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DENBIGHSHIRE TEACHERS' CONFERENCE.

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DENBIGHSHIRE TEACHERS' CONFERENCE. [Continuation from 8th pfcge.] hich children are taught, he said that Parlia- ment mainly worries itself about educational ma- liiii'.ery. lie wished it would take a look inside the and sco what really goes en there, because children would never be educated by mere k a- jiiifiery however beautifully contrived; that could only be accomplished by the living personality of i he teichtr. lie ouoted Art. 19 of the Elemcn- iary. Schccl Education Code, which iixed 80 cubic .82, as the minimum air space for the elementary ischool child, whilst by statute law the factory Acikcr must have 250 cubic feet, and the soldier -n bat-racks 600 cubic feet. He compared the .iccomniodat u.n demanded by the Beard of Edu^a- in n in tii3 case .>r secondary schools with that de- .r.and:ii fer elementary schocR In the secondary ..Ci;col i,iiere must be at least 16 square feet per ^i• \ld of space, for the elementary school 8 square 1 ;eet was sufficient. In the secondary school there -I. list. be at lent four class icorns for every 100 •eiiclars,' whilst in the primary school class- ic (ins were allowed to accommodate 50, 60, or \fcii mere children. He did not say that the •(•concuirv school child lad too much space, but ne knew from personal experience of crowded schools and foetid class-rooms that the elemen- tary school chil j had too little. lie said that in the main, the child was a young animal, meant to be wel, clothed, well fed, to breathe the pure -iir of heaven by night and by day, and these hings fi-st. The Government grants per child in average attendance in the elementary schools averaged out to 3Ss lOd, whilst the grant to secondary schools was L5 per child. The Go- vernment wa? lavishing money on the secondary and hi, did not object, but t was starving the elementary schools attended by the ohildren of the workers Dealing with the question of the proper supply of compc-tent toachem for primary schools, Mr dykes said that there were 20.000 primary schools in England and Wales, attended by over 6,000,000 ohildien who were to be the future citizens of this country, and to bear heavy responsibilities, nunicipal and imperial. They were taught by' T 60,000 teachers of all sorts. They were divided •nt'o the following grades:—Certificated teachers, ^4,572, 46 5 per cent.; uncertificated teachers, 40,661,- 25.3 per cent.; supplementary teachers. -8,271, 11.4 per cent.; pupil teacher* and nrr,. oationers, 26,983, 16.8 per cent UNQUALIFIED PRACTlifO HOLD SWAY. The Board of Education laid aown a certain IrlIllm,i IIII of attainments for the teachers' certi- ficate, an I then allowtd no less than 53 per cent. to fall below that minimum. In the medical I rofession that sort, of thing would not be at- !owod for one moment, i ut in the highei region of dealing with mind and character the unquali- fied practitioner held sway. But if the best i.iains art best ability were to be attracted to the teaching profession a decent scale of remu- neration must b^ offered, and he was surprised to iid th&t the Denbigh County Education Autho- rity had n->t yet. instituted a scale of salaries for v. IS teachers. Mr Sykes then dealt with the ques- i. ri of large classes which prevail in primary hoolt Tev.'hirs demanded smaller classes. It •vculd mean harder, better and more educational work for them. but it would enable them to deai with 'he individual child's Difficulties, and that was the essence of all true education. He pro- tested against the Board of Education averaging the children in the primary schools whilst the children in secondary schools were treated as in- dividuals. Broadly paraphrasing the two sets of egulaticns it amounted to this—that in secon- dary schools one competent teacher is equivalent t to 30 pupils, or at most to 35. In primary schools one competent teacher is equivalent to 69 pupils, or at the most, to 77. In the Welsh intermediate -ichools there was one teacher to every 18 pupils. In the Welsh primary schools there was one certificated teacher to every 96 children in aver- se, which meant something like 120 on the roll. Whilst owing to lax administration on the part of the the Board of Education,and to the culpable Ig- r.oiance or wilful blindness of certain of II.M. in- spectors, it was possible to find classes in primary chools of 80, 90, or even 100 children. The sys- tem of staffing primary schools in England and Wales was utterly illogical; it was hopelessly