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however, with the statement that, in making my report, I would refer especially to the following items :-(I) To the number of teachers for the number of pupils; (2) the grade of the teachers' diplomas; (3) the efficiency of the staff; (4) the rate of salary paid; (5) the general character of the school building and the manner in which it is kept in a state of repair; (6) the number and size of the class-rooms, and the condition in which they are kept by a regularly-appointed and sufficiently-paid care-taker; (7) the furniture and the condition of repair in which it is kept; (8) the school apparatus, including the usual school appliances, as mentioned directly in the Regulations, and material for object teaching, drawing, elementary science lessons, the teaching of music, etc.; (9) the grounds, their size and convenience, and the manner in which they are enclosed and planted with trees; and (10) the closets and the arrangement for their regular inspection. The record which I have kept in accordance with this intimation has enabled me to define numerically the condition of the school in each of these respects, and, as in the case of the tabular statement I drew up for the Committee last year for their guidance in distributing the special bonuses for the purchase of apparatus, I feel convinced that the tables thus obtained will assist materially in finding out the comparative condition of the schools, so that the annual amount of bonus for appliances may be awarded with equity in each instance. In making up this report, moreover, I have been guided to a large extent by each of the above items mentioned in my last intimation to the schools, and will endeavor to indicate what progress has been made in connection with all of them.
In former years I mentioned the districts that deserved credit for the efforts put forth in making their school-buildings what they ought to be; this year, so general has become the improvement in this respect, that I need only make mention of the exceptions, which, I am glad to say, are not numerous. Of our twenty-three Academies no less than twenty-one are built of brick or stone, while, of the thirty-seven Model Schools, twenty-four are of the same material. The two Academies that are frame buildings are Coaticook and Bedford, both of them, however, being comparatively new buildings, and in such an excellent state of repair that no change need be expected of them in this respect. The building in Lachute has been found to be in an unsatisfactory condition, the town having outgrown the school accommodation it affords. I am glad to report that a movement has been inaugurated in favor of a new building among
the citizens of that place by the purchase of a new site, and, doubt, before another year goes by, Lachute will be able to look with pride upon a new and improved school-house, with sufficient accommodation for the pupils of all the grades. Another instance of this disproportion between the accommodation and the necessities of the case is to be seen in Waterloo, where at least two of the rooms are too small. Of the other Academies that have not obtained the maximum mark in this connection are Knowlton, where one of the rooms is altogether inadequate; Inverness, where the services of a third teacher are required, the accommodation for such being provided; Clarenceville, where a third department has been organized this year; and Three Rivers, where there are only two teachers employed, though accommodation has been provided for three departments. Of the Model Schools that have not gained the maximum mark for school accommodation, I have to make mention of Ormstown, where the necessity of a new building has become imperative on account of the increase of the school population. The primary department, at present, is accommodated in a detached building, which is anything but a credit to the Commissioners. The others I have to mention as having failed to reach the highest standard are Ulverton, where a second department has been arranged for this year; Rawdon, where there does not appear to be school population for two departments; Gould, where there are two teachers for a portion of the year, but only one room; and St. Sylvestre, which, like the two former, is situated in a remote country district. But for these exceptions, the standard might be raised a degree for all our schools, though the small number of such, I feel convinced, will tend to enhance in the minds of people the highly-favorable report I am thus in a position to make in regard to school accommodation. We are certainly, in this respect, not behind those of our sister provinces, where the terms of comparison are proportionate.
In regard to the efficiency of our teachers, I have this year struck an average of the character of the work being done by all the teachers of a school at the date of my visit of inspection -not, as previously, by merely classifying the merits of the head-teacher. In a general way, I have here, however, to bear my testimony to the professional spirit that prevails among the majority of the principals of our schools, and the zeal with which they are always willing to introduce the more modern pedagogical methods or appliances. Our School Commissioners are becoming more and more alive to the necessity of retaining
the services, or, where the necessity arises, of appointing headteachers who have made a creditable reputation for themselves, and last year all our Academies, with but two exceptions, were in the hands of such teachers, whose influence for good was being felt in all the departments under their supervision. It is not always possible to distinguish between what is called a trained teacher and the untrained teacher of experience; the two classes are all but identical as far as the character of their work is concerned. The advantage, however, is in the trained teacher's favor when the novice is entering upon school-work, and hence we must look forward hopefully to the time when all the teachers, in our superior schools at least, may be classified as having had a Normal School experience before entering upon their duties. A generation may have to pass before this can be accomplished, and yet, as far as the female teachers of the secondary departments of our Academies are concerned, we are in the meantime steadily working towards that result, however far we may be from it at the present time. Of the 117 female teachers in our Model Schools 47 of them have passed through the Normal School, while of the 46 male teachers only 15 have diplomas from that institution. The most of those who have not passed through the Normal Schools are teachers of experience, and hence the numerical ratio is not to be taken as an unfavorable indication of the efficiency of our schools, for in this respect, as in nearly all others, I can speak highly of the industry and pains-taking character of the majority of our teachers.
