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6 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

Intermediate Education In…

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Intermediate Education In Wales MEETING OF THE CENTRAL BOARD AT CARNARVON The sixth ordinary half-yearly meeting of Central Welsh Board of Education was eld at the new County School, Carnarvon, 011 Friday. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. On the motion of the Rev Aaron Da-v:es, ^r. Humphreys-Owen, M.P., was elected chairman for the ensuing year, and Prin- c*pal Viriamu Jones was re-appointed vice- j chairman. OFFICIAL WELCOME. Mr J. Issard Davies, chairman of the ^arnarvon County School Governors, in- troduced to the Chairman and members of the Board the Mayor of Carnarvon (Mr W. • Williams), the Town Clerk (Mr J. H. oo<Jvel-Roberts), and several members of Council. The Mayor welcomed the Central Board to the town andi to the new building. Car- narvon had taken much interest in the in- termediate schools since the Act was passed, and they had had to hold the school in a very inefficient place. They had suc- Ceeded very well, however, owing to the efforts of the teachers, and some of the Pipils had distinguished themselves in the 1, ^laminations open to the United Kingdom Applause). He expected a great many nllre would do so in the near future. Great trouble had been experienced in obtaining a suitable site for the school, but they had been very fortunate in securing the site they had adopted (applause). This they '\Vere told they could not have unless they Would take a whole block, which they were not allowed to do under the scheme. Their Chairman (Mr Issard DaviesN> came to the fescue by btivinly the whole cf the land, and selling to them that portion of it which they Wanted (applause). The young men who Would be brought up there would have a Proper start in life. Education was getting its proper attention in Carnarvon, the School Board having spent not far from £ 10,000 to get a preparatory sebool,. for that 0116• The Welsh peop'e Lad been almost pan- because they had not had a proper ttteans of education. He was one of those ■(Vfis neglected to a certain extent, and he was sorry they were rot all fifteen years of age to start life again under the new con- ations (laughter and applause). He hoped that the future would be brighter than the Past for Wales (applause). The Chairman returned thanks for the Welcome and said the Central Welsh Board had pleasure in coming to Carnarvon not only because of the historic associations of the ancient town, but also because Carnar- von was the first county in Wales which Passed its scheme through the meshes of the different departments in London before it was approved by Her Majesty in Council (applause). He could not forbear from say- lng that the county which he represented ran Carnarvon a very good second. Carnar- vonshire was closely associated with a man who could not indeed be called a founder of the Welsh intermediate education system because no one man could claim that credit, hut he was conspicuous amongst those Wilo aided it. He referred to his hon. friend Mr Arthur Acland (applause). No one in Carnarvonshire, he thought, would forget Mr Acland's long and valuable connection I with that county. While speaking of the creators cf the Welsh intermediate educa- tion system he thougl;t, they were arrays glad to have amongst them the worthy son °f a worthy sire—their friend Mr William Bruce (applause). The ro:om in which they were assembled was part of a very handsome, commodious, and well-palnned building which formed a monument to the patriotism and public spirit of the county (applause). As had just been said, the school which would have its home in that building had already produced distin- guished pupils, and he felt confident it would produce many more in the future. lIe could not help carrying his own memory back fifty years and' comparing that magni- ficent and well-equipped building with the cocklofts and sheds in which Dr Vaughan and Bishop Westcott at Harrow produced the men of the generation which was just Passing away. Certainly if the chief in- spector could be carried back fifty years and could go round and see the rooms from which Lord Spencer, Sir George Trevelyan, Sir Matthew Ridley, Lord Gecrge H;1T::1- ton, and many other distinguised men in both Houses 6f Parliament received thi-ii' early tuition the result would be that they would have in the form of a special report to the Central Welsh Board a most tirgent representation from the- Wei si; Board to the Treasury for all grants to be immediate- ly stopped (laughter). He mentioned this as an indication of the stages which had been passed in the growth education had made in this country previous to 1880 the appliances for education in Wales were scanty, but the spirit was there, and those who would turn to the pages of the famous reports of 1846 would know that mixed up with many sad and painful reports there were also throughout the book evidences of the admirable spirit of the Welsh people (applause). It was to the spirit and initia- tive of the Welsh people that the love ot learning and the love of literature which had always distinguished them were now finding their proper course and running in their proper channel. The policy of Welsh educationists had been not to have a few centres for select pupils but to have many centres of enlightenment, so as to bring, as the common phrase was, education to the doors of the people. This was being done in Carnarvonshire, where there was a very large number of schools. The more facili- ties they gave for education the more ad- vantage would be taken of it. He had only to appeal now to all those who were inter- ested in the prosperity of Wales to take a keen and an enlightened interest in the education which was given in the schools (applause). The educational system of Wales was thoroughly democratic, every, political creed