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THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.

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THE AFGHAN REVOLT.

IRON AND COAL.

AGRICULTURE. I

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AGRICULTURE. I AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION IN THEORY e AND PRACTICE. a e One of the leading topics of interest referred to from a iime to time in the public and private discussions on t igricultural affairs is that relating to education in the v ;cience and practice of agriculture, The subject has jeen brought before most of the Chambers of Agricul- t ;ure, and other societies of farmers, during the past few c real's also, several well-known professors of agricul- ;ure have continually directed attention to the subject 1 3y explaining the advantages of the scheme of education â ecently set on foot by the Science and Art Department e if the Government. The same scheme has, moreover, |-t jeen lately explained to members of the Chambers of Agriculture by gentlemen from the Government Science 2 Department, who have been specially invited for the r mrpose, so that by this time many rural districts will t lave some idea of the ways and means for carrying out ;he arrangement. t In the present day the necessity for providing educa- j3 ;ion in agricultural science for farmers and their sons is e 'ully admitted, and it is now widely felt that the matter t las been hitherto sadly neglected. In truth, it is some- hing strange t hat so little had been done in this direc- I ion previous to the introduction of the Government f ,cheme about three years ago. Now, however, that this c jlan has happily been set going, it will give the needed t mpetus to the spread of agricultural education, so that hose already engaged, or are about to engage, in farm- j c ng may be able to combine science with practice in the levelopment of the agriculture of this kingdom. a A general idea is given as to the kind of practical g raining in scientific agriculture which will be carried iut at the local schools or classes in the country by an £ nspection of the examination papers, which comprise s luestions on agriculture, chemistry, botany, geology, t ihysiology, physical geography, natural history, 1- 'eterinary science, mensuration, surveying, book keep- v ng, drainage, soils, manures, live stock in health and lisease, also the general principles on which agriculture s based. The proper carrying out of this arrangement 1, dlllargely depend upon the committees of agricultural r ocieties, chambers of agriculture, and other such asso- J iiations, by aiding in the opening of classes in the lifferent towns and villages, wherever teachers can be x ound to conduct them. Many teachers in elementary f ichools, and other institutions, are qualifying themselves c ;0 conduct these classes, and an additional inducement 9 s held out to them by the grants of money made by the government. So recently as a few months ago, a num- )er of science teachers from various parts of the country c vent, by arrangement, to the South Kensington Schools, ] md passed through a special course of instruction in the | principles of agriculture, which qualifies them to con- luct classes and to earn the Government grants set t ipart for the purpose. As will be evident, the pro- c noters of this movement are doing practical solid work, 1 md one of national importance. The scheme is wel- I joined wherever it becomes known, and many friends of £ igriculture are at present actively engaged in promo- t ng it. t The yearly examinations of the work done in these classes are held throughout the country in the month of May under the direction of a local committee consisting I )f gentlemen living near where such classes are held. For the information of those interested in the matter who may not already know of the arrangement, it may } be summarized here. In order to obtain the benefits of 1 this scheme, and to organize local classes in the simple I md inexpensive manner set forth in the Government 1 regulations, the first step is to form A committee of at least five persons in good position, who are willing to :3.0 a little for the good of their own locality, with an 1 ictive assistant as secretary to keep the necessary ( records and correspond with the Science Department in â London. The members of such committee have to be approved by the Department, which is mostly a matter of form. The committee has to provide a suitable room for the class, engage a teacher capable of giving instruc- tion in agricultural science, obtain the necessary ap- paratus and materials, visit the classes at intervals, tnd see that the usual regulations are carried out. The p duration of a class is usually from October to April, one I lesson each week, continued from 25 to 30 weeks. The l Science Department proYicles at half cost from the t South Kensington store, the apparatus required by any of the classes. The teachers receive the pupils' fees, and as these are merely nominal, the remuneration is supple- 1 mented by the Government grant which is dependent, on the results of the examinations. The pupils also are stimulated in their studies by the scholarships which; are offered for competition under certain conditions by the Science Department. There are two classes of people to whom this system of agricultural education will be specially beneficial both on account of its convenience and cheapness, I namely the sons of farmers who are unable to spend J much for scientific instruction, and the other class con- sists of those, having better means, yet whose occupation 1 confines them to rural districts, and who would not; otherwise have the opportunity of sharing in the advan- tages of such classes. In this way a powerful agency for good has been placed within the reach of the agri- cultural community, and of which the farmers of the United Kingdom will not be slow to avail themselves. Already the system is receiving the hearty co-operation of several societies, who see the advisibility of providing a systematic course of scientific instruction in their respective districts for farmers' sons