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I have classified the different municipalities according to regulation:
1. The length and arrangement of the school year.
3. The supply of apparatus, maps, blackboards, etc.
5. Use of authorized series of text-books.
6. Salaries of teachers and method of payment.
Each municipality has a chance of obtaining 60 marks; 10 marks being allowed for each of the above needs.
Those municipalities which have obtained 45 marks or over have been classed excellent; from 45 to 35, good; 35 to 25, middling ; 25 and under, bad.
The majority of the municipalities are deficient under heads 3, 6 and 1, i.e., the supply of apparatus, blackboards, maps, etc.; salaries of teachers and method of payment; length and arrangement of the school year.
In the matter of the use of authorized text-books, nearly all the schools are in line.
There are very few schools in which the Course of Study is not followed. I left a copy of the course in every school; also a copy of regulations. I found several schools in which the work was not being carried on according to a specified time-table. In such cases I assisted the teacher to make out a provisional time-table, by means of which her work as well as the pupils' could be carried on systematically.
The condition of the schoolhouses in those municipalities which are classified as excellent, good, middling, is fair. I cannot say much in favor of the school-grounds, as there is not much attention paid to them by the authorities in charge. In the matter of school apparatus the schools in my inspectorate are sadly deficient. Some schools have not a single map upon the walls. One of the essential requisites in teaching school, viz., a blackboard, is not to be found in many schools. I have spoken to the commissioners about these matters, and in many cases I have been assured that suitable blackboards will be placed in all schools under their control.
In several of the municipalities classed "bad" the schoolhouses are old and in a bad condition. There is no apparatus for teaching purposes; the school year is badly divided; salaries of teachers, in some cases, are very low.
How are we to remedy this state of affairs? By an increased grant to the elementary schools. At the present time, on account of the small grant offered, the school inspector has but little power over the commissioners or trustees. He may advise, recommend, report; but in many cases there is no change effected. Now, if the grant were
larger, so that the withdrawing of it would be felt, the inspector would have a lever with which he could move a municipality and bring it into line. The large majority of our people receive no other education than that afforded by our elementary schools: hence the necessity of making these schools as efficient as possible.
Generally speaking, the teachers are faithful in the discharge of their duties. They will be in a position to do better work when their schools are supplied with proper apparatus.
The secretary-treasurers, with few exceptions, perform their duties faithfully. All accounts are honestly kept, but in some cases the secretary-treasurers are dilatory in collecting taxes, and, in consequence thereof, the teachers are not promptly paid.
A teachers' institute was held at Inverness, in the county of Megantic, during the month of July. It was conducted by Dr. Harper and myself. There were 65 teachers in attendance, and great interest was manifested in the work. The meetings were held in the academy. The township of Inverness has reason to be proud of the fine brick building which has been erected during the present year for educational purposes. They have also reason to be proud of the high standing taken by their academy last year. The credit belongs, in a great measure, to the principal, Mr. James Mabon, B.A., who is an excellent teacher, a zealous worker in the cause of education.
I hope that this report, together with the statistical table and the bulletins of inspection, will give you a clear idea of the state of education in my district at the present time.
I have the honor, etc.,
HUNTINGDON, 9th August, 1890.
To the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
SIR, I have the honor to submit my ninth annual report on the state of education in my inspectorate for the year ending 30th June, 1890. The statistical table was forwarded to the Superintendent of Public Instruction on the 24th ulto. The full and explicit information given in it and in the bulletins of inspection leaves but little of importance to report; but, in order to express some of the statements in a concise form, I will recapitulate to some extent.
In this district there are 57 municipalities, including 216 schools in operation-188 elementary, 8 model, 6 academies and 14 private institutions-scattered over nine counties, or over an area of about 6,000 square miles; 13,200 pupils-Protestants, 6,278 boys and 6,011 girls; Roman Catholics, 497 boys and 414 girls-taught by 422 teachers: 59 males and 363 females. Five of the male teachers hold elementary, 6 model, and 31 academy diplomas; while 17, eleven of whom are teachers in private schools, are without any diplomas. Of the female teachers, 147 hold elementary diplomas, 132 model, 43 academy; and 41, eighteen of whom taught in private schools, have no diplomas. Thirteen of the diplomas were granted by the Roman Catholic boards, 95 by the Protestant boards, and 256 by McGill Normal School.
