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I "WALES FOR THE WELSH."

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"WALES FOR THE WELSH." Lively Passages at Flintshire Education Committee Meeting. APPOINTMENT OF CLERK OF WORKS. Mr. Henry Powell and the Teaching oi Welsh. THE EVENING CLASSES. Director's Interesting Report on the Past Session. A meeting of the Flintshire Education Committee was held at Mold yesterday morning, Mr. T. W. Hughes presiding. The Chairman read a letter received from Canon Nicholas, of Flint, acknowledging the vote of sympathy which the Committee had passed with him in his recent illness. He said that expression of their sympathy gave him great pleasure, and he was thankful to be able to say that he was making excellent progress. THE TEACHING OF WELSH. At a meeting of the School Management Sub-Committee, Mr. Henry Powell called attention to the remarks of H.M. Inspector regarding the teaching of Welsh, with which he expressed himself in hearty agreement. He said that he hoped the Committee would give preference, when making appointments, to those teachers who possesed qualifications for the teaching of Welsh. 0 Mr. Powell again referred to the reports, particularly with regard to the high com- mendation which the inspector gave to those schools which undertook the teaching of the mother tongue of the children. He hoped the remarks made by the Inspector would be taken note of by the Committee, and that when the opportunity arose they would show their sympathy in a practical manner. The Inspector stated in the report, that the study, practice, reading, and writing of two languages was far preferable to one, and he (Mr. Powell) was in total agreement with that. A question was asked as to whether the matter was in order. Mr. Powell replied that he thought he was entitled to speak, and he was not afraid of criticism, particularly when he was speaking in the defence of the mother tongue. He was proud of the language. Lord Mostyn: We all are. Dr. Humphry Williams (to Mr. Powell): Why not speak in Welsh? (laughter). Mr. Powell: I shall have very great plea- sure in doing so. Dr. Williams: Well, go on! Mr. Powell further said that he hoped and trusted that the Committee would bear in mind that report when making further ap- pointments. AN "UNWORKABLE" SUB COMMITTEE A discussion arose with reference to the recent appointment of a sub-committee to make recommendations as to the constitution of the sub-committees. Mr. Frank Jones said they would never get that report. The sub committee was an unworkable one. The object of Mr. Buck- ley in proposing the appointment of that sub-committee was to have the best men ap- pointed, irrespective of political considera- tions. The first thing done was to ask the party whips to make recommendations. Mr. W. Buckley: I am not without hope. Col. B. E. "Philips You will have to wait a long time. APPOINTMENT OF ASSISTANT SCHOOL MEDICAL OFFICER. At a meeting of the Medical Inspection Sub-Committee on April 22nd a communica- tion was submitted from Dr. A. E. Evane resigning his post as Assistant School Medi- cal Officer upon his appointment as an In- spector under the Board of Control. It was resolved that the resignation be received, and that the hearty congratulations of the Committee be extended to Dr. Evans on his appointment; and further that the Commit- too place on record their appreciation of his services, while in the employ of the Educa- tion Committee. It was decided to adver- tise the post of Assistant School Medical Officer, at a salary of £ 250 per annum, with the necessary travelling expencca.-The ap- plications were considered at a meeting of th Sub-Committee on May 20th, when it was decided to ask Dr. John Harold Peek, of Clifton House, 7, Albert street, Regent's Park, London, to appear before the Educa- tion Committee. Dr. Peek is at present clinical assistant to Dr. Banty King at the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, City road, London. Dr. Peek appeared before the Committee, and, on the motion of Mr. W. Buckley, was unanimously appointed. "DO YOU SPEAK WELSH!" APPOINTMENT OF CLERK OF WORKS The three selected candidates for the ap- pointment of clerk of works appeared before the Committee, their names being:—Archi- bald Aitken, Lixwm, near Holywell (latterly clerk of works on the Holywell-Northop main road); Edmund Hughes, Heathcroft, River street, Rhyl; and Robert Lloyd Roberts. When Mr. Aitken was being interviewed he wa-s asked by Mr. Frank Jones: Do you speak Welsh? Mr. Aitken No. Mr. Elford H. Roberts: Although you don't speak Welsh, I suppose you know something about building? Mr. Aitken: Yes. Mr. Henry Powell: We don't want any skits. Mr. Frank Jones said that if he had the opportunity he was prepared to justify the question which he put to Mr. Aitken. Mr. Elford Robert: "Wales for the Welsh" Mr. Jones (Holywell) proposed, and Ald. S. Perks seconded, that Mr. Edmund Hughes be appointed. Mr. G. C. Alletson proposed the appoint- ment of Mr. Aitken. Ald. J. W. M. Evans seconded, and Ald. P. T. Davies-Cooke and Col. Philips supported. Dr. Humphry Williams said that he was a Welshman, but he never shouted "Wales for the Welsh" (hear, hear). When he saw a Welshman in his native county, able to speak his native tongue, who was as good as an Englishman applying for the post, his blood said at once: "I ought to give it to him." He had never seen an Englishman yet—certainly not a Scotsman or an Irish- man—who, other things being equal, would not say at once that the native of the coun- ty wa-s entitled to the appointment if he could get it. There were many men employ- ed on works in the county who could under- stand Welsh better than English. It was on those grounds that he felt called upon to support Mr Edmunc Hughes. Mr. J. Buckley Jones also supported Mr. Hughes. Mr. Humphreys (Bagillt) said he was sorry