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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH, 1896.

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THE Aberdare School Board have refused an increase of salary to their teachers. False economy is once more triumphant, and the rights of the teachers trampled undei foot. The salaries under the Aberdare Board, as Mr. Heppell very properly pointed out, are considerably lower than those under other boards in the district. Is there any reason why this should be so ? The fact of the matter is that the Aberdare teachers of all grades are scandalously and cruelly underpaid. They have made an effort to secure some little degree of redress, but the effort has ended in failure. The very economical Board under which they serve will not recognise their claims to a just and humane treatment. Argument, however, is only thrown away on the present Board. The people of Aberdare, for their sins, have got the wrong men on that School Board, and the punishment they have to suffer is that their schools are notoriously inefficient. The results obtained are poorer than those of any other district of a similar character. For poorer results you must go to remote rural districts, where the schools are superintended by the parson, or by a couple of farmers, and where the rate is inadequate to maintain a proper staff of teachers. In Aberdare efficiency has been sacrificed to economy. That disastrous policy will be persisted in as long as the present members remain on the Board. The curious part of the business is that the policy of the Board is wrong even from an economical point of view. The Board's views on economy are altogether erroneous. The rate is low, it is true but so are the grants. A little extra expenditure on the schools would soon be repaid in additional grants. The inefficiency of the schools is thus not to be justified on financial grounds. W hat is required in Aberdare is a Board made up of men who understand that it pays to go in for thoroughly eflicient schools, that efficient schools arc not to be obtained without good teachers, and that good teachers are not to be had without adequate remuneration. We cast no reflection on the present staff, and we would not say anything to hurt their feelings. It is not the teachers who are responsible for the state of the schools. We have it on the authority of the Government Inspector that the inefficiency of at least one department, to wit the Cwmaman Girls' School, is to be attributed to inadequacy of staff, and the probability is that things are pretty much the same in the other schools. The teachers, no doubt, do their best, but there are not enough of them, and the number of certificated assistant? is far too small. The latter deficiency is directly due to the low scale of salaries. The teachers' demand for an increase was a just one, and it would have been a wise and salu- tary step on the part of the Board to grant what the teachers were asking for. The Board, how ever, have thought otherwise, and stuck to their old penny-wise-pound-foolish'^policy of inefficient education. For the sake both of the children and the teachers, this is much to be regretted. When the next School Board election comes round, let the Aberdare parents and electors go in strongly for new blood and thorough efficiency. All false economists should be rejected, and only those elected who are enlightened and progressive educa- tionists, and who will think first and foremost of the true interests of the children. It may not be amiss to give here the voting list in the division referred to. In its way the list is a curiosity, and will provide our readers with food for thought. The teachers' demand was supported by Rev. J. L)avies, J, Griffith, „ D. Griffith, Mr. W. J. Heppell. opposed by Rev. W. James, „ H. R. Johnstone, M. Powell, Mr. D. P. Duviet, 11 W. Charles. The Chairman, Mr. R. II. Khys, also spoke against I the increase.

SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL.

SOCIETYOF SOUTH WALES MUSICIANS.

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MUSICAL GOSSIP.

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MERTHYR GUARDIANS.

THEATRE ROYAL, MERTHYR.

DROWNING FATALITY AT ABEH-DARE…

Correspondence.

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BY THE WAY.

-METEOROLOGICAL REGISTER.

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