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SCHOOLS FOR MENTALLY DEFICIENT.

1. That in the larger centres of population it is desirable to provide a speci school of the Montessori type, to which children mentally deficient may be sent for specia instruction.

2. That it is desirable that the children who are lower than normal mentally, in the larger schools, be instructed in ungraded classes.

3. That the question of establishing institutions for the after-care of children wh are mentally feeble receive consideration, and that provision be made for the special training of teachers for this particular type of school.

SEX PHYSIOLOGY.

That the question of sex physiology be not dealt with by the teachers of schools, but that a suitable leaflet setting forth the duties of parents in this matter might be prepared for issue by the Departments.

GENERAL.

Interstate Recognition of Qualifying Certificates.-That certificates of educational qualifications for admission to the various types of State schools be recognised in the case of children of parents who remove to another State, but, unless otherwise determined, this arrangement shall not entitle the holder to corresponding bursary allowances.

Metric System.-That the adoption of a metric system of measurement and the decimal system of coinage is mainly dependent upon commercial considerations, and that the schools should give special attention to decimal methods in the arithmetic process. and that the pupils should be made acquainted with the metric system of weights and

measures.

Arrangement for Education in Adjoining States of Children living on State Borders.(a) That children living on the borders of a State be given every facility for attending school in the neighbouring State if there is no school near them in their own State.

(b) That the Department, when dealing with questions of establishment of new schools on the borders of States, take into consideration the total number of children in the district on each side of the border.

(c) That there is no need for any financial adjustment in respect to this arrangement. as the benefits to the States are fairly equally divided.

(d) That a review of the border schools be made as soon as practicable, with a view to improving existing conditions.

Training of Specialist Teachers.-(a) That it is desirable in the interests both of economy and of efficiency that there be co-operation between the States in the matter of training of specialist teachers.

(b) That when teachers are sent from one State to another for training, the fee to be charged be sufficient to cover the cost of such instruction only.

(c) That when courses of training for specialists are being arranged, the Directors of other States be informed, so that, if practicable to admit their candidates, they may have an opportunity to make application.

(d) That when the course of training for specialist teachers is developed in any one State, the other States be informed.

Co-operation of the Departments in the Matter of the Supply of Scientific Apparatus.(a) That this Conference approves of the suggestion that designs and specifications be prepared for Australian scientific apparatus, with a view to its being manufactured, as far as possible, within the Commonwealth.

(b) That, in view of the difficulty now experienced in ordering scientific apparatus from catalogues of British firms, it is desirable that arrangements be made for an expert agent to act on behalf of all the States, under instructions from the Agent-General of each State.

Playgrounds.(a) That, in view of the great importance attached in modern education to organized games and military drill, sufficient level playground areas be provided wherever possible, but more especially in the establishment of new schools.

(b) That it is desirable that Municipalities establish in their own areas properly equipped and supervised children's playgrounds, in co-operation with the Education Department.

AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.

issued and

162. This subject has been referred to at some length in paragraph 129 Bulletins of the Report for 1914, and certain suggestions have been made. It is believed classes held. that if effect is given to these suggestions, the agricultural side of education will be much strengthened. Continued impetus has been given to tree and garden work, and an Anzac Arbor Day has been inaugurated. Useful, bulletins dealing with maize-growing and banana cultivation have been issued; and a bulletin on school vegetable-growing is in press. Apart from their usefulness for school purposes, for which they were specially prepared, the bulletins appear to be of value to those actively engaged in agricultural pursuits, judging by the many applications for copies which have reached the Department. Milk and cream testing classes have been held at Beaudesert, and instruction in this subject, by means of these classes, has been given to fifteen teachers. Similar classes are now being held at Nambour, Cooroy, and Gympie, and they will also be held at other centres as opportunity offers. The teachers who obtain certificates will instruct their elder pupils in milk and cream testing. This practical form of education is welcomed by dairy farmers.