they had not got a candidate from Bagillt. They ought to vote for a man irrespective of whether he was English or Welsh. Ald. R. Allen said that Mr. Aitken had given undoubted satisfaction, and his quali- fications were exceptionally good. Mr Thos. Parry proposed that Mr. Robert Lloyd Roberts be appointed. Mr. J T. Morgans seconded. Ald. F. J. Gamlin asked the County Sur- veyor if there was any disqualification in a clerk of works not being able to speak Welsh. The County Surveyor (Mr S. Evans): Theoretically, yes; practically, no. On a vote being taken Mr. Aitken was appointed by a considerable majority. Among the minutes of committees adopted were the following:- DENTAL WORK. At a meeting of the Medical Inspection Sub-Committee, the school medical officer reported that the dental surgeon, Mr. P. Wilson Smith, had commenced duties on the 1st April, at the centre which had been opened at Shotton. Notices had been sent cut to the parents of the children, and ad- vantage had been taken in every instance of the facilities for treatme^ offered by the authority. In this connection the Chairman reported that the necessary apparatus and equipment for the dental work had been pin chased, and that the total cost came well within the amount of the estimate. EVENING SCHOOLS: REPORT ON THE SESSION. At a meeting of the Technical In- struction Sub-Committee, the Director submitted the following report:- "Evening Schools and Classes—Ses- sion 1912-13. With the possible exception of one centre, all the grants payable by the Board of Education have now been re- ceived, and I beg therefore to present the usual final statement of receipts and expen- diture in respect of the Session 1912-13. It will be seen that the total amount received from the Board of Education in the form of grants was £ 761 12s. 6d., which, having re- gard to the larger number of centres, COlll- pares favourably with the sum ( £ 726 8s. 6d.) received during the previous year. Students' féC amounted to S-228 15s. 3d. and other receipts (including examination fees) to r ,c cc t-3 E60 Os. 3d. Thus the total receipts reached the sum of £ 1,070 8s., or nearly 58 per cent. of the whole amount (£1850 9s. Id.), ex- pended upon all the classes. The net cost to the authority was therefore V.780 Is. Id. Reports as to the character of the work done have already been submitted, and have been discussed at previous meetings of the sub- committee. As regards the students who at tended, an analysis of the registers 6hows 4467 class students comprised of 3325 separate individuals Of these, 1123 were boys and, girls who had recently left the elementary and secondary schools, and were therefore of the type which it is highly de sirable to secure as students at our evening clitsses 410 were boys and girls of from iC to 18 years of age, and many of these had already been in attendance at evening classes for a period of 2 to 4 years; and 311 were young people of 18 to 20 years of age, some of whom had been in regular at- tendance at evening classes for several years The remainder were young men and women of 20 years of age and upwards, who, 88 a rule, attended the mining, domestic, ambu- lance, nursing and vocal music classes. Very few of these attended the preparatory classes. "The work of the evening school session has now practically been completed. A few classes in science and art are awaiting ex- aminations, but these examinations will be held before the close of the present month. A class in rescue work has (with the appro- val of the Committee) just commenced work at Buckley, but the course of lessons will be completed before the end of the educa- tional year in July. Taking the county as a whole, the number of students shows an increase, the total number of students ad- mitted to the various classes being 4568, as compared with 4467 during the previous see sion. Work was undertaken at 56 centres, and there were altogether 186 classes—an increase of 18 upon the number of the pre- vious year. A few classes had to be aban- doned owing to a decrease in the number of students; having regard to the conditions under which many of the students prosecute their daily occupation, however, the percen- tage of such classes was very small. The great majority of the classes completed the syllabus of work which was drawn up by the teachers and approved on behalf of the Board of Education and the Local Authority at the commencement of the session. "With regard to the subjects taken by the students, 1417 joined classes of a prepara- tory character, that is, classes in which the work done at the elementary school was continued with a view to the preparation of the students for the more advanced classes of a technical or vocational character. The number shows a decrease as compared with the previous session, but this decrease is more than balanced by the larger number who joined the advanced classes. Vocal music classes were joined by 440 students— a decrease of 125 upon the number of the previous year. The scant encouragement given by the Board of Education to classes of this kind is largely responsible for the comparative lack of interest which is now taken in them at centres where, a few years ago, there was an energetic committee and an enthusiastic body of students. Art classe-s showed a membership of 103-an in- crease of 73 and science classes a member- ship of 610, as compared with 484 during the previous year. Literary and commer- cial classes were joined by 545 students, as compared with 409, the increase being largely due to the upward tendency which during the pa.st two or three years has been observable in the number of students who desire to improve their qualifications in commercial subjects. It may be mentioned, in this connection, that much of the instruc- tion given in the preparatory classes (in arithmetic, composition, and geography, for instance) is given a distinct