and almost every denomina- tion being engaged in carrying on the work. That being so he felt confident that the lead which Wales had taken in the United King- That being so he felt confident that the lead which Wales had taken in the United King- dom wou.1d be maintained and that Wales would be a very different ccmitry in the course of another generation. WhIle W e>sh- ttien had already contributed verv much to the service of the Empire and the Queen, they would be enabled in the future to in- crease this service ten-fold (loud applause). PROPOSED CADET CORPS The Carmarthenshire. County Goveru ing Body recommended that cadet corps should be established in connection the county schools in Wales, and the Brecon Local Governing Body eudorsea their opinion. Mr J. Issard Davies moved that the Letters conveying these facts to the Central Board should lie 011 the table. The country was not in a proper condition to consider anything of this kind fao- plause). The motion was agreed to. TEACHING OF WELSH HISTORY. A letter was received from the Cym- mrodorion Society, Cardiff, recommend- ing thr.b the history of Wales be taught in the University Colleges, the Intermed- iate Schools and Elementary Schools of the Principality.—Professor Anwyl said that he had great personal sympathy with the proposal, but he did not think it came within the province of the Board, and be moved that the letter be received.—Mr J. E. Powell: What do we understand by that ? I can understand a letter lying 011 the table.—Professor Anwyl said that he meant that the letter be acknowledged.— Principal Reichel remarlaed that one of the most valuable functions of a public body like that was 'to ventilate general questions of this character (hear, hear). Mr Powell suggested that the Executive Committee be asked to report upon the letter to the next meeting of the Board. He felt that the boys and girls in Welsh schcols should know the history of their own country (hear, hear). He formally moved that the letter be referred to the Executive Comttele.-Professor Ainwyl withdrew his motion in favour of this.- Miss Hannah Williams seconded, and said that they were very proud of Wales and its history, but. really very few of the children knew much about the history of e (I y Wales and she would welcome a good and readable history of the Principality.—Mr W. D. Jones (Holyhead) said that he would like something to be decided that day in the matter of" teaching Welsh his- tory, and he hoped that their English friends would support them. Although v( -v:, of them were not well versed in Welsh history, they would like their child- ren to know it ,T. W. Phillips (Newport) pointed out that until there were text-books on Welsh history avail- able to teachers in the elementary and secondary schools it was impossible, to take up" thE) subject,—Mr W. J. Russell pointed out that the Central Welsh Board in every case specified that the history taught should be that of England I I and Wales. What was needed was the proper carrying out of the regulation5- which already existed.—Mr D. P. Wil- liams said they agreed that it was neces- sary to teach Welsh history, and if they asked the committee to recommend text- books, they could follow it up by sending out recommendations to the governing bodies to make usei of those books.—Mr Issard Davies said there could be no two opinions as to the necessity of teaching Welsh history but really there was not a single'standard Welsh history, and the Cym- mrodorion did not recommend a. book.—Mr Cadwaladr Davies suggested that full powers should not be given to the commit- tee to act, but that they be asked to report to the Board.—This was eventually agreed to. On the consideration of the annual re- port the question of Welsh history was fur- ther dealt with. The Examiner in History reported that it was "somewhat consoling to find that the senior work was as a whole immensely superior to that in the junior and below the junior stage," though Welsh his- tory appeared both in stages 3 and 4 to h'ave been insufficiently dealt w:th. —Mr T. W. Phillips thought this criticism was unfair to thd teachers inasmuch as there were no Welsh test-books, and he believed the words ought to be modified.—Professor Anwyl referred to Professor Lloyd's his- torical readers which contained a good deal of matter in which the children might be interested.—Principal Reichel said that the history of Wales was full of details, and as such it was a great tax on the memory. After further discussion it was resolved to modify thd criticism of the Examiner, by adding after "insufficiently dealt with" the words "probably in consequence of the absence of any suitable test-books on the subject cover- ing the whole ground." NEW MEMBERS. The following new members were intro- duced Alderman W. J. Parry by Principal Reichel; Mrs Humphreys Owen by Principal Roberts; Mr Hopkyn Morgan (Glamorgan- shire) by the Rev Aaron Davies; Mr H.Tho- mas, iieaumaris, by Prof. Anwyl; Mr W.D. Jones, Holyhead, by MrH. Thomas; and Mr J. Issard Davies by Mr J. Trevor Owen (bieadmaster of the Carnarvon County School). I THE REPORT. The Board, in their annual report, con- gratulated the Principality on the continued growth of intermediate education as shown by the fact that the number of schools had gone up from 80 to 93 since 1897, and the number of scholars from 6427 to 7390, there being now 3877 boys and 3573 girls. These schools were under the charge of 72 head- masters, 21 headmistress, and 350 assistants. On the examiners' reports the board were able to recommend the, full grant in every case except that of Cowbridge Girls' School. The Haverfordwest Grammar School had had its grant reduced by the Charity Com- missioners, who had alse recommended a reduction of the Treasury grant to the county of Anglesey owing to the delay in opening a school at Holyhead. On the re- sult of the examination of the year 1899 the Board offered certificates of two orders senior and junior. For