163. Additions to the Nambour school are in course of erection to enable Rural school. the Department to make a beginning with the rural type of school as outlined in the last Annual Report.

DEPARTMENTAL.

164. The Department is growing apace, and its ramifications are steadily Administraexpanding. The administrative staff has to be increased continually to cope with tion. the work. Organization and re-organization become necessary from time to time to prevent office congestion and to secure that the work shall proceed smoothly and quickly. A watchful care is always exercised to maintain efficiency and economy. The fact that the cost of administration is only 17 per cent. of the vote is a safe assurance that these ends are being attained. During the year four additional rooms were given to the Department for office use, but even yet the office is cramped and further space is necessary. In 1915 the number of letters received was 50,000 and the number despatched 51,000. In addition there were the monthly and annual returns, various other returns, vouchers, salary abstracts, Inspectors' reports, lists of examinees, examination results, and so forth. The administrative staff (not including the Inspector-General, the Chief Inspector, and the Inspectors) consists of fifty-two persons, of whom eighteen are females.

QUARTER MONEY.

165. The exacting of quarter money is looked upon by the party which Free primary the Government represents as a violation of the principle of free primary education, education. and the Government took office pledged to abolish the system. The promise has been redeemed and the system has been abolished. The school papers, copy books, exercise books, drawing books, lead pencils, rubbers, &c., are now supplied at the expense of the Department.

166. Apart from the school requisites there were always numerous items Petty cash of minor expenditure which were met out of the quarter money payments. For allowance. these purposes a petty cash allowance on the following scale is now paid by the Department to schools:

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£ s. d.

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12 10 0

7 10 0

400
210 0

1 10 0

100

167. The foregoing scheme came into operation on the 1st January, 1916.

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Home lessons

SEASIDE SCHOOLS.

168. In my journeyings in the Western parts of the State it has often occurred to me what a boon it would be to the children in these districts if they could be taken for a fortnight at least once a year to the seaside. Many of them have never seen the sea; their environment is confined; educative influences are few; and the refinements of life do not come freely within their reach. A trip to the seaside, besides being healthful, would be a delightful break in their lives; they would revel in the bathing; a new world would be opened to them; and their attention might be profitably directed to Nature Study and other appropriate subjects. I am hopeful, sooner or later, of being able to establish one or more of these seaside recreative schools, but lack of funds is hampering me at present. The matter is, however, being kept under consideration.

HOME LESSONS.

169. One of the first subjects to which I gave attention upon my assumption burdensome of office was the subject of home lessons. Complaints had reached me that in certain directions the lessons were too burdensome, and that a wise discretion was not always exercised in regard to their use. As the question was one which affected parents and homes in addition to the well-being of the children, I deemed it wise to obtain the opinion of Inspectors and of Teachers' Associations in regard to home lessons. The result of this action was that the following notification was issued to teachers :

Association formed.

Boys' clubs.

"The question of home lessons having been reviewed, the Minister has now approved that Regulation 132 shall be retained with the following modifications:

(a) Classes I. and II. shall be exempt from home tasks, either written or oral.

(b) Class III. shall be exempt from written home tasks (home exercises).

(c) The following shall be the ordinary time per evening allotted for home tasks:

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"The foregoing shows the maximum time limit for each class, but it is not obligatory that the full time specified shall be given. Temporary reduction of, or temporary exemption from, home lessons may and should be allowed to children in cases of sickness, weakness, or under other circumstances requiring sympathetic consideration.

“The maximum amount of work prescribed above need not be rigidly adhered to in the cases of

(a) Pupils considerably above the standard age of their class, more especially in newly established schools.

(b) Pupils preparing for outside examinations: Provided that in each case the parents make request in writing for additional home lessons, and that the teacher is willing to give them. The teacher shall note each of such cases for the information of the inspector.

"Head teachers are instructed to put into effect the modification of Regulation 132 herein contained immediately upon receipt of this official notice."