bias towards commercial or other vocational pursuits. Classes in handicraft (woodwork and metal- work) obtained 169 students as compared with 148; the attendance and character of the work done at these classes were more satisfactory than has been the case for seve- ral years. The number of students who joined classes in domestic subjects was well maintained, totalling 824 as compared with 839; while ambulance and home nursing classes, with a membership of 460, as com- pared with 434, showed that there was no decrease in the appreciation in which these subjects were held. "The percentage of students in average attendance throughout the county was 61. Having regard to the "shift" system of working in the industrial parts of the coun- ty, the difficulty experienced by many of the younger students (especially those en- gaged in shops) in getting their work done in time to attend the classes, the distance of the centres from the homes of many of the students in rural districts (3 or 4 miles in some cases), and the many changes of re- sidence among the younger portion of the population, this percentage cannot be re- garded as unsatisfactory. No reports upon the classes have been received from the Board of Education. I have reason to think, however, that H.M. Inspectors are, on the whole, well satisfied with the char- acter of the work done." TEACHING OF LANGUAGES. At a meeting of the Secondary Instruction Sub-Committee, communications were sub- mitted from the governors of the Holywell and St. Asaph County Schools in response to a circular asking for their observations regarding the suggestion that a peripatetic teacher of languages should be appointed for the County Schools. The Holywell Governors stated that the teaching of languages was and had been one of the strong features of the education given at their school, and was a subject which from time to time had received high com- mendation from the various inspectors who had visited the school. Under the circum- stances, the governors did not view the sug- gestion made by the County Education Authority with approval. The governors asked whether, in the event of the sugges- tion being favourably entertained by other county schools, and adopted by the Educa- tion Authority, the Holywell County School would be expected directly or indirectly, to contribute towards the cost of procuring such teachers The St. Asaph County School Governors asked whether, in the event of the Gover- nors expressing their approval of the ap- pointment of a peripatetic teacher, they would be expected to contribute towards the salary. A discussion followed, in which opinions were expressed that, although it might be desirable that the services of a native teacher should be secured for imparting a colloquial knowledge of a language, yet, in the various schools in the country where native teachers had been employed, it had been found that they were unable to keep discipline in their classes, and on that ac- count the teaching had resulted in a farce. On the other hand, English or Welsh teachers, and particularly those who paid frequent visits to foreign countries, or had received training there, were quite capable of imparting a sound knowledge of a lan- guage, both literary and colloquial. As re- garded the majority of the schools, the pre- sent arrangements appeared to be giving satisfaction, the efficiency of the teaching being borne out by the reports received from the Central Welsh Board from time to time. It was ultimately resolved that the ques- tion of the teaching of languages in the county schools be referred to the Associa- tion of County School headmasters for their observations. CENTRAL WELSH BOARD EXAMINA- TIONS. At a meeting of the Secondary Instruc- tion Sub-Committee communications were submitted from the governors of the St. Asaph and Holywell County Schools with reference to the suggestion of the Sub- Committee that arrangements be niwde in future for the supervision of the examina- tions of the Central Welsh Board by the governors, in accordance with the practice which formerly obtained throughout the county. The St. Asaph governors stated that it had always been their practice to as- sist in the supervision. The Holywell County School governors stated that they had come to a unanimous decision to appoint an independent person to undertake, on payment of a fee, the en- tire supervision of all examinations con- nected with the school. The governors con- sidered that this would be very much more satisfactory than the arrangements which formerly obtained in the county, and they suggested that the committee should ask the governors of the other county schools in Flintshire to make similar arrangements. In the discussion which followed, it was stated that the examinations of the Central Welsh Board extended over a period of from two to three weeks and that great difficulty was experienced in getting members of the County School governing bodies to share in the supervision. It wm thought highly de- sirable, however, that the supervision should not be left entirely in the hands of I' the teaching staffs of the schools. Mr. W. Lloyd Parry, the representative of the j county school headmasters, said that there could bo no objection to an independent supervisor being appointed, provided he II was thoroughly efficient and understood the work of conducting examinations but such service would, of course, have to be remu- nerated, and the question would arise as to whether the payment would have to be made out of the funds at the disposal of the seve- ral County School Governing Bodies. It was ultimately resolved that it be a re- commendation to the County School govern- ing bodies that an independent person be appointed to assist.the teaching staffs in the supervision of the examinations of the Cen- tral Welsh Board. -+!

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