Billeder på siden

going to the universities. The Committee in giving it to the universities were misinterpreting the law. Years ago, Mr. Chauveau, late superintendent of education for Quebec, had said that this was what the statute meant; but he contended strongly that it meant anything but that, and the committee were wrong in accepting Mr. Chauveau's interpretation. They should do their duty and divide the money among academies and model schools, as well as the universities. In justice it belonged to the elementary schools. (Hear, hear.) It was an unjust tax, as the money was not at present expended upon the young men and young women who were desirous of becoming united. The struggle of the academy was becoming harder year by year because of the diminishing English population in our country towns and villages, and it behoved them to care for these institutions of learning. The universities were interested in their maintenance, as from them their ranks were recruited. While he did not want to depreciate the city schools, it was a recognized fact that a great proportion of the successful university students came from the country. The second grievance he had was connected with the Jesuits' Estates Act. There was a rustle of excitement. The Judge smiled. 'I don't intend to re-open that question,' he said, I have heard all I want to of it.' (Hear, hear.) It was determined by the Protestant members of the Legislature, and agreed to by the Government, he continued, to divide this money, $62,000, up amongst the elementary schools, but it was found unfeasible, as the amount per school would have been very small. Then it was decided to divide it up among the superior schools. He found afterwards, to his amazement, when he had left the Legislature, that it had been placed in the hands of the Protestant Committee with no reservation for its use. Sixtytwo thousand dollars had been placed in the hands of a body of men not responsible to anyone. He did not mean to say that they would do anything wrong with the money. Had he been a member of the Legislature, he would have protested against the placing of a sum like that in the hands of a body of irresponsible men, to do with as they saw fit. Then he came to his third grievance. The present system under which our high schools and academies are being carried on is ruining our schools and the people. Children, he said, were being crammed with useless knowledge. They were going on the assumption that everybody was to receive a university education. He wished that every child could receive one, but everybody knew how impossible this was. Not more than five

per cent. of the students of the country schools passed through universities. They had but two or three months in the two or three years in the academy course to finish the education they received in the elementary schools. And yet he saw, in his journeyings through the country, little children carrying great bundles of books upon the most complicated subjects. He did not know but what in doing this they were endeavouring to combine intellectual and physical culture. The fact of the matter was that 95 per cent. of the children in the country academies were being taught subjects for which they had no possible use, while those subjects needed in their everyday life were being neglected, He would venture to say that 90 per cent. of the 'A.A.' candidates could not read, write and spell correctly. Why was this? It was because these and other important subjects were neglected for the higher branches upon which the Committee based the standing of the academies of the Province. What benefit was it to a young man to study Latin or Greek for three months who spent the remaining nine months working on a farm? They wanted a plain but thorough English education. The system was bad in itself, and it was ruining itself. He would say that 75 per cent. of the teachers thought as he did. Perseverance by the Committee in the line they were following would result in ruining the schools. Of course, it was gratifying to read in the reports that so many scholars had passed in algebra, and so many in Latin, and so on. He was pleased to see it himself; but he knew this was all wrong. There was too much theory and too little practice about the course of study. It was commercial schools that they wanted. He heard that they had that afternoon refused to recognize agriculture as a study in the schools. He was sorry to learn this. He would have liked to have been present and to have spoken upon the subject. They did want agriculture in the schools. The boys and girls from the farm were the bone and sinew of the country, and they desired special teaching in the branches of practical use to them. They should copy Ontario, where they had a beautiful little text-book on the subject used in every school. The trouble was that the ideas of the Protestant Committee were too much in line with university education. They did not encourage the academies and high schools sufficiently. The universities were strong, and could make their own way. The country academies were feeble, and needed assistance. Support for the country school meant prosperity for the country."

-While some are anxious to narrow the school opportunities of the youth of our land to a course in which the culture of the mind is to depend upon book-keeping and kindred subjects, it is pleasant to recognise the pleadings of the Montreal Star in favour of University Extension. The farmer's boy has a soul to be cultivated to its fullest bent as well as the millionaire's son, and every opportunity should be given to both to make the most of their powers, side by side. The man who says that Latin and Greek are useless subjects to the farmer's boy can hardly realize the rights of every child in our community to be well educated, be he farmer's child or millionaire's. As the Star says, "No educational system is other than inadequate which does not offer opportunity to capacity and interest in whatever station of life they may be found. The most valuable part of a nation's wealth is the intelligence and character of its people. To develop these, education must be open to whosoever shows himself worthy of it." Can it, therefore, be said that an education which has for its object the mere making of office boys, clerks and shop-keepers out of our farmers' boys is superior to the education which may fit them to come in contact with the "higher branches" in a University Course, even if he never finds his way to a University?

