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ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN WALES. CHIEF INSPECTOR'S REPORT. The general report for the year 1888 of Mr W. Williams, chief inspector, on the schools in the Welsh division, has just been issued. In it quotation is made from the report of Mr Pryce, of Carmarthen district, that gentlemen referring to the great increase of, population which has arisen because of the "w onderful development in the tinplate tra Similar reference is made by Mr Edwardg, "bf' the. Merthyr district, and Mr Whitmell. ^concerning Cardiff and Newport dis- trict, has the-same tale- to tell Mr Monro, at Swansea, afto testifying to growth of population. Swansea, afto testifying to growth of population. „ SCHOOL ATTENDANCE. Dealing with Carmarthen district, Mr Pryce reports, under this heading, that the attendance has improved, and has been most marked in towns and populous centres under school boards. With regard to Merthyr district, Mr Edwards states that-there has been a alightlyimproved rate of attendance. At Swaose* a different condition of things exists, for Mr Monro writes "Irregular- ity of attendance continues to be a constant source of complaint on the part of managers and tosebeiv. On the whole, the magistrates, and in many cases deservedly so, have the lion's share of the blame laid at their doors. Complaints on this head appear to be almost chronic with a certain class of teacher—not by any means the best one. Speaking generally, the teachers are much less to blame than the school attendance authorities and the magistrates. What contri- butes materially to failure in the matter of school attendance is the difficulty experienced in obtain- ing as attendance officers men suitable in personal characteristics for such a post." Of Cardiff we are told that attendance,' although good at individual schools, is still far from satisfactory as a whole. Making due allowance for unavoidable causes of absence, I am strongly of opinion (1) that parents and children still need educating as to the importance of regular attendance, and (2) that there is culpable negligence in the adminis- tration of the law. I have calculated that a rise of 5 per cent, in the average attendance at Cardiff schools would bring in about 21,000 more a year in Government grant, and would more than pay the expenses of the attendance officers. In 1886 the Cardiff Board expended 2131 10s. in prosecutions, and recovered in fines only E12 19s." ELEMENTARY AND CLASS SUBJECTS. The state of affairs in all the districts shows that, although there is still room for improvement in many ways, a steady advance is being made. One gratifying feature in Mertliyr district is the increase in the number of scholars examined in the two highest standards. Under the heading of Composition," the Chief Iuspecter reports :— I am persuaded that in Welsh-speakiog dis- tricts the translation of a suitable passage of Welsh into English would be a better exercise for the scholars than the reproduction of a story read to them in English. Regular practice in translation from Welsh into English would, if the subject were properly handled by the teacher, greatly improve the scholars' knowledge of English, and impress on their minds the differ- ence between the English and Welsh idioms." SPECIFIC SUBJECTS. Needlework and cookery are being more effi- ciently taught, and in regard to the latter espe- cially, gratifying progress has been made. The number of girls in Wales who earned a grant for cookery was 1,630, as compared with 1,005 the preceding year. "Singing by note is spreading," the chief in- spector states, and was successfully taken last year in 21 per cent. of all the departments and infant classes in this division, and in from 57 to 63 per cent. of those in the Swansea, Merthyr, Cardiff, and Carmarthen districts, the last stand- ing highest. The tonic sol-fa method is, I be- lieve, used almost universally except in the Cardiff district, in which 36 schools took the old notation." L THE WELSH LANGUAGE. Upon this subject the report continues :—"The object of the movement now in progress is not confined to teaching Welsh as a specific tfttb-ject its chief object is to utilise the child's knowledge of the language from the commencement of his school career, for developing hiB intelligence, and for acquiring a knowledge of English more effectually than is the case at present. Purely a movement which aims at improving what now cannot be considered satisfactory ought to have a fair trial, and be pushed forward by enlined educationists without waiting for a demand from the parents, most of whom naturally believe that the present system must be the best that can be devised."