and others intended for agricultural pursuits. It should be understood, however, that this scheme does not supersede or at all interfere with the general routine of elementary educa- tion, it is an additional branch of what is termed technical knowledge, which will enable students in agriculture to exercise more intelligence and skill in the practical carrying out of their business. Most farmers of the modern school are alive to the necessity of uniting theory with practice, which is the principle of the motto adopted by the "Royal," viz., Practice with Science;" all which is in testimony of the fact that knowledge is wealth, knowledge is power. As a further means of extending a knowledge of the principles of agriculture, it has been proposed that the subject should be taught from a suitable text book, as a branch of elementary education in the schools of the country but this proposal, although supported by some of the agricultural societies, is not yet carried out, as it must first obtain the approval of "My Lords" of. education. Douutless this proposal, which seems so feasible, will be acted upon before long by the Council on Education. In the extension of the Government scheme Scotland is in advance of other parts of the United Kingdom, as it usually is in educational matters; and our Scotch friends have the additional advantage of an University at Edinburgh, which is endowed with a chair of agricul- ture. In Ireland, also, where there are several farm schools, this system of education is being more rapidly extended than it is either in England or Wales. Agri- culture is a subject now taught in the Irish National Schools, but this desirable arrangement is still a thing to be introduced into the schools in other parts of the kingdom. In England, singularly enough, there appears to be only one school of agriculture, that at Cirencester, and one on a smaller scale at Bedford. The science schools established in that country, it is noticeable, are made use of mostly by those residing in the manufac- turing and commercial towns, from which it is inferred that those living in the rural districts are somewhat indifferent to the advantages placed within their reach. With respect to Wales it is fortunate in having the University College at Aberystwith, to which is attached an able staff of teachers, who are doing good work in extending a knowledge of agricultural science in the Principality. In addition to this Government scheme (of which fuller particulars may be obtained from the Secretary, Science and Art Department, Kensington, London), the Society of Arts also included for a few years the sub- jects of agriculture and rural economy in the techno- logical division of its system of yearly examinations. The society, however, has now transferred its branch on technology to the" City and Guilds of London In- stitute for promotion of Technical Education," by whom such examinations will in future be conducted. The programme of the several subjects for examination in 1880 may be obtained gratis from the Hon. Secretaries of the City Guilds' Institute, Mercer's Hall, London, E.L., or from_ the Secretary, Society of Arts, John- street, Adelphi, London. For several years the Society of Arts conducted examinations in horticulture, fruit "il, vegetable culture, and gardening, but in the year 1875 these subjects were discontinued owing to the want of interest taken i:i them by the public as evidenced v thi3 limited number of those who aitended the examina- tions. It is a matter for regret that this should be s,), particularly as it has come to pass that those very branches of industry are yearly becoming more indis- pensable and important. Such then, in brief, are the facilities which are now available for spreading a knowledge of the science and practice relating- to agriculture. A system having such privileges and benefits should be made known as widely is possible, and without loss of time. There is every Imson why a plan so valuable should be carried out in YL''fy market town and rural district in Great Britain j vherever practicable. On every hand, the conviction is raining ground that scientific farming will be the haraoteristic of British agriculture in the future. It is o be hoped that North Wales will not be behind in aking advantage of the scheme now referred to, as the [Strict needs a special stimulus of this kind. More- ver, there must be many aspiring agriculturists in our wn districts who will eagerly avail themselves of this deans of instruction so soon as it is provided for them. lere is an opportunity for the energy and enterprise of ur local Chambers of Agriculture and other kindred r" ocieties to take prompt action for giving the young griculturists of North Wales, the opportunity of sharing a the benefits of a scheme which is already doing so JUch good in other parts of the country in extending gricultural education in theory and practice. 13th September, 1879. When writing the above article, I intended to in- lude, but omitted to do so, one or two items of inforni- tion which may be acceptable, relating to the fees and emuneration connected with the agricultural science lasses established in any district according to the egulations of the Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London. The fees payable by each pupil at such a class depend rostly on the size uf the class, being on a higher or )wer scale in proportion to the number of students. "he amount is usually small in order to encourage in- ending students in the science of farmingâsay from 8s. o 12s. each for the course, extending over twenty-five reeks, or thereabouts. The teacher of such a class, irovided he holds the Government certificate of pro- iciencj* in agriculture, will, in addition to these fees, eceive from the Science Department a grant of E2 for ach pupil who passes first class in the principles of .griculture at the annual May examinations, and £ 1 for ach one who passes second class. Also in the examin- ,tion for Honours in the advanced course of agricul- ure, the teacher receives a sum of £4 for each candidate vho takes a first class, and £ 2 for a second class. In reference to the