The municipalities are arranged in the statistical table according to our instructions. The condition of many of them, both as regards schools and schoolhouses, has been much improved during the year, while that of others, though greatly in need, remains unchanged. In the latter class are included the outlying municipalities of Argenteuil, those in the county of Vaudreuil, St. Anicet No. II., and the dissentient municipalities of Dundee, Godmanchester and Hinchinbrooke in the county of Huntingdon.
Various methods have been tried during the past nine years, in order to assist the teachers in securing better attendance and closer application to school work; but one after another, as the novelty wore away, became ineffectual, and therefore had to be abandoned. The plan followed for the past two years is that authorized by section 9 of article 9 of Public Instruction. I regret to have to say that the response to the call for specimens was neither so large nor so general last year as it was the year before. In comparing school with school in general proficiency, the pupils of nearly all the city schools, as shown by the examination of the 1st and 2nd intermediate classes; those of Nos. 1, 2 and 3, Chatham No. 2; of Nos. 1 and 5, Lachute; of Nos. 1 and 4, Gore; of Nos. 1 and 4, St. Andrew; of Nos. 2 and 6, Chatham No. 1; and of No. 3, Grenville No. 3, in the county of Argenteuil; those of the schools of St. Henry and Cote St. Paul, in the county of Hochelaga; those of Nos. 3, 5 and 6, Franklin; of No. 5, Havelock; of Nos. 1, 2, 5, 7, 9 and 10, Godmanchester; of Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 9, Hinchinbrooke; of Nos. 4 and 5, Elgin; of Nos. 1 and 3, Hemmingford; of Nos. 4 and 6, Dundee, in the county of Huntingdon; those of Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 7, Ormstown; of Nos. 1, 2 and 5, Howick; of No. 3, Chrysostome No. 2, in the county of Châteauguay; those of No. 5, Lacolle, in the county of St. Johns; and those of Pointe-Fortune, in the county of Vaudreuil, take the lead, and well deserve the title of excellent.
Physiology and Hygiene and the French language are now taught in nearly all the schools whose teachers are capable of so doing.
Obtaining statistics from private schools is a precarious matter. Though the inspector is generally courteously received, seldom he is favored with the desired information at once, but is frequently put off by being asked to leave a list of what is required. These lists, with few exceptions, are never returned. Owing to the energetic measures adopted by the school commissioners of the city of Montreal in providing superior accommodation for the children under their care, the number of private schools is diminishing. If there is a spark of gratitude in man, the Premier, Mr. Mercier, should feel the effects of it, for the inestimable advantages that he has conferred on the young artisans, clerks and laborers, not only of the city of Montreal, but also of the Province of Quebec, by the night schools. It was my privilege to teach a class of young men and women (Jews) that I found without a teacher one night last winter in the British and Canadian School,
and a more studious and interesting class I have scarcely ever taught. There is necessarily a sameness in our annual reports that makes them tedious, and, as the educational machinery is working somewhat smoothly, this one is no exception. The prize books have been awarded to deserving pupils of the schools of Argenteuil, Lacolle, Hemmingford and the suburban schools of the city of Montreal. The prize cards are given only to such pupils as are found ready to be promoted to the next grade.
I have the honor, etc.,
NOTICES FROM THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE.
His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased, under date 14th February, 1891, to appoint five school commissioners for the municipality of Cote St. Paul, Co. Hochelaga.
24th February. To appoint five school commissioners for the new municipality of St. Louis of Westbury, Co. Compton.
12th March. To appoint five school commissioners for the new municipality of St. Herménégilde, Co. Stanstead.
His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor, in Council, has been pleased to order, whereas the dissentient school trustees of the municipality of Roxton Falls, in the County of Shefford, have allowed one year to pass without having a school in their municipality, or jointly with other trustees in a neighboring municipality, and have not put the education law in force, and have taken no measures to establish schools according to law; that the corporation of the said dissentient school trustees for the said municipality of Roxton Falls, in the said County of Shefford, be declared dissolved within the delay determined by law.
To detach school districts one and six of the parish of St. Andrews, Co. Argenteuil, from the school municipality of the parish of St. Andrews, same county, and to erect the same into a new school municipality, under the name of the Village of St. Andrews, Co. Argenteuil. (This erection applies to the Protestants only.) 21st March. To detach certain lots from the municipality of Forsyth (St. Evariste), Co. Beauce, and to annex them to the school municipality of Adstock, same county; also to detach certain lots from the school municipality of St. Henry of Mascouche, Co. L'Assomption, and to annex them to the municipality of St. Lin, same county. Both these annexations to take effect from 1st July, 1891. 942.