the senior 431 pupils entered and 285 passed; for the junior 927 entered, of whom 690 passed. The chief inspector hlad raised the following question in hie report:—"What is the best. linguistic course for the first year in a Welsh- speaking district? Are the pupils to neglect their native tongue in order that they may have more time to struggle with English, Latin, and French at the outset P Or are they to perfect their knowledge of Welsh and English in order that they may be stronger to grapple) in Latin and French at a later stage?" The Board considered it premature to attempt any solution, but they submitted two considerations, viz.1) the expectation that official discouragement of the use of Welsh would tend to its discon- tinuance was visionary; (2) it was the aim of the intermediate system to offer sec- ondary teaching to all capable Welsh child- ren, and though many of them would go out into the world where Welsh would be of no advantage to them yet many, perhaps the majority, would live out their life in Wales, and for tnese latter it might well be urged that a serious grammatical and literary train- ing in Welsh would be a more valuable intel- iectu-i] possession in after years than the schoolboy knowledge of a dead or foreign languages. The Board welcomed the pro- visions made by the School Bc&rds of Barry, Bersham, and Festiniog, for giving to their pupil teachers their instruction in general subjects in county schools. They had also received with satisfaction copies of schemes formulated by the authorities of the Uni- versity College of Wales and Aber- yswyth and by an educational con- ference for the county of Den- bigh and approved by the Denbighshire County Governing Body. Having regard to the large proportion of pupils which the county schools drew from the public ele- mentary schools, the Central Board were convinced that it was both the interest and the duty of the county schools to give all facilities in their power to enable pupil teachers to obtain their preliminary in- struction in the county schools. It would relieve the elementary school masters and mistresses of a serious burden, it would tend to increase the co-ope'ration between the ele- mentary and the intermediate schools, it would give to the probationers a wider ex- perience, and it would postpone to a time somewhat nearer to maturity the beginning of their professional training. Everyone interested in education must regret that, alone among liberal professions, that of teaching in elementary schools should be thought to require an apprenticeship in childhood. The Central Board, while warmly approving for these reasons the at- tendance of probationer pupil teachers at the intermediate schools, did not think it within their province to advise the accept- ance in all their details of any of the schemes Provisions which might suit centres of population such as Barry or Festiniog might be found unsuitable to districts sparsely populated and imperfectly provided with railway access. Each county governing body, if not each county school, must .be the best judge of the methods which' should be adopted. The Central Board, however, had reason to think that conferences such as that which framed the Denbighshire pro- posals might, if organised for counties or groups of counties, prove useful in dealing with this subject. The organisation of such conferences was one of the functions of the Board, and if received encouragement from any district it would be glad to act. The first fruits of the Act esta dishing the Board of Education was the Minute of the 6th instant establishing higher elementary schools. The chief features of the schools contemplated by the memorandum were that they provided for a four years' course of education from (for the present) the Fourth Standard of the Code up to to the age of fifteen, with grants ranging from a minimum of -os in the first year to a maxi- mum of 65s in the fourth year, together with additional grants for practical work. Pupils must have attended a public elemen- tary school for two years, must be approved by an inspector qualified to profit by the in- struction, and the school itself and the course of instruction must be approved as suitable by him. It was obvious that there might be considerable risk of overlapping heL tween such schools and the lower forms of the intermediate schools. It was to be hoped that the Board of Education and their inspectors would be alive to this danger, and that higher elementary schools likely to have this effect might not be approved by the Board of Education. The Central Board, however, concurred in the following resolution passed by their Executive Com- mittee -"The issue by the Board of Educa- tion of this Minute may have a very im- portant bearing upon the work of the Central Board; they hoped that in the consitution of the Consultative Committee under the Board of Education Act adequate repre- sentation will be given to the Central Board and that in all matters affecting Welsh in- termediate education in the special know- ledge and position of the Board will not be ignored." The expenditure of the ensuing year was estimated at zC4969 3s 2d, and the income at JE5022 16s, leaving a balance in favour of the Board of £ 53 12s lOd. .r Hugh Thomas, Angletsey, referring to a remark in the report as to the Holyhead school, said that the school governors had been in a difficulty to secure a site for the new schools, but one had now been secured and paid for; the plans of the school had been adopted and would be submitted to the Charity Commissioners in due course. There was a fair prospect of the erection of the school being proeeeded with without delay (applause). In /the course of the observations of the report upon the reports of the examiners oc- curred the statement that -only one schiool took the subject of agriculture, and that probably the time question to it would be more usefully employed in a study of one of the natural sciences. Mr Issard Davies said it was a pity the subject of agriculture should be neglected in this way, especially in a county like Montgomeryshire. He thought tuat the Board, instead of discourag- ing the taking up of this subject, should in- sist upon its being taught in schools in rural districts.