scholarships in agriculture which .re for the competition of students, the arrangement is his. The Science Departmeat, out of the funds at lommand for promoting a knowledge of science and art, lives £ 25 a year, on condition that a like sum is given )y any Farmers' Society, or is raised by voluntary sub- icriptions, in the neighbourhood where any such class s held. So that the sum of R50 may be available to 'nable any student who secures the scholarship, to ob- ain an advanced course of instruction in any agricul- ural school or college that may be decided upon. This trrangement affords to those industrious students who obtain such scholarships, an opportunity for making nore rapid and solid progress in agricultural knowledge â ban that which can be obtained in rural districts. Any Agricultural Society or Farmers' Club may con- ribute £ 25 a year, for a few years, towards founding 1 scholarship for competition in its own locality. Local andowners also who are disposed to aid scientific :ducation in their own districts, have thus the oppor- unity of helping forward the sons of their tenants. Moreover, any well-wishers of agriculture could unite n making contributions towards such a desirable ibject. In default, however, of any support of this kind or founding scholarships, it would devolve upon Agri- ultural Societies, and Chambers of Agriculture to raise he needful money to stimulate in such an effective way he advancement of agricultural education in their own listricts. It may be that there are yet few farmers' ocieties or clubs who are aware of these advantages offered by the Government, otherwise we might reason- ,bly assume that such a desirable scheme would be more -eiiei-lly adopted than it has been hitherto. In this system (which was introduced by the Science Department in 1876) there are two courses of instruc- ion, elementary and advanced. In the elementary tage the object of each yearly examination is to ascer- ain the student's acquaintance with the elementary (rinciplcs of agriculture and in the advanced stage, the "hole range of subjects will be included with a view to est the general knowledge and excellence of candi- lates in agricultural science and farming economy. The Science and Art Department, London, make it :nown that they are desirous that classes should be ipencd in the rural districts throughout the United kingdom, not only for the tuition of general science and .rt, but also for the study of the science and principles 'elating to agricuture; and they invite teachers (both nale and female) to qualify themselves to gain a certi- icate of proficiency, so as to secure the grants payable in the results of the annual examinations. With this ibject, schoolmasters, elementary teachers, and others nterested in the m: vement, are urged to qualify them- elves with due dispatch to conduct such classes vherever practicable, so that the privileges and benefits )f the scheme may be extended to as many as possible. "n case separate teachers cannot be had for the classes proposed to be held at different places in a given dis- ;rict, arrangements could be made to form these classes nto a group, so that one teacher could proceed from one lo the other weekly until the number of teachers is in- sreased. One of the Government examiners in one of lis lectures lately announced that the Science Depart- nent would provide a teacher for any district where a ;lass of twenty scholars could be formed to study agri- ;ultural .science, so that in case there is a want of local .eachers the difficulty may be removed by appealing to :he Department in London. Seeing the privileges and benefits to be obtained from ,he scheme of education under notice, there is surely ittle more needed to induce the supporters of education md all well wishers of agriculture in this part of North iVales to take an active share in extending the system vith all convenient speed and also use their influence n encouraging teachers to extend their sphere of useful- less by qualifying themselves to conduct classes | vherever there is an opening for them.- Your", 16th September, 1879. FFESM. P.S.âIn a subsequent letter I purpose writing a sum- nary of the subjects for examination in the principles )f agriculture, as required by the Science Department, md which may be acceptable to many readers of the ruardian. SWINE fever is rapidly spreading in Shropshire. The Magistrates have issued instructions on the subject. AGRICULTURAL DEPRESSION.âWe are informed that :ome of the tenants of a well-known landowner in the leighbourliood of Oswestry have intimated that they liuss give up their farms unless their rents can be re- fused.âOsiocs.try Advertiser. THE HARVEST NEAR OSWESTRY.âA farmer in the leighbourhood of Oswestry, who commenced his corn ra-rvest on Tuesday, says that his crop of wheat is heavy ind of good quality, and he believes the harvest generally in his district will turn out better than is xpected. THE CORN TRADE.âThe Mark Lane Exprexs saysâ "Although unsettled, the weather until Saturday has 3een tolerably favourable for harvesting during last iveek, and a large proportion of the wheat and barley tias been cut and carried in the southern counties. As far us can be ascertained at present, the wheat crop-is not likely to turn out better than was expected. From two md a half to three quarters per acre seems to be the average yield of wheat, but it is too early yet to form any definite opinion as to the value of this year's produce. With perhaps some reservation in favour of oats, it may be said that all spring corn crops are to a great extent failures. Pending the arrival of the new crop, supplies of old home-grown wheat have been exceedingly small both in the London and provincial market: and business has been reduced to a minimum. Last year's wheat is without change in value. A large diminution has occured in shipments from America last week. The supplies into London up to Friday last have only reached 41.1,000 quarters. The present campaign has opened with a very moderate range of prices for cereal procluce; and the attention of the tr:1lhl centres on America.

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