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SCHOOLS INSPECTOR FOR SWANSEA.j

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SCHOOLS INSPECTOR FOR SWANSEA. Mr, Martin Makes Disquieting* Revelations. An adjourned meeting of Swansea. Council was held on Friday, the Mayor presiding, to consider Education Committee's minutes, held over for consideration from the last meeting. The recomnÙmdations included the follow- ing :—"That a superintendent of education be appointed. Applicants to state experi- ence in elementary and secondary education, Age limit 30 to 50 years. Salary £350, vis- ing by annual increments of £10 to £450 per annum. Mr. Martin moved the adoption of the te- port, and said the object of the appointment was to keep the Council better informed of the work done, and therefore to put into the Council's hands more effective means of con- trol. Some people liked the question of ap- pointments; they liked the patronage aad liked to be canvassed and flatte-red-the "Oh, King, live for ever" sort of style, and the person who did it best often succeeded best. If they were determined to carry out their duties well, then the frrst necessary thing to do was to obtain perfect informa- tion of the work done. He did not think :11 would be qualified to form an opinion, even when they had visited the schools, and what to make of all they saw and heard. He urged the appointment of the best expert man. Some thought the Clerk might do the work, he could not give the time. Some thought the inspectors might do the work; few people were more alive to the want of an official such as they wanted to- day. He had asked two of them "Is such an official necessary?" The answer was "abso- lutely necessary." Recently an inspector deplored the number of scholars of the age of 10 years in Standard II. in their schools. MT. Livingston Was. any school named in which that extraordinary condition of things existed? Mr. Martin: "Our schools." If they wanted an effective control they wanted someone to visit the schools and report regularly. He was no be- liever in cram, but a strong be- liever in thorough and efficient teaching. What was the actual state of affairs in Swansea? Within the last 18 montfts he was informed that thedr infant schools were in a very backward condition. He had had a conversation recently with one of the head teachers of the infant schools and he be- lieved he found a good system had been misapplied. If a child could not reckon 3, 4, 6 and 7 without counting has fingers when he was 7, the kindergarten system had failed in its purpose, and that was what he thought the teachers found—that they could not do any mental operations apart from the ob- jects. As to 10 He;¡. old children in Sta.n-^ dard II., could they be surprised when they came from infant school in that state. Did not that explain it? Standard II., for a child of ten, meant that the child had no hope to reach Standard VII. when 14, and that was the exemption for a child going to work. Mr. Hop kin Have y a figures? Mr. Martin: The only return of a very reliable kind I have seen was preferred by the clerk at the end of 1901. Mr. Cadwalladr: A g-reat improvement since then, depend upon it. Mr. Harris There might be deterioration. Mr. Martin said the crystallised opinion of the Education Department to the in- spectors was to the effect that they should expect, if a child entered school at five, with average ability, and attended regularly, he should over six years of age be in Standard T., and advance a standard each year. Quot- ing from the return alluded to above, Mr. Martin said there were 10.040 children in the standards. The children in their proper places, according to the instruction of the department to their inspectors was 432, or 4.3 per cent. Mr. Livingston Who furnished the In- forma.tion? The Clerk (Mr. Hal den) Th. teachers. Mr. Cadwalladr Give us the actual num- ber in Standard II. ten years of age. Mr. Martin said he wanted before that to go irto the present condition of affairs. Speaking of the provided schools from in formation compiled during the past wwk or two, he found there were 10,102 in the stan- dards. In the first four standards there were over seventy per cent., and twenty-nnne per cent. in the three upper standards; ten per cent, in Stan- dard VI., six per cent, in Standard VII., a. little over 12 per cent. in Standard V. Mr. Cadwalladr asked if the figures in- cluded children of the Higher Elementary Schools—there were about 600. The Clerk It does not include it. Mr. Martin asked if therir blood should not boil when they thought what had be- come of the children. Was* not there some remedy? Were they going to sit round the table and be content? If so they were not capable of appreciating the work U-cv had to do. If there had been an improvement in education it should have shown greater iatelldgence. Mr. D. Harris asked if any business man spending over a year would not have a general manager. Very few of the boys and girls finished up in Standard VII. when thev were 14. During the Last six years th3" staffing of the Swansea Schools were equal to any Board Schools in Wales, and far above the average of the schools in the Kingdom. He seconded the recommenda- tL°In answer to Mr. Corker and Mr. Liv- ingston, Aid. MarLn said the superinten- dent would not exeircise more control than was put into his hands. Mr. Cadwalladr said if he took as pessi- mistic a. view as Aid. Martin he would not eay a. word, as be should be asha.med to do so' Mr. Martin had laboured the age ques- tion immensely, and thev knew from ex- perience that all boys and girls were not equal. He moved that the "e re- ferred back to the committee for further consideration, office ■ 25 or more years ago the School Board appointed an inspector of schools; it wes not a great success, and the office was afterwards Buppress.ed, but not the officer; another place was found for him. The re- commendation of the committee was alto- get her unnecessary. The proposed superin- tendent was for the Elementary Schools. Aid Martin was, he thought, not in touch with the inner working of Elementary Schools. The old system of payment by re- sults was bad, but under the block grant system the children were happy, and they found the children attending the evening schools. The present system gave the tea- chers a grand chance there was no cra.m- mine or forcing at the present day. H.M. Inspectors—five in this district, two living in Swansea—-niade no perfunctory visits he could assure the Council. "Seventy per cent, of the working expenses of our schools is met by Imperial grant," added Mr. Cadwalladr. There were .50 departments in the provided schools, and each received the highest grant —boys and girls 22s., and infants 17s. From the Elementary Schools