out of date; an insult to the democracy, and a standing menace to the educational welfare of 6,000,000 children. He did not say that the r-econdary schools were too well staffed, but the orimary schools were much understaffed, whilst t.he parents were utterly apathetic on this vital question affecting their children's interests. With regard to THE RELATIONS BETWEEN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS, lie said the new rigulations for secondary schools gave us :-(1) That the governors should include ,J majority of public representatives; (2) that here should be no sectarian tests for teachers or "chulars; (3) that there should be a substantial ,>rcportion of free scholarships. These things • 13 woioomed, but he did not welcome the clause which allowed educational authorities to waive all these renditions and still leceiye the increased giant. A retrograde step in the regulations was ite' orovision which was made for preparatory classes and schools. The elementary school should b. the ordy preparatory school recognised by the Board of Education. No child should be admitted to a secondary school who was not edu- cationally fit to commence the secondary school course. Children in preparatory classes took up the accommodation required for those able to profit by the proper secondary school course. Giants for preparatory classes were payments on account of primary instruction given in a secondary school to those children whose parents could afford to pay a fee. The new regulations respecting these preparatory classes would not tend to link up elementary and secondary chools, but would have a diametrically opposite effect. If elementary schools were run on secon- dar S school regulations very few people would object to send their children to such schools. In conclusion, he said that the time would come when those who worked in the people's ,chc-oli would rank with the highest of those who laboured for the uplifting of humanity. A PLEA BY MR J. HERBERT ROBERTS, M."2, Mr J. Herbert Roberts, M.P., who wis Heartily cheered' on rising, said it was his ,(leasing duty to move that the best tihanks of nat meeting be accorded Mr Sykes for his iii. erecting and informing arddi-esg. He felt ;:Uro hey would all agree with him when he sad -hat Mr Sykes and others who took oueli a lead ing position in tho educational world', desery-d heir hearty thanks for the sacrifice they made ,n giving up their time—for they must renLUl- "er that during every other day of the week hey were engaged at their ordinary work—to running up and down the country 1 > preach tlhe i'ospel of educational reform (hear, hear). He elt it was only right that they acknowledged i uch ser-rices. He also wished to say that those ,Iembere of the teaching profession, who had I'ntere-d the House of Commonts, had made in mpression there, and they could all feel some atisfaction from the fact that one of them was ,L member of his Majesty's Government (hear, .iea,r). He (Mr Herbert Roberts) believed those • innual meetings were beneficial to tihe caui-e "f education in every direction. They were gathered to ventilate freely and exchange free- y their views upon educational topics, and to emulate a6 far a,s they could public interest n • hat question. He would like at hat point to emphasise the truth what the Lord Bishop had 'stated in hió most interesting address that .hey must realise the progress made in education, but education must follow the measure of pub. ho opinion. It was impossible to go beyond t, •u«f their chief aim should be to educate, to in public opinion in tho necessary direction- it wa6 a very grave error to endeavour tu re-ate any kind of antagonism between teachers ■is a and the public, and especially chcse > ho Avere particularly charged with the admiiiis- ration-'of the ccthools of tihe country (hear, •ear). If they were to -progress they must progress hand in hand. They must realise the ne essential condition that they should have in ¡uM:ic opinion, a quicker and truer conception .f the meaning of education, and also on the ,>art of public opinion a greater readiness to tcrifice for education. Before, hov.ever, ,;hev '<oujd realise two things they must lift '■dubation out of the rut of party politics iapplause). A PLEA FOR NEXT YEAR S BILL. eding to speak of the tuture in refer- Ince to education, the hon- member made n argeist appeal that next year's Education Bill, whate vel' their opinions might be uIon certa-in -speotfi of the question, be given a fair con. 