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RHONDDA Ti'AOilEKb' ASSOCIATION.

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RHONDDA Ti'AOilEKb' ASSOCIATION. ADDRESSES ON EDUCATION. The annual meeting of the Pontypridd and Rhondda District Teachers' Association was held on Saturday at the Mill Street Schools, Pontypridd, Mr T. Price, Hawthorn, the re- tiring president, occupying the chair. The following oTiicers were elected:âPresident, Mr D. Williams, Pontvgwaith; vice-president, Mr R. R. Williams, Clydach Vale; secretary, Mi W. E. Summers, Pontypridd; treasurer, Mr J. D. Jones, Pontypridd. Later on ad- journment was made to the Parish Rooms.. to hear an address on education by Mr Ernest Gray, M.A., M.P. for West Ham. There was a large attendance present when Mr L. G. Lenox, J.P., took the chair. The Chairman, in his opening address, said that as the first quarters of the present cent- ury expired, it left the masses absolutely ignorant, without any means of educating themselves. The first Parliamentary grant for education was £ 20.000; ilbw we had 14,418 Voluntary schools, and 5,539 Board schools for some 4 million scholars; and no less than 12 millions were spent on educating our young- people. Of this, four millions came from the rates, one million from subscriptions and seven millions from the imperial Government. Parents, no doubt, were more anxious than ever to get their children well educated, yet in spite of the most strenuous efforts ft!d compulsory powers only 80 per cent of the available number of children attended school. In ancient Greece, we saw the first flood of the great intellectual tide. Though it never reached the shores of western Europe, it un- doubtedly reached Rome. With the fall of the Roman Empire both science and philosophy disappeared for a time. The idea of state education came in with the reformation. Such instruction as was then given 'was con- fined to the teaching of crafts, and a few mechanical institutes were started. The late Prince Consort was the fountain source of modern educational enthusiasm. Coming from Germany, he quickly grasped the depth of our needs, and assisted in its development to the best of his very great ability. The fundamental object of schooling was the foundation of character. Education did not consist in conveying information, but in developing the mind. To know a number of facts, to solve a difficult problem in the differential calculus was of comparatively little use in itself; the use lay in the power of their mind to take these subjects up into their own life. Upon the grasping of these facts depended the art of teaching. Education should not be ill arranged or ill digested. Quality rather than quantity was needed, but all the ground work should be solid, for they could not build on a sand foundation. Let the mind be once fairly awakened and its powers brought out, and it would, of itself, find all the information it needed. Train the intellect, develope its powers, then technical education was the offspring. Education built up on smatterings yielded superficial scholars who, at best, depended upon creaming other men's brains. The science of teaching was never better understood than it was to-day, and the course of instruction had been im- measurably enlarged. Parents, School Boards and School Managers were nowadays fully alive to their duties, but the great advance in education that had taken place was mainly due to the ceaseless efforts and active energy of teachers themselves. (Hear, hoar). An association such as that united the great body of workers together, enabled them to assist and help each other, and above all, created that espirit de corps which was sa essentiaL The race was not always to the swiftest but to the most pursuing. In every calling we had a weapon placed in our hand wherewith to fight the battle of life, and education was incomparably the best of all weapons, for who should sum up the blessing and power of knowledge? Industry would ever be the key-note to science; many of our greatest discourses were made by industrious men, rather than men of commanding intellect. We must, if we moved in the world, read as much in a week as our grand-fathers read in a year. A distinctive trait of the age was the indiscriminate multiplicity of topics to which reading introduces the modern mind. Thinking was an art sadly in danger of perish- ing. Men took their ideas ready made from newspapers or magazines. More was the pity. (Laughter). The welfare of our rural schools was of the greatest importance to our towns. for villagers were always flocking to the towns replenishing them with new blood, therefore they must have efficient teachers in all village schools, and the humblest school master might rest assured that his labours would not be in vain. The school Log Book is not always deficient in humour. A worthy pedagogue once made the following entry afW getting married: "The event of my marriage caused i hearty outbreak of sympathy on the part of the scholars." (Loud laughter). Managers who have not enjoyed a liberal education should not try to cross-examine young scholars. A rather pompous gent asked a smart boy "What is the capital of Olland?" The reply came promptly "H, sir." (Loud laughter). Teaching was like "casting bread upon the waters," for its results were realised aftet many days. The great discovery of Newton at the time lead to no new industries, but it in- directly lead the way to great things. The philosophy of Germany seemed at first to be a beating of the air, but it was the precursor 0" the great political and industrial revolution that stood out so forcibly to-day. These thoughts should immensely encourage all those engaged in teaching the young. (Loud ap- plause). Mr Ernest Grey, who was heartily wel- comed, dealt chiefly with elementary education He should like to see, be said, such a combina- tion of the various schools as would ensure satisfactory and efficient education for the children. Various schools had different objects, but in his opinion the one object should be the welfare of the children. (Hear, hear). The theorists who held office in White- hall were to a great extent responsible for the ineffective work now done, and the unsatis- factory condition of educational work. Many who were placed in office there did nothing but experiment with the children, and in that way wasted the money of the ratepayers. He hoped the time was not far distant when the heads of that Department would be obliged to possess certain qualifications before they could be appointed to such import an t, positions. (Hear,, hear). Dealing with statistics relative to the attendance of childrrn, the hon. member explained that Wales occupied fourth position on the list. inT referred to the iW- porTance of children attending regularly. Next to that the most importnnt matter to consider was the character of the teachers. He did not approve of the appointment of so many pupil teachers, and protested against teachers being engaged under Article 68, as he believed that they were not sufficiently educated and trained to take the management of a class. (Hear, hear). If the majority of such teachers were examined in fifth standard work they would doubtless fail to pass. He contended that they were unsuitable for teach- ing. and asked what influence they could exer- cise upon the moral and mental development of children. He should like to see as many as possible of adult certificated assistants being engaged. (Hear, hear). Dealing with Volun- 1\. tary schools, the hon. member observed that he would never approve of a purely secular form of instruction, and that such schools would be capable of doing much greater work ir they were better equipped. They were now doing the work of the nation, and he did not see why they should be maintained partly or otherwise by public subscriptions. He should like to see them managed as were Beard schools; if they were they would do much more useful work. (Applause). The Welsh Intermediate Education Act had as yet not proved so successful as was expected, and the speaker suggested that the age limit for en- trance to Intermediate schools be raised. He did not think the people fully recognised the benefit which those schools would confer upon their children. Concluding, the hon. member remarked that the system of education in Wales was not by any means perfect, and that the upper standards in the Board schools had been seriously injured owing to the age limit for entrance to the Intermediate schools. The result was overlapping, which meant a waste of time and money. On the motion of Mr T. Bevan, chairman of the Rhondda School Board, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to the hon. member for his excellent address.

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IYstradmynach.

Caerphilly

Tynewydd, Treherbert,

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