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course there would be degrees, both in the Licentiate's and the Master's certificate. But I do not enter into details, 1 merely beg permission to suggest the notion. One of the chief reasons for desiring to urge this matter on the attention of my Lords is, that at present the certificate, though valuable as a guarantee of knowledge, is no criterion of the real value of a master, but unfortunately does profess to be so, by entering into a detailed
a statement of his acquirements and capacities as a teacher. But it is most important that the certificate should not profess one particle more than it can safely guarantee, for fear of its coming into disrepute.
Though the pupil-teachers apprenticed in schools have occupied nearly half my time, I do not contemplate saying much respecting them on this occasion. The system is, on the whole, working well in my district. The chief matter of regret is, that in several cases the apprentices were not such as seemed likely to become valuable schoolmasters and schoolmistresses. It was natural that this should happen at first, when all parties were more anxious, perhaps, about bringing the plan into operation than careful in selecting the material to be employed. For the future, however, I trust that the greatest circumspection will be used by school managers, and that only those boys and girls will be proposed to the Inspectors, and to the Committee of Council, as candidates for apprenticeship, whose dispositions are thoroughly known and approved by the local school committee. The Committee of Council can form an opinion of a boy's knowledge and ability only; for the more important qualifications they rely on the judgment and discretion of the clergy and school managers. It should be borne in mind that the smart ready boy of 13 has not always the most genius, and is by no means always likely to prove eventually the best guide and instructor of youth.
I beg to add a few general remarks on the peculiar features of the districts I have visited. My circuit has comprised three very different tracts of country : 1. Cumberland and Westmoreland; 2. The Isle of Man; 3. Lancashire.
1. Cumberland and Westmoreland call for no special remark.
II. The Isle of Man has some peculiarities worthy of attention. The population is nearly all Celtic, and the children appear to possess the quickness which characterizes that race. The Manx dialect of the Celtic language seems nearly obliterated. I found very few traces of it among the children of the 21 schools which I inspected. Few of them spoke Manx, and they all spoke English well, though some of the expressions, perhaps, savoured of translation from Manx into English. As far as I could learn, the Manx tongue appears to have died out, more particularly during the last 50 years. The fact of this substitution of the English for the Manx language among the peasantry
is, perhaps, of importance, as illustrating the best mode of pro. ducing the same result in Wales, in case such a result is desirable. Now it has not been the practice to teach Manx at all in the schools ; while English has been especially taught as required by the two Educational Acts of Tynwald, passed in 1704 and in 1813. Assuming then that it is desirable to replace the Welsh language by the English in Wales, will it not be best to pursue a similar course, viz., to teach English, and not to teach Welsh in the schools? I speak diffidently on this important point, because I believe that our greatest living scholar and philosopher, Bishop Thirlwall
, is of opinion that in those parts of Wales where the Welsh language is in common use the children should be well instructed in Welsh as a preliminary, and with a view, to the successful acquirement by them of English : which latter language he considers (I presume) that they would best learn thus, like a foreign tongue.
Education has been provided for in this island to some extent by the two Acts of Tynwald above referred to. The first Act made it obligatory on all persons to send their children to school till they could read English distinctly. The second Act related chiefly to the payment of the teachers. A third Act has been passed by the domestic legislature of the island this year, and is now awaiting the Royal assent. This Act may be very valuable. Its main object is to enable a majority of the cess-payers within any district to form an educational district, and then to tax it for all useful objects connected with the establishment and efficient maintenance of schools within that district. The grand defect of the Act, perhaps, is that it is only permissive, not obligatory; it may, therefore, remain a dead letter. I think, however, that there are two or three minor defects which will require to be remedied.
1. The 8th and 9th clauses appear to conflict with the 16th. By the 8th and 9th clauses a committee of school managers is to be chosen annually, and to have power to dismiss the master, subject to the approval of the Bishop; but the 16th clause gives the power of dismissal to the Trustees. I think this is an error, and that it has arisen from the 16th clause being copied vcrbatim from the 4 and 5 Vict. c. 38.
2. The 11th clause of the Act, as it was introduced by the Bishop, and passed in the Council, or Upper House, was unobjectionable, but the House of Keys, or Lower House, added to it the following amendment :-“ Provided nevertheless that nothing herein contained shall be deemed or taken to prevent any school which may at any time have entered into union with the Incorporated National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor throughout England and Wales, from complying with the terms of union required by the said society." My objection to this amendment is, that the National Society,
which was chartered for “ England and Wales," cannot extend its operations to this island so as to embrace its schools and bind them by its terms of union. The Isle of Man is no part of England and Wales, though it is in the province of York. I believe the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are appointed for England and Wales, instead of for the two provinces of Canterbury and York, have felt this difficulty, and have been unfortunately unable, in consequence, to extend the benefits of their commission to the Isle of Man.
3. Moreover it appears to me to be an omission that the Act does not enable individual trustees to convey schools to some corporate persons or bodies.
Without entering into the statistics which I obtained concerning education in the island, I am happy to add that the work is decidedly thriving. A great impulse was imparted to education here by Bishop Short, and the work is being carried on with remarkable vigour and success by the present Bishop of Sodor and Man, with whom all the clergy and laity cooperate, with a respect and affection which it is delightful to witness.