-Another educationist has another way of putting this educational problem. Monsignor O'Bryen, who has charge of the Church of Sant Andrea delle Frate, Rome, Italy, preached in the Church of the Gesu some weeks ago. The sacred edifice was crowded. The subject with which the learned and eloquent divine dealt was the antagonism which has arisen between the church and the state with regard to the education of the young. He held that the state, in trying to superintend the education of the young, was acting unjustly, and was, in fact, undertaking a task which did not lie within the sphere of its proper action. In assuming the right to control the education of the young, the state was exercising a tyrannical power. The preacher traced the history of the human race from the creation to the present day. The Church of God had an imprescriptible right to the education of children, because, in the first place, she had been divinely appointed to do so by her Divine founder, Jesus Christ, who had said to her, "Teach all the nations whatsoever I have commanded you;" and, in the second place, she has fulfilled that command faithfully down to this age, was still engaged in the task of fulfilling it, and would continue discharging that lofty mission until time should be no

more. At the beginning of his life on earth man was created perfect. He fell, however, and it was incumbent upon him to endeavor to get back to the condition from which he had fallen. The Catholic Church provided him with the sacramental means of attaining to that lost state. When a child was born she gave it baptism, which freed it from the stain of original sin and made it an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. As it grew up and its intellect developed and expanded, she directed its thoughts in the right way, teaching it what it should aspire after and what it should avoid, showing it that the love of God and His Christ should be the object, as well as the motive, of all its efforts. Had the state the necessary qualifications for the fulfilment of this duty? No. A minister of justice or of education might decree certain rules to be followed; but what were his credentials? He had attained to his position because he had received more votes than his opponent. He might be an atheist or an indifferentist, a pagan or a non-Christian. Clearly he was not qualified to superintend the course of education which should be followed by the children. The church had always protested against this usurpation by the state of functions which did not belong to it. The English Nonconformists had done the same. They had left their native land and settled upon a new and strange continent rather than submit to the enforcement of a principle which they felt to be wrong. All honor to them for having done so. The Catholic Church would ever struggle against the encroachments of the state upon the domain of the education of the young.

[ocr errors]

The following is a copy of the resolution inviting the Dominion Association to hold its first Convention in Montreal: -Proposed by Dr. Kelley, seconded by Dr. Harper, and resolved: That this Convention extend a most cordial invitation to the Dominion Association to hold its first annual meeting in the City of Montreal in the early part of July next; and that a Committee, composed of the President (Mr. E. W. Arthy), Dr. Robins, Rev. E. I. Rexford and the mover and seconder of this resolution, be appointed to secure the co-operation," etc.

-The following is a list of the officers of the Teachers' Association for the year 1891-92:-President, E. W. Arthy, Esq.; Vice-Presidents, G. L. Masten, Esq., Miss Kate Wilson, S. P. Robins, LL.D., the Presidents of Local Associations; Recording Secretary, H. H. Curtis, Esq.; Corresponding Secretary, W. Dixon, B.A., Fraser Institute, Montreal; Treasurer, C. A. Humphrey, Esq.; Executive Committee, Rev. E. I. Rexford, B.A., R. J. Hewton, M.A., Rev. E. M. Taylor, M.A., G. W. Parmelee, B.A.,

J. M. Harper, M.A., Ph.D., Mrs. Fuller, Inspector McGregor, F. W. Kelley, Ph.D., Wm. Patterson, M.A., Miss Peebles, Miss Hunter, B.A., Professor Kneeland, Ph.D., Miss Binmore, B.A., J. H. Silver, B.A., L. Gilman, B.A.; Curator of Library, Miss Robins, B.A.; Delegate to Protestant Committee, Rev. Elson I. Rexford, B.A.; Members of Administrative Commission under the Pension Act, G. L. Masten and E. W. Arthy; Delegate to Vermont Teachers' Association, R. J. Hewton, M.A.

-The following is a list of the various Committees, and members of the Association are requested by the Corresponding Secretary to consider this notice as sufficient official notification of their various appointments:-Committee on Text-Books to be authorized for use in this Province, Professor Kneeland (Convener), Dr. Robins, Dr. Kelley and Mr. Hewton; Committee on a Compulsory Education Bill, Dr. Robins (Convener), Professor Kneeland, Mr. Hewton and Mr. Arthy; Library Committee, Dr. Kelley (Convener), Professor Kneeland, Miss Robins, Miss Binmore and Mr. Hewton.

-The following report shows the progress of educational affairs at Lennoxville among our friends of Bishop's College:"The special meeting of the Corporation was held on the 16th October, and was largely attended. At this meeting the vacancy caused by the lamented death of the late Bursar, Mr. R. H. Tylee, was filled, when Mr. A. D. Nicolls, M.A., was unanimously elected. Mr. Nicolls is a son of the Rev. Jaspar Nicolls, D.D., who was the first Principal of Bishop's College, and held that office for thirty-two years, until his death in 1877. Mr. Nicolls is a member of the legal firm of Chapleau, Hall, Nicolls & Brown, of Montreal, and is giving up good professional prospects to devote himself to the services of the College. He is an alumnus of the School and a graduate of the College, and for several years has been a member of the Corporation, first as a member of the Council and latterly as a Trustee. The appointment has given universal satisfaction among the friends of the institution. The question of re-building the Chapel was brought up, and a Special Committee was asked to report on the subject within a month. As a further contribution to athletic news, we may add that victory has attended the efforts of the College against the Crescents of Quebec and of the School against Montreal 3rd.

-There is a hint in the following, for the gentlemen who are enthusiastic about instruction in agricultural subjects in our common schools, but who as yet do not seem to have any definite plan for its introduction or its encouragement, beyond

« ForrigeFortsæt »