Complaints have now ceased, and the new arrangements appear to be working satisfactorily.

SWIMMING CLASSES.

170. In order to encourage swimming amongst school children, a number of metropolitan teachers, who were interested in the subject, formed "The State Schools Amateur Swimming Association" in 1908.

171. Thirty-four clubs have been established under the auspices of the Association, and much commendable work has been done. These classes for instruction in swimming continue to be very popular among the children and their parents,

interest.

172. Teachers continue to show commendable interest in the swimming Continued classes, and they may be heartily congratulated upon the success of their efforts.

173. In 1911 a "State Schools Girls' Amateur Swimming Association " Girls' clubs. was formed, and 30 schools are now affiliated with this Association.

174. In many schools life-saving is taught, and 411 boys and 84 girls under- Life saving. stand and can carry out the various methods of rescue, release, and resuscitation of the apparently drowned.

bath

175. The Department is in communication with various metropolitan Additional Local Authorities regarding the providing of additional bath accommodation, accommoand it is hoped that a satisfactory scheme will be evolved.

dation.

tion towards

176. The Department has under consideration a scheme for making a cash Contribucontribution to the Local Authorities towards the baths, provided that satisfactory the baths. arrangements for the use of them by State school pupils are made, but the scheme will be dependent upon the necessary funds being voted by Parliament.

features.

177. Noticeable features at the annual carnivals of the Associations were Noticeable the improved physique of the boys and girls, the marked improvement in the breast-stroke style of swimming, and the keen interest of the parents.

178. The certificate of the Royal Life Saving Society was gained by 8 Certificates boys from Fortitude Valley (Boys) school.

gained.

179. At the annual carnival three out of the eight championships contests Boys' competitions. were won by boys from the South Brisbane (Boys) school, two by boys from the Toowong school, and one each by boys from the Brisbane Central (Boys) school, Junction Park, and West End (Boys) schools.

Girls Girls' com. petitions.

180. All carnival events were won by the metropolitan schools. from Miss Harker's High School and one from St. Margaret's were fine swimmers, and won heats in their race (All Schools Championship), but were not as proficient in swimming strokes as the State school girls, and were easily beaten in the final.

181. The following table shows the membership of the clubs and the number Membership of children who were taught to swim last season :

of clubs.

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in Natural

Science.

182. The system by which the senior pupils of schools in the metropolitan Instruction district receive instruction and demonstrations in Natural History and Science History or was inaugurated at the suggestion of Dr. Hamlyn-Harris, Director of the Queens.. land Museum, in 1912. During 1915, the lecturettes given by Dr. Hamlyn-Harris and other members of the professional staff were attended by 38 classes representing 27 different schools, the average attendance at each class being 30 pupils. The subjects of instruction comprised: Animals and Birds, Human Physiology, and Geology. The lessons were highly appreciated by both teachers and scholars.

APPENDICES.

Tables (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J) of Statistics relating to the number of schools in operation, number of teachers employed, attendance of pupils, additions and repairs, new schools opened, schools reopened, and schools closed, and religious instruction.

Report of the Inspector-General.

Reports of the District Inspectors.

Report of the Principal of the Training College.
Reports of the Medical Inspectors of Schools.

Reports of the Dental Inspectors of Schools.

Report of the Teacher of Agriculture.

Report of the Superintendent of Technical Education.

Report of the Deputy Superintendent of Technical Education.

Report of the Senate of the University of Queensland.

Reports from the Trustees of the following Grammar schools :—Brisbane, (Boys), Brisbane (Girls), Ipswich (Boys), Ipswich (Girls), Rockhampton (Boys), Rockhampton (Girls), Toowoomba, and Townsville.

Examination Papers given in December, 1915, to Candidates for State Scholarships, and to Teachers and Pupil-teachers.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your Excellency's Most Obedient Servant,

H. F. HARDACRE,

Secretary for Public Instruction.

Brisbane, 6th September, 1916.

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