there was passed no into the Higher Elementary Schools about 200 children every year. They were selected out of Standard IV., whereas if they were left in they would be in the 5th 6th and 7th standards. Some children were not ad- vanced in their own interests they could nol turn children out like screws. He urged the importance of not pressing the little youngsters there was tyranny in too many examinations. Ample examinations there were an 4 to create the office proposed would be a of money. Dr. Latier seconded the amendment, especially bec&.use he wanted to know the superintendent's work and duties. There were some things in the teachers' memorial he could agree wIt. and he could speak of the difference obtaining in late years in the amount of over-press^ as shown by 4 he work which took place in the past and the present time. People had different ranges of intellect, but not all children could he brought on at the same ooriod. It did not. follow because a child did not get on to the same standard as another that the system was imperfect. i Mr. Tutton said Government inspectors were very amiable gentlemen, and all the re- ports were on the sarm- footing. "Vas if a credit that bright boys should be kept mark- ing time as Mr. Cadwalladr said? Mr. Cadwalladr: A necessity of t,he situa- tion. Mr. Tntton said they wanted bright boys kept back no longer. ] I Mr. Cadwalladr Cast iron system. Mr. Tutton said the teachers acknowledged such a necessity, and some of them had already put out feelers to nil up the posi- tion tfiemu kei: Mr. LiO»^ioi! recognised Mr. Martin's efforts in' r-fvear,ion, but thought he had assumed too much. Nothing had be*1 a said of conipLii-its from any parents of the neg- lect of any of the teachers. Had such boon made, they would have weighed with him very much. For the s&ke of trying to get unanimity, he urged the question be referred back. He objected to any expenditure mat could be avoided. There were scores and hundreds of summonses issued almost daily for payment of rates for people who could not pay. Let them involve the town, but the reckoning day would come soon. What kind of authority would the gentleman be armed with? If the superintendent inter- fered with the head teachers they would ruin the education system in the district. If lie were a schoohnastcr doing his duty, and a man was put over him to interfere with his work he would bring t-ue other masters to- gether to shut the doors and appeal to the Board of Education. Mr. Colwill supported the amendment, and said without hesitation that they did not get value for money expended. The candidates for Queen's Scholarships were mostly at the bottom of the second division. Taking the pupil teachers' centre at Llanelly and Swansea and comparing the results and money spent, it was a disgrace for Swansea. Was it impos- sible out of 15,000 attending the schools to fill the Higher Elementary School with 300 oharp lads? Was it impossible to get chil- dren up to the mark to compete for scholar- ships in the Intermediate School? Was it impossible to select children qualified for the teaching profession? The head-teachers' salaries depended upon the average atten- dance, and the poor results at the Higher Elementary School was, in his opinion, due to not having the right children. The fail- ure of candidates for the pupil teachers' cen- tre was because they were not suitable for it. He suggested the Principal in the Inter- mediate School could send one of his masters to select suitable children to compete for scholarships in that school, and also the same privilege extended to the master of the Higher Eelementary School. Dr. Rawlings said there was a great deal in what Dr. Latimer and Mr. Cadwalladr had said. They would have to do more 1fl the way of the medical supervision of the schools. He thought the appointment would be a truly wise and economical step, but he was opposed to anyone connected with that district bering appointed. Mr. Hopkin said already they (the teachers) were putting their heads together as to who should be the man. Seventy or eighty children were in some of the Board School class-rooms and therein lay the cause, he thought. He advocated referring back. Mr. Payne supported Mr. Cadwalladr's amendment. Mr. T. Corker ,?axx the Intermediate School was already provided for by the scheme, and the superintendent would not apply there. He supported the amendment. Mr. Dan Jones did not see that the superin- tend ent. would interfere with the inspectors or teachers. He would be their adviser. Mr. Moy Evans said the discussion proved the necessity of some supervision. Mr. Solomon said it was intended the ap- pointment should cover both elementary irtd secondary education. MT. Howel Lewis supported the amend- ment. There were 7 inspectors in Leicester, and would the inspector in Swansea, be quali- fied to look after the cookery and dress-mak- ing? (Laughter.) Ald. Martin said the headteachera of the Intermediate School had certain powers, and the superintendent could not interfere with those powers. Besides, they could alter the scheme. Were the Council going to tolerate the position as it was? Cram, he could understand, would afferrt the nervous system, but intelligent teaching would clear the ner- "t vous system. The returns he had alluded to showed there was neglect of duty somewhere, and they as a Council could not hope to deal with it. He wanted the best possible man appointed. The best teachers would ben-sfit bv the official: they would know who were doing their work, and who were not. Peooie were not afraid of the policeman when they were right. Mr. Cadwalladr said the figures quoted wpre for 1901, and were out of date altogether. Tf they referred the matter back they could have the figures up to date. The voting was as follows:—For the amendment -Ald. Lee, Protheroe, D. Wil- liams, Couns. Cadwalladr, Corker, Colwill. M. Hopkin, Dr. Latimer, Howel Lewis, Livingston, Miles, Payne. Total, 12. Against:—Aid. Martin, Dr. Rawlings, R. Thomas, Couns. P. Davies, Devonald, Moy Evans, D. Harris, D. Jones, Lovell, G. Mor- gan, H. G. Solomon, Tarr, B. Thomas, Tut- ton, Howel Watkins. Total, 15. The Mayor did not vote. The amendment was consequently lost. Mr. Hopkin moved that canvassing he pro- hibited, either directly or indirectly. Y. Mr. Cadwalladr seconded. Mr. Solomon said in two recent appoint- ments where canvassing was prohibited he had 70 callers. The motion of Mr. Hopkin was lost by an overwhelming majority. Mr. Moy Evans moved, and Mr. D. Harris seconded, that the recommendation of lending Manselton Schools to the Rev. W. Evans tor men's Bible class, on Sunday afternoons for six months be not allowed. This motion was lost. The minutes were then adopted.

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