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SCHOOL TEACHERS IN 'CONFERENCE.

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SCHOOL TEACHERS IN CONFERENCE. j WHAT IS AND SHOULD BE. The half-yearly meeting of the Glamorgan and Carmarthen District Union of the National Union of Teachers was held on Saturday in the central lecture hall, Higher Grade School, Cardiff, under the presidency of Mr. E. Coles, Dafeii Board Schools, Llanelly. There was a large attendance, and among those present were Dr. Lloyd Edwards (member of the Barry United District School Board), Mr. Higman, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Ewbanlc, &c. A GOOD SHOW OF MEMBERS. The Secretary, (Mr. W. Walters, Merthyj-), re- ported that several new districts had become affiliated to the district union, which had a total strength of about 770 members. (Hear, hear.) THE NEXT MEETING. It was resolved, on the motion of Mr. Griffiths, seconded by Mr. Gray, to accept the invitation of Merthyr to hold the next meeting (the annual meeting) of the Union there. THE NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS. Mr. Brockington, B.A.. Radnor-road Board School; and Mr. Thomas, Finsbury, late of Swan- sea, were nominated district union representatives on the National Union of Teachers, vice Mjr. Girling, resigned and it was decided to issue noting papers to the representatives of the various Associations, made returnable by the ;>lst May. HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED. Resolutions, which have been exhaustively dis- cussed on previous occasions, were agreed- to. affirming (1) That the teacher's diploma shall cover the teaching of all 'obligatory subjects, and carry with it the right to exercise disciplinary control within reasonable limits (2) That taking into account the fact that many teachers Ynust-necessarily spend their lives j as assistants in large schools, it is necessary to considerably increase the maximum emoluments of certificated assistants throughout the country (3) That the compulsory clauses of the Edu- cation Act should be stringently enforced, and that all attendance cases should be heard in a place apart from that devoted to ordinary police- court procedure (4) That the practice of creating and main- taining school authorities for small districts having- proved to be injurious to the best inte- rests of national education, the Education De- partment and Parliament should be again memorialised in favour of making the areas of School Boards to correspond with those of the administrative counties of the country. The subject of the reorganisation of the district nuion was discussed. It appeared to be agreed tluit the area of the existing district is too large for practical purposes and it was proposed by Sir. Brockington that the district be divided into an eastern district, to include Monmouthshire, and a western district. He believed this would lead to greater strength in membership and increased activity in the general work of the Union in.i South Wales. The president, as a representative of a district which it was proposed to cut off- (laughter)-decla.red that if they divided the dis- tncfc they would be weakening the cause of the National Union. Eventually it was resolved to relegate the whole question of reorganisation to the executive of the district union, as now consti- tuted, the committee being- left perfectly am- fettered as to the basis they shall recommend. Mr. Tom John having expressed his belief that it would be a mistake to tie down the committee to any line of action whatever, A short address was delivered by Mr. E. Grey. vice-president N.U.T.. London, who urged the im- portance of better organisation in South Wales. A VOTE OF CONDOLENCE was passed with the relatives of the late Mr. Elmitt R. Brown, of Morriston, who had taken a very active interest in the work of the district union. A PUBLIC MEETING was held later in the day in promotion of the objects of the Union. Mr. E. Coles, the president of the district union, occupied the chair. He stated that although nine years ago there were only three associations in Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire affiliated to the district union, yet the Union to-day embraced every teachers' association in those two counties. (Applause.) Professor Lloyd Tanner. University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, wrote regretting his inability to be present. He had always, he said. been in favour of reducing arbitrary distinc- tions between the different branches of the pro- fession. (Applause.) Mr. E. Gray, in the course of a spirited address, criticised the methods adopted in the past by the Education Department, especially with regard to the appointment of school inspectors, whose chief qualification, he "aid, for their post was that they had never entered an elementary school until the 4ay they came to examine one. That system, they were glad to know, was being gradually broken down and for this every credit was due to the present chief of the Education Department. (Hear. hear.) The National Union of Teachers was an organisation consisting of 23,000 experts in»educational work, whose object was to mould public opinion on educational ques- tions. The speaker went on to ADVOCATE THE TOTAL ABOLITION OF PAYMENT BY RESULTS, and intermittent, instead of annual, examinations fey inspectors. It was impossible to get an accurate idea of the condition of a school by a one day's inspection. (Hear, hear.) It was inflicting a great moral injury upon the children that they should be led to look to that one day-the 1, parade day." It was absurd to call it the inspection day—as the day of perfection in clean- liness. What was wanted was that the inspector should be a constant, and a Welcome, visitor, and an adviser. At present the results of Government inspeetion were hardly worth the paper they were written^ upon. Contrasting the conditions of school life in villages and towns, he said he saw no reason why the child in the rural district should »ot work under the same conditions of light, health, and comfort as the child in the large