« AnteriorContinuar »
In former Reports we alluded to one of our regulations, which had the practical effect of impeding, and in many cases of altogether preventing the institution of schools in agricultural districts and other localities where the residents were unable to contribute onethird of the cost of the required buildings. Although this rule has been altered with the sanction of Parliament, we have not, with our limited resources, found it possible, except in a few special cases, to grant more than two-thirds of the cost of any building erected during the past year.
We do not wish to be understood here as complaining of a want of liberalty on the part of the Legislature, but we desire earnestly to draw attention to the fact, that nothing but the absence of adequate funds has prevented the foundation of schools in several places where they are most urgently needed, but where local efforts to raise the required proportion of expenditure have failed, not through indifference on the part of the persons immediately interested, but from their want of means and other causes mentioned in previous Reports.
The total amount of local contributions towards the cost of school building during the year was £1,552 8s. 1d.
We subjoin a list of applications for aid towards the cost of erecting new schools, together with an entimate of the grant to be conditionally awarded by the Board :—
The amount expended in salaries during the year was £7,466 13s. 9d. The increase in this, the largest item of our expenditure, is due solely to the increase in the schools, and to the corresponding augmentation in the number and salaries of teachers, of whom 82 of all ranks, including pupil teachers, were employed in our service last year.
The school fees paid by the pupils amounted to £2,627 4s. 5d.
CLASSIFICATION OF TEACHERS.
The subjoined return exhibits the number of teachers of different ranks who were employed in the Board's service in the course of the year, together with the rate of salary, exclusive of school fees and house rent, paid to each.
The average cost of school buildings, including a school-house capable of accommodating from sixty to one hundred pupils, and a teacher's residence, with requisite out-offices, varies from £400 to £600, according to the material (wood or stone) and the locality. Of course larger buildings, such as that at Bowen, where £300 was raised locally for the schoolhouse alone, cost more, in proportion to their extent.
+ The amounts set forth under this heading are estimated to cover two-thirds, and in a few especial cases, threefourths of the cost of the school buildings, irrespective of furniture and apparatus,
In our last Report we referred to the extension of this institution by the addition of a separate building for infant pupils. The division of labor, as well as of space, thus See Appendix A. effected has operated beneficially for the whole establishment, the condition and progress of which will be found described in the appended report of the General Inspector.
INSPECTION OF SCHOOLS.
The inspection of schools continued to be of the same searching and effective character as was described in our Report for 1864, and kept us thoroughly and regularly informed of the state (material and moral) of every School under our control in the Colony. The necessity for the exercise of such vigilant supervision will be manifest on a perusal of the subjoined detailed general report, which, although it reveals some deficiencies and imperfections in individual schools, gives evidence, on the whole, of an amount of zeal and success on the part of the teachers which we desire in the fullest manner to acknowledge and commend.
We append a Statement of Accounts, on a comparison of which with our previous reports it will be seen, that notwithstanding the large extension of our operations, and the consequent increase in our general expenditure, the cost of official management has undergone no augmentation.
STATEMENT of MONEYS paid by the BOARD OF EDUCATION for SALARIES and CONTINGENCIES, from 1st JANUARY to 31st DECEMBER, 1865.
We submit this our Report for the year 1865, and in testimony thereof, have affixed thereto our corporate seal, this 30th day of January, 1866.
GENERAL REPORT ON THE CONDITION OF THE SCHOOLS DURING THE YEAR 1865.
[In the following brief synopsis of the results of inspection in 1865, where dates are not given, the whole year is included.]
The purposes which this institution is designed to fulfil, and its relation to the other schools of the Colony, have been so fully described in former reports, that it would be superfluous to do more than give a brief synopsis of its progress during the past year.
With regard to the attendance of pupils, it is gratifying to be able to report, that in this respect the schools have maintained their high reputation, although the great prevalence of sickness among children in the latter part of the year considerably diminished the "daily average," which, however, exceeded that of 1864 by eighty children. The average daily attendance for 1864 and 1865 being 522.9, and 602-8, respectively.
The aggregate number of scholars who were admitted into the schools during the year was 1503. The aggregate and average above given will be understood to include the three departments of the establishment, viz.,-the boys', girls', and infant schools.
Boys' School.-In the boys' department the course of instruction was somewhat less ambitious, and, perhaps, more in keeping with a model elementary school than that of the previous year; and the results, if less showy, were, I believe, more solid and satisfactory, and gave evidence of a more equable distribution of the teaching power among the junior classes, as well as of a greater equality in the attainments of the pupils of the highest class than I had ever before observed. Thus at an examination, held at the end of the year, there was no boy found equal to either of the two successful candidates for scholarships in 1864; but the average amount of knowledge possessed by the pupils of the fourth, or highest class, was at least as extensive and as exact as at any former examination.
I subjoin a table showing the subjects taught to the fourth class, and the time devoted to each branch of instruction. Similar tables, indicating the occupation of the junior classes, according to their various attainments and capacities, are in use in the school, but their insertion would occupy too much space in this outline report :
Girls' School. I insert a tabulated statement of the subjects taught in the girls' school, and its subordinate, though not less interesting or important branch, the infant department; and I have to observe in this connection, that while every item of instruction specified in the time-table has been faithfully, and, with a few trifling exceptions, effectively carried out, there are some extra branches, as French, drawing, and instrumental music, which have been taught to a few of the pupils with a fair degree of success. Vocal music forms a part of the instruction in all the vested schools in the city, and appears to become more appreciated than formerly, especially by those parents whose homes are made happier by the merry voices of their infant children singing the little melodies which they have learnt at school. Needlework and various kinds of fancy-work have been cultivated with an amount of success that I am not competent justly to estimate, but which appeared to win the approval of lady visitors at the public and private examinations of the year.
II. Pupil Teachers.-Out of twenty-three candidates for the office of pupil teacher, eleven have been admitted into the Normal School since the date of my last report. The total number employed during the year in the vested schools of the city was fifteen. And here it may be necessary to explain that candidates for pupil-teachership are obliged to assist in the schools, under the direction of the Head Master or Head Mistress, during a period of from one to three months, in order that their capacity, mental and physical, and their aptitude for the arduous and trying duties of the teaching profession may be fairly tested, before they are admitted into the Board's service.