III. All I purpose to say of education in Lancashire on the present occasion, is merely to name some of the peculiar faults, wants, and difficulties of the district, and to suggest a few remedies.
If education in Lancashire is not all that could be desired, it need create no surprise or despair, seeing that the population of the county has increased, speaking literally, beyond all precedent. In 1801 its population was 166,200 ; in 1851 the census will show a return of more than 2,000,000; that is, the population will be more than twelve fold as great as it was in the beginning of the century. And this increase has gone on at an accelerated ratio in the last 20 years, so that very great forethought and almost superhuman efforts would have been necessary to do all that was requisite for education in such a case.
The only peculiar fault which I shall now mention is, that, in my judgment, the payments required of the children are too high, especially, perhaps, in Manchester. It is common to charge 3d. and 41. a-week to each scholar. I regret to say that I have known 5d. and 6d. a-week charged. I consider this to be one of the causes why the attendance at the schools in that town is so scanty.
At the same time it is fair to add, that several persons long acquainted with the district approve of these high charges, which I think so injurious and objectionable.
One striking want in this county is that of teachers' residences. I have never known so large a proportion of schoolrooms without suitable dwellings for the teachers. Another peculiar want is that of good ventilation, which has, I think, been less attended to here than it is in London and elsewhere. Most of the other wants of the district are those which are common to all districts, and proceed chiefly from a want of adequate and permanent funds.
An additional Training Institution for masters is much wanted, and I hope that ere long the inhabitants of all that part of the county of Lancaster which is severed from the diocese of Chester will take this want into serious consideration.
The peculiar educational difficulties of this county are, in several respects, greater than in any part of Great Britain, except, perhaps, in some parts of Yorkshire. These difficulties result from the peculiar circumstances and characters of the employers and the employed.
First, as regards the employers : their interest has been absorbed in their pursuits, their speculations, and their gains. They have been carried away by the rapid succession of astonishing discoveries and improvements connected with manufactures. To say nothing of all other mechanical inventions, how wonderful is it to reflect upon the successive ingenious contrivances in spinning and weaving alone ; upon the waterframe, the spinning-jenny, the mule, the bobbin and fly-frame, and the application to all these of steam-power, enabling one man to do what was the work of 250 in the last century. No wonder if this sudden development and inrush of mechanical subjects of interest and profit, opening a wide field of enterprise, and claiming an unremitting attention to material concerns, have for a while prevented a due regard to the moral and spiritual welfare of the people around. No wonder if the manufacturers have been whirled along in a vortex of mere worldly affairs, and have as yet scarcely recovered themselves sufficiently to take a clear review of the moral obligations they have contracted, and of the claims of those who toil for them. The factory system is in its first youth. When the impetuosity of youth has effervesced, its mature and sober manhood will provide a remedy for the evils which have sprung up. Many of the millowners have already given an earnest of the spirit which will one day, I trust, inspire all of them ; when they will duly recognize that their “ hands” have hearts to feel, minds to think, and souls to be saved. The work of education here is very mainly dependent upon this good and conscientious feeling, which I believe is growing up among the master manufacturers. But in truth their interest also will, I am sure, in this matter be found in the long run to be on the side of their duty. They will find it cheaper to contribute largely to education than to have unintelligent, immoral, or ill-disposed workmen. If the people of that day had been well-educated, Arkwright and Hargreaves would never have had to fly from Lancashire for their lives—the one for contriving the water-frame, the other for inventing the spinning-jenny.
If it be asked what the millowners and employers can do for education, I answer, let them contribute liberally to the establishment and maintenance of elementary and training schools. But in addition to this, they may do a great deal by their moral influence. What is wanted is, that they should feel a lively interest in the work of education; then they will soon find ways of promoting it. For instance, they might state publicly, and put up notices in their mills, that preference would be given to all those applicants for employment who could read and write well
. They might visit occasionally the parochial schools in their neighbourhood; they might invite the school managers and Her Majesty's Inspectors to name the best and most proficient boys and girls every year, with a promise to take them into their employment; and the names of the selected scholars might be set upon a board in the school, and remain there during the year, as an example to the rest of the children. In these and numerous other ways they might impart a healthy stimulus to the education of the poor in this county.
But next, the condition of the employed, of the poor themselves, in factory districts, presents, perhaps, the greatest difficulty in the way of education, and one which it will be most arduous to surmount. There are the impediments arising from the social state and habits of the parents. They work hard, but they also drink hard. They earn good wages, but they also spend them, and acquire no property. But this proletarian condition, this living from hand to mouth, always generates the greatest carelessness and neglect of duty. Such a state resembles that of men during a great plague, as described by writers who have witnessed it, in which so great recklessness supervenes that the moment's gratification is all that is regarded ; and such is very much the condition of the factory operatives. To-morrow is a word which has no place in their vocabulary. Then again, the “ hands” in a mill generally come from a distance in the first instance, and they have no local ties and humanising associations with the place of their residence. They are wandering Ishmaelites, ready to flit at any moment. Further, their homes are comfortless, because their wives, again, have been brought up in factories, and continue to work in them, and neither know nor care for domestic duties and home comforts. From all this results a bad régime, which causes the education of the poor children of such parents to be utterly neglected.
But the saddest obstacle of all to education is the case of the children themselves. Their labour is, unfortunately, so useful to the mill-owner and so profitable to their parents! This