town school. He had nothing whatever to do with the -fact that the village could not obtain the money. IF THE VILLAGE COULD NOT FIND THE MONEY, THE NATION COULD OBTAIN IT —(applause)—and no matter at what cost, the genius of every child in the country should bo pro- perly developed for the benefit of the nation. (Ap- plause.) Moving about the country as he did, he was aware that the very gravest dissatisfaction existed among the assistant teachers in elementary schools. It appeared to be thought by outsiders that the assistant teacher was merely a boy or a girl, to whom it was a magnanimous thing to pay a few shillings for pocket money The public did not recognise that some of the assistant mistresses were mothers; yet advertisements were published for adult teachers at £ 30, £ 35, and £ 40 a year. (" Shame.") Then in the ranks of assistant masters they bad University graduates holding full diplomas, and the case of these masters was almost as bad as that of the assistant mistresses. He knew that in Cardiff the state of things had greatly improved-(a.pplanse )-and he congratulated the Board upon having recognised existing facts, and shown sufficient public spirit to 15BEAK AWAY FROM THE NAMBY-PAMBYISM OF THE PRESENT AGE, and to grant fully qualified adult teachers in their schools the power of maintaining discipline in their own classes. (Applause.) Mr. Lewis Williams, chairman of the Cardiff School Board, who was well received, proposed a resolution expressing the desirability of the con- trol of education—elementary, technical, and intermediate—being vested in a single representa- tive governing body for each district (to be elected from a wide and defined area),; so as. to« secure the thorough co-ordination of all three branches. In view of the development of secondary educa- tion. he said it was most important that they should look at the question of control. (Hear, hear.) THE GENERAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY WAS NOT SATISFACTORY. Five different bodies dealt with it at the present time. The Local Government Board and the Home j Office controlled industrial schools and reformatory school; the Education Department governed elementary school, and County Councils" had the control of technical instruction schools. Then, j the Art aid Science Department was controlled in another direction; while the Charity Commis- sioners dealt with intermediate and endowed schools. Now, what was wanted .was one respon- sible Minister, one responsible body—-(applause)— to have control of the whole of these systems. THERE WAS A GREAT WASTE OF POWER, OF ENERGY, and he feared, in many cases, of money. (Hear, hear.) About eight million, were spent upon education in this country and no such amount of money was spent with so little control. Men administering public funds for purposes of public education should be specifically elected to deal with the question of education. It had been a calamity for Wales that committees intended to deal with intermediate education had been ap- pointed largely through political influence. He regretted this. Whichever party resorted to measures of that kind would have cause to regret their actioa. (Hear, hear.) DR. LLOYD EDWARDS. s&id he must apologise for the absence of the Chairman of the Barry School Board. Mr. Lowdon would have been present had he been able to do so. It was a subject that gentleman had given a great deal of attention to. In every district, said Dr. Edwards, there were a body of men who took I upon themselves the charge of the educational administration. He exampled the Barry District where three or four bodies were entrusted with I' the education of the people, and in two or three cases the members of each body were the same. In fact the chairman was the same on the Technical I Instruction or Science and Art Committee, School Board and Intermediate School Committees. IT WOULD BE FAR BETTEB TO HAVE ONE EDU- CATIONAL BODY, CATIONAL BODY, I which would take over the whole of those duties, and thus reduce to system what was now without method. It would be a great advantage for all Boards, and would assist ia the centralization of classes for young teachers as well as for the employ- ment of peripatetic teachers for special subjects. In every way they should endeavour to secure a. better teaching staff. They had heard of many abuses of school management, and Mr. Grey had that afternoon given them instances of what occurred in small rural districts and in small School Boards. He was very pleased to be present for the first time with the National Union of Teachers. They had a District Union at Barry, and he was pleased to say that his colleagues and himself had always listened to what the teachers said, and had adopted their suggestions respecting corporal punishment and evening schools.' (Applause.) He had pleasure in seconding the resolution. ANOTHER RESOLUTION. Mr. Tom John (Llwynypia) submitted n. resolu- tion affirming the necessity (n) That only those who have received prac- tical and theoretical training in the science and I art of teaching should be allowed to act- as teachers in any grade of schoool; (b) That a common and inclusive system of registration of the whole teaching profession should be adopted (c) That to make the profession of teaching attractive, all ranks of the inspectorate should be open only to those who have had experience in the conduct of a school. I Mr. Waugh, headmaster of the Higher Grade School, seconded, and the Rev. Father Hayde sup- ported the proposition, which met with unanimous acceptance. On the motion of Mr. W. Brockington, seconded by Mr. E. Kent, and SUPPORTED BY MR. T. H!C.M AX. it was further resolved that in the interests of the children and of education generally, it is desirable that the annual examination in elementary schools be abolished, and that intermittent inspection bo substituted. A VOTE OF THANKS was very cordially extended to Mr. E. G-rav, vice- president, on the motion of Mr. Gray (Cardiff), seconded by Mr. Willmott (Cardiff), Subsequently a tea andsocial meeting took place.

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