In the matter of salaries, the figures in the column under that heading indicate the percentage paid under the standard of salaries accepted by the Committee previous to the distribution of the special grants for the purchase of apparatus. The standard is as follows:
(1) Aggregate of the salaries of the three teachers paid the highest in an advanced Academy, $2,000.
(2) Aggregate of the salaries of the three teachers in a secondary Academy, $1,500.
(3) Aggregate of the salaries of the two teachers paid the highest in an advanced Model School, $850.
(4) Aggregate of the salaries of the two teachers in a secondary Model School, $600.
By dividing the amounts actually paid by the above amounts, respectively, the percentage has been made out. The average salary of male teachers engaged in our Academies, it may be as well to state here, is $798, and of our male teachers engaged in our Model Schools, $495, while the average salary of female
teachers engaged in our Academies is $260, and of those engaged in our Model Schools, $211-a fairly creditable showing, though indicating, at the same time, how far the School Commissioners are from the desired result laid down in the above estimates of what our teachers' salaries should be.
The bonus for improvements has had an excellent effect in producing closer supervision in the matter of repairs, neither buildings nor furniture being allowed to remain, as in so many cases formerly, in an unsatisfactory state. It is now understood that the highest mark can only be obtained when the desks are of the improved style, the rooms and approaches all tidily whitewashed or painted, and the evidence given of a regular system of care-taking. Last year, four Academies failed to gain this mark, and no less than twenty-one of our Model Schools are classified as having failed to do so, too. Nine of the latter were found negligent, and, if this continues in their case next year, it would, perhaps, be as well to enter their names in the annual report, if it so please the Committee.
Of the apparatus, I expect that another year will provide a much more satisfactory report, considering the grants that have been distributed to all schools for the purchase of appliances. Eight Academies failed to reach the maximum, while only eight of the Model Schools came within twenty-five per cent. of it. After the grants had been distributed, I was invited by the teachers to suggest how the money should be expended. In reply, I gave the advice that, before any additional apparatus should be purchased, all the articles ennumerated in the Regulations, under the heading "School Furniture and Apparatus," should be procured. With the balance of the money that remained, or was otherwise in hand from school entertainments, etc., it should be expended, as far as it would go, in securing the following: At least one topographical map; a set of charts on color, natural history and physics; a dictionary for each department; a manikin for physiology; some apparatus for object lessons; a cabinet for minerals and curiosities; a book-case for the library. The amount of money granted would hardly pay for all of these articles; yet, if the principle is to be adopted, that the annual bonuses for appliances are to be paid to the Commissioners, on the understanding that they are to be expended for apparatus, all our schools will, no doubt, in time become furnished with all this additional material.
The report on the grounds and outhouses is not yet as favorable as could be wished; yet, the plans of having constant supervision is being very generally adopted. It is to be very
much regretted that the annual holiday of Arbor Day has not, for some time past, been observed with benefit to the schools or improvement to the grounds. The regulation in regard to the enclosing of the grounds is being carried out, and, if they were only well stocked with trees, our school enclosures would soon become the beauty-spots of the villages in which they are situated.
Of the other columns in the statistical tables, which when added together make a total maximum of 1,100 marks, the remaining two refer to the examination papers, the manner in which they were written out and sent in to the Department, and to the specimens of drawing, writing, maps, etc. The great improvement in the way the children are being trained to do their work is spoken of in the report on the examinations. The specimens sent in this year, in my opinion, surpass all previous efforts in this direction. All the Academies but one have sent in their share of these specimens, while more than half of them have taken 75 per cent. and upwards as a mark. Eleven of the Model Schools have not attended to this matter, though the most of those that have, have done well. In addition to the usual papers, some schools have sent in specimens of manual training in the shape of kindergarten work, needle-work and specimens of wood-turning. Last year it had to be reported "that there was a seeming negligence on the part of some one of our schools in preparing specimen sheets for the Department," but this year there is every evidence of a strong effort on the part of our teachers to remove the reproach. The exhibit, on the whole, is highly creditable.
In closing my report, this year, I have again to thank the teachers for their usual courtesy at the date of my inspection, and at other times. Their co-operation with me, in trying to establish school libraries, as in other matters, has been gratifying to me, though I have not thought proper to refer to the effects of such co-operation in detail, seeing the movement, so far, is only at its inception. The nuclei of libraries, however, have been laid in many of the schools, and it is mainly to the efforts of the teachers that the movement has been so far successful. In this respect, as in others, they have shown a ready willingness to advise with me in what pertains to the welfare of the schools under their supervision, and I am again in a position to testify to their continued loyalty to the system under which they are working.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
J. M. HARPER.