.
17. School Buildings in Progress.-Pursuant to action initiated in 1887 or in New schools in 1888, tenders were invited for new State school buildings at Charters Towers (Boys), Gomorron, Kangaroo Point (Girls), Mount Kent, Irvinebank, Bundaberg South (Girls and Infants), Croydon, Boulia, Spring Valley, Townsville (Girls and Infants), and Urangan.
18. New Schools Initiated.-Apart from the schools actually opened during initiated in 1899 the year 1889, as given in Table G-fifteen State and thirty-three Provisional-applications were received and dealt with for the establishment of seventeen State and eighteen Provisional schools. Of these, at the end of the year, one State school (Mount Albion) was ready for opening, two (Cabbage-tree Creek and Woodview) were in course of erection, and tenders had been called for the erection of two others (Cumberland and Harrisville). Two applications for State schools to supersede existing Provisional schools at Helidon and at Macrossan Bridge were refused on the ground
Number of schools.
Tables A, B, and C.
of insufficient attendance. The necessary action preliminary to the establishment of a school was in progress but not complete at the end of the year in the case of nine applications for State and eighteen for Provisional schools.
A list of the schools applied for with further particulars respecting them will be found in Table H, appended to this report.
19. During the year important additions were made to existing schools at Blackall, Brisbane Central (Girls), Bundaberg, Charleville, Charters Towers, Condamine, Coorparoo, Eton, Fortitude Valley, Hughenden, Kangaroo Point, Kelvin Grove Road, Killarney, Marburg, Mount Morgan, Newtown, Petrie Terrace, Ravenswood, Rockhampton, South Brisbane, Tambo, Toowoomba, Townsville, Waterford, and Winton. A list of important additions and repairs, either completed or in progress at the end of 1889, will be found in Table I, appended to this Report.
There was more than usual activity in the erection of new schools and in making additions to existing schools, and 23,685 square feet of floor space were added to the accommodation in State schools during 1889, against 7,765 square feet added in 1888. The attendance of pupils was not so regular as in 1888, but it was more regular than in any year previous to that year.
20. Fresh appointments of teachers were avoided whenever it was possible. to meet requirements by the transfer of teachers, who could be spared from other schools; so that with an increase of 1,546 pupils in average attendance (from 38,926 to 40,472), there was an increase of only 12 in the number of teachers employedfrom 1,180 to 1,492.
Pending a complete revisal of the Regulations of the Department, now in progress, no important changes were introduced in administering the Education Act during 1889. Reference to some changes made early in 1890, and to some of the principal alterations proposed under the revised Regulations will be found in a subsequent part of this Report (par. 80 and onwards).
SCHOOLS IN OPERATION IN 1889.
21. At the close of the year 1889 there were in operation 579 schools-322 State and 257 Provisional-showing an increase for the year of 35 schools-14 State and 21 Provisional. The total number of schools or distinct departments of schools open during the whole or some part of the year was 584.
When the Department succeeded the Board of Education and commenced its operations in 1876 the State schools numbered 155 and the Provisional schools 42; that is, about 21.3 per cent. of the schools were Provisional. At the close of 1889, of the whole number of schools 444 per cent. were Provisional.
22. Of half-time schools there were only six in operation at the end of the year. Four were open on alternate weeks and two on alternate half-days. There were, however, 20 other schools in which the average attendance was below the minimum required by the Act for a full-time Provisional school. Each of these was in operation during the ordinary school hours, but the salaries paid to the teachers were less than those paid to the teachers of ordinary Provisional schools.
23. The accommodation in State schools was increased by additions to existing schools and by new schools to the extent of 23,685 square feet of floor space. At the end of the year the total amount of floor space in the State schools was 367,455 square feet, exclusive of verandahs. Allowing 10 square feet to each child this gives accommodation for 36,745 children. The average attendance for the year (in State schools) was 35,243, so that there was accommodation in the State schools for 1,502 more pupils than were in average attendance. The total amount of floor space in the Provisional schools was also in excess of the requirements.