'deration. Let them approach :t with the de- ormination to do everything that waf possible T-o secure a permanent settlement of a matter 'vhioh, as their chairman had pointed out, had ''■ecu bo injurious to the true progress of ".J.e education of the country in years f.one by. In 'lassing, the speaker said there was in the ^shop's speech one phrase with reference to te' lie eighteenth centurv which, if to (Mr Her- lC?rti' Roberts) had dealt with it, fie would have ;,ut-in a different form. His lordship Baid that, they had found out iidrv that the v.ung people n regard to Welsh history had hef <n canonised, lie (the speaker) would not ?uy the wrong l^eople had been canonised, but that tihe services •i great many men had rendered to 1 he. cause of education m Wales had ;»ot been recognised as they deserved to have •jeen. He joined with the Biehop in expressing earnest, desire that they should get at J:e 1 aotfl with regard to Welsh histotry- Had not the 'Jay now arrived when they should have a worthy metory of Wales? (hear, ihear). Let. them gvt r tlimge, and find the historic ■acta. Then let them bravely and urflinchi.ig.y Wace them before the public (loud applause). SCOTLAND AS AN EXAMPLE. conclusion, the Hon. Member said he had a few days previously, and he ukf not help noticing that the educational f'ivrOS?vre m- country was absolutely free f J? t^-at "vvhidh unhappily existed in that na^t tneir own Principality in reference to oextain aspects of elementary education- In Scotland he had passed througih what appeared to i-)C very sparsely populated tracts of country, et the school buildings he saw were of the fiaest order. He daid not know that (he had ever een elementary eohool buildings more substantial in structure or more handsome in appearance than, thcise he had observed as he passed1 along the country roadB of Scotland. No .luestion passed through the minds of the Scottish people as to a possible waste of public money upon school buDdiiijgs or in any other direction ir regard to education, lIe had found himself askmg the qurisUon: "How is it that the Scottish people have such a L rge place in British history' and he had found an answer in the words of Mr HakiUno it Liverpool: "Mind dominates matter" (hear, hear). If they cultivated .he same spiri in Walcii in reference to the cost ecVication as they cliid in Soot,land-and he be- lieved they were slowly but suiely moving for- ward—if they secured greater unity in educi- tional effort; rendered more o'ose t-ii-d effective the co-ordination of education, and secured1 the best brains and best hearts in 'hose responsible for the transmission of knowledge, then a now day would dawn for Welsh education, teachers, ajid scholars (cheers). Colonel Sandbach seco'iided the notion, and said he would like to emphasise one point in Mr Sykes' speech, but unfortunately his frien-ci, Mr Sum on Jcncis had jurt left the meeti.ng (laughter)- He referred to tiho p-oint that e-ch school teacher should be allowed a certain amount, of Jatitude in his school work. He thought every school teacher should be allowed to give mere prom ind uce to the subject whiY1 he himsecf was most interested in (hear, hear). If such latitude were allowed in ])cnbnghtu: e MR J. HERBERT ROBERTS, M.P. I education in the couroj would, he felt sure, progress by leaps auid bounds. In conclusion, he c-choed the words spoken by Mr Herbert Roberts in reference to eo-opaffaticn in effecting a permajient settlemen't of tho education ques- tion next year (hear, hear). 'I'he motion was carried' unanimously. I INADEQUATE STAFFING- As the t.ime had advanced so much, Mr F. d. ) Jones, of Moelfre, who had prepared what 00 t?ermed "a lengthy case" in its uipport. eon.: fined himc--If to a few formal words in ,m.>- mitting the following resolution to the meet- jng ;That this iiieetiiLg, feeling the social, political, and industrial importance of the -du- eciion o,f the childfren attending our primary schools, begs to call public attention to the adequate staffing of such bcIiodIs, and is o' opinion that in large sehooLs, the classes should be reduced in size, while in small schools, earn group tpf classes should be under a fully qualified teacher." Mr U. H. ykee, of Rhctsddu, feccndea, an 1 the resolution was unanimously adopted- THANKS. On the motion of the Rev. John Edwards— who appealed to all citizens to forget all their "isms" in order to ensure a definite solution to the present education difficulty—seconded by Mr J. 0. Davies, organiser of education in Den- bighshire, a cordial vote of thanks was leo a,ce,orded the Bisliol) for his address.

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