—Principal Reichel suggested that as agriculture was an applied science it could not be taught successfully, except to those who had previously acquired the necessary scientific knowledge. He was impressed with the necessity of the rural schools being adapted to the life of thte rural population, and he would like, to see a committee ap- pointed for the express purpose of consider- ing how far the subjects taught in rural sec- ondary schools could be made more suitable to the rural population and rural pursuits, consistent with educational efficiency. VOCAL MUSIC. Mrs Humphreys Owen bad a motion on the agenda that examination in vocal music for pupils between the ages of twelve and six- teen be not choral, but confined to solos, &c. She supported this on the authority of several experts that at those ages rest was absolutely necessary for a child's voice. Mr Hopkin Morgan strongly opposed, stating that the resolution would deter schools from having singing altogether. The motion was withdrawn with a view to its re- submission later in a modified form. APPOINTMENTS. Professor Anwyl, Miss Mary Collin, Rev Aaron Davies, Alderman Jones Griffiths, the Chairman, and Mr P. P. Pennant were re- elected on the Executive Committee, and Mr Trevor Owen was elected. Mr W. Ed- wards was re-elected a co-operative member of tne Board. As representatives on the court of the University of Wales there were elected Mr Tom John, Mr Trevor Owen, Mr Edwards, Miss Jones (Wrexham), Mr Tegarty, and Sir Robert Cunliffe. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. The report of the Executive Committee was received, among the items being the following: —At the request of the Executive Committee the Chief Inspector made in- quiries as to the dates of meetings of County Conncils and County Governing Bodies in Wales. As a result of the information laid before the Committee by the Chief Inspector it was decided to recommend the Board to hold its half-yearly meetings in each year on the third Friday in May and on the third Friday in November. Mr Headlam being unable this year to take up the duties of temporary inspector, the Executive Com- mittee have appointed Mr A. M. Bell, M.A., Oxon, to act as temporary inspector during the summer term of 1900, at a fee of £ 75, with first-class railway fares and hotel ex- penses. On March 2nd, 1900, the Execu- tive Committee appointed a sub-committee to consider and report upon the duties that could be advantageously employed by the\ Board. The sub-committee reported that on the basis of the estimates for the ensuing year there would be a surplus of about R300. This sum they did not consider sufficient to secure the services of a competent inspector, and, having regard to the probability of further changes taking place in the relation of the schools to the Science J and Art De- partment recommended that only tempor- ary provision should for the present be at- tempted. The question of science and art grants was still under discussion, and the Board had no definite report to make. They, however, thought it opportune to record that Mr Bryce's Commission recommended that "the grants of the Science and Art De- partment and those to evening and continua- tion schools ought to be consolidated into a grant to be made to the new local authori- ties for secondary education on a scale not lower than the existing grants, but re-gulatetl by new conditions and ap- j plicable to secondary education in all its forms and branches." The recommenda- tions of the committee werg approved, but some discussion took place with reference to the question of a permanent assistant in- spector. It was held that the duty of in- spection could not be adequately carried out by one inspection,even with occasional tem- porary assistance, and thte committee were requested to take steps as arly as they deemed advisable for securing the services of a regular assistant to Mr Owen Owen. MISCELLANEOUS. Copies of the schemes for the instruction of pupil teachers in the county schools suggest- t ed by the Court of Govelrnors of the Uni- versity College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and by the Denbighshire County Governing Body were presented, and Mr W. JT Russell, of Wrexham County School, stated thai the Head Masters' Association had: also their own scheme. A short discussion took place, but the meeting declined to express its ap- proval for any particular scheme, being of opinion that whatever schemes were adopted must be framed to meet the requirements of the district for which they were intended. Owing to the absence of Mr Gwilym Evans an expected discussion on the overlapping of schools did not take place. Mr Evans had given notice of his intention to call at- tention to "the anomalous and unsatisfactory state of affairs that now exists in certain districts where intermediate and advanced elementary schools are carried on."—A pro- j posed pension scheme is before the Board, who have asked for an actuarial report. The actuary intimated that he could not send in his report in time for that meeting. Principal H. R. Reichel had given notice of his desire to "call attention to the desira- bility of utilising the national songs in the county schools as a means of culture, and to move a resolution." He had, however, been obliged to leave' the meeting before this item on the agenda had been reached. The thanks of the Boaru were tendered, on the motion of the chairman (Mr Humphreys Owen, M.P.), to the Governors of the Car- narvon County School for the use of the building, and to the Chairman of the Local Governing Body (Mr Issard Davies) 'or his hospitality.

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