24. The ground covered by the Department's operations is extending year by year, and it is interesting to note that amongst the schools opened during the year 1889 is one at Boulia, about 200 miles west from Winton and about 120 miles from the eastern border of South Australia. Schools have been in existence for some time at Thargomindah, Windorah, Cloncurry, and Burketown.
25. Tables A, B, and C, appended to this Report, give further particulars respecting the schools in operation. Table A shows the growth of the Department by giving for each year since it was established the number of schools, the number
of teachers, the attendance of pupils, and the expenditure on buildings and in salaries to teachers. Table B compares the number of schools of each kind in operation in 1859 with the corresponding number for the previous year. In Table C will be found the name of every school in operation during 1889, with particulars respecting its attendance, teaching staff, and the expenditure on it during the year.
ATTENDANCE OF CHILDREN.
26. For the year 1889 the gross enrolment was 71,687; the multiple enrolments Enrolment. amounted to 9,310; and the net enrolment-that is to say, the number of distinct children who attended the schools of the Department during the year-was 62,347. This net enrolment shows an increase of 3,609 on that of the previous year.
The multiple enrolments-that is to say, enrolments of the same pupil in more than one school-amounted to 13.03 per cent. of the gross enrolment. ratio was 13.5 for the years 1887 and 1888.
27. The average daily attendance was 40,472. This average is the sum Average daily of the quotients of the total number of attendances in the schools severally divided by the number of days on which the schools were open respectively.
The increase in the average daily attendance over that of 1888 was 1,546. As a measure of regularity it may be noted that the average daily attendance amounts to 64.91 per cent. of the net enrolment. The attendance was less regular than in 1888, when the corresponding percentage was 66.27.
28. Of the increase in the gross annual enrolment, 2,524 names are on the Increase in rolls of State schools and 1,245 on those of Provisional schools. Of the increase state and in the average daily attendance, 1,076 children attended State schools and 470 schools. attended Provisional schools.
29. The mean quarterly enrolment was 55,860, the increase for the year Quarterly being 2,591.
30. Of the pupils enrolled, the boys formed 52-4 per cent. and the girls 47·6 Ratio of sexes. per cent. Of the pupils in average daily attendance, the boys amounted to 52.9 per cent. and the girls to 47.1 per cent. These ratios are almost identical with those of previous years.
31. Of the children who attended school during the year, 66 per cent. were Children of of statute age—that is, between six and twelve years of age, and therefore subject to the compulsory clauses of "The Education Act of 1875." The percentage of pupils under six years of age was 14.5, and the percentage of pupils over twelve years of age was 19.5. These percentages differ but very slightly from those of the previous year.
32. The number of children between the ages of five and thirteen who were Wholly reported as residing within two miles of a school but receiving no education was 573. children. This is a decrease of 88 on the number returned last year.
33. The number of children reported as attending school at a less rate than Partially 120 days throughout the school year of 225 days was 4,407. This is a decrease of children. 346 on the number returned last year.
CLASSIFICATION OF PUPILS.
34. In Class I. the enrolment at the end of the year was 23,099, being 42-34 Class I. per cent. of the whole. The average age of the children was 7:06 years. The average proficiency of the pupils in this class, expressed as a percentage, was 64·1, or above fair, in State schools, and 566, or approaching fair, in Provisional schools. In 1888 the corresponding percentages were 63.3 for State and 554 for Provisional schools.
35. In Class II. the enrolment at the end of the year was 17,305, being Class II. 3171 per cent. of the whole. The average age of the children was 10-01 years. The average proficiency of the pupils in this class, expressed as a percentage, was 62.1, or over fair, in State schools, and 55'9, or approaching fair, in Provisional schools. In 1888 the corresponding percentages were 63 for State and 56 for Provisional schools.
36. In Class III. the enrolment at the end of the year was 8,847, being Class III. 16.21 per cent. of the whole. The average age of the children was 12.02 years. The average proficiency of the pupils in this class, expressed as a percentage, was 62.2, or