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DEVELOPING TECHNICAL EDUCAHON.I

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DEVELOPING TECHNI- CAL EDUCAHON. I LINES TO BE FOLLOWED. CONCENTRAT!ON AND QUALITY. Swf,c,,oa and Llanelly Cases. Mr. J. Rees, the Harbour Superintendent of Llanelly, a Ioaa.1 thinker, seen by a "Daily Post" representative on the ques4 tion of technical education, remarked as & preliminary .— The way would, I think, be much cleared for advance along the best Hnes it the true mea.ning' of technical education were realised. It M very commonly con- founded with more or less elementary in- struction, and there seo.us to be a pretty general impression that it can be gained in the technical classes of secondary And other schools. This is a mistake. This is not technical education in the sense of some- thing tha<t is to be of distinctive value to the country in developing its manufactur- ing interests, and making competition elective with otJier countries. It is far too general in kind, and on too low a level. It cannot be too clearly understood, and the utmost emphasis is laid upon the statement, that the technical education which is to be of real service must go up to the line of knowledge of all that is known of the prob- lems it is sought to solve, and then travel beyond that over new and untried ground. It muat advance beyond the furthest ad- vances of competitors. "Evidently, to accomplish this, the m€a,n.s of education must necessarily be of the highest and best in the way of teachers, a.ppara,tus, and so forth. It is so costly a, matter that schools or colleges to give fuch education must be few in number. The material to act upon is also limited. The number of those worth technically educat- ing to this point of excellence and eSiciency is sTn;t.U. And for t,he following reason: Mutation is not merely instruction. Edu- cation is a ieading out of a.ud a developing of something inherent in a yoUjHjg ma,n. If that something is not there, you may in- struct him, arbitrarily build up something in him, but you cannot educate him." Questioned as to the obtaining of the right ¡ cla;ss of student, Mr. Rees replied :— How many have tJfe instinct for technical edu catioii? Very few. But The few are worth any amount of troubte <md pains to get hold cf and educate. Iney are incomparably the most valuable of I the country in a manufacturing and indus- trial sense. In the catching of this special brain early the existing technical clashes of good schools form excellent nets or sieves. The majority will pass through, although much impn-oved in the process; the few left behind, too big' to .pas:; through the mesh. should be very carefully looked after. Let them be sent with all possible aid and en- couragement, in the way of scholarships, or what not. to such a technical school or col- j lege as referred to, this being, in turn. allied with a degree and honour conferring univer- sity." The attitude of the manufacturing em- ployer was raised ?nd Mr. Rees painted out "As to the me?ns, on the a.ll-impcrtant money side, it is, I t.hink. by this grasped tha.b the greatest practical value can only be gained by bringing the highly trained tech- niciainnto close touch 'ith the manufacturer so that he caji know what pT&Mems to t-ackle. :Fina.ueial support wi-I I be liven by the m<u!u- i turer not to enable a few clever men to attn-in high academic distinction, hut he will support the means to give high .deti- tinc training that. will he devoted to the solution of his manufacturing dimculties. The question is how to make the best use of the money tha.t, subject to such condi- tions, will be subscribed. It seems to the writer that the best way would be tomethinE: as foHows :—" Enlarge, as one evident source of the right material, the scope and efficiency of existing local technicafl class e.s as far as possible. It has taken much time, Ia.bour and money to bring them up to their present position. Make them still more effective. They offer the cbasice to any young man to prove to capabJe instructors whether his na- tural instincts are sumciently strong, and his powers sumciently high. to justify assist- ing him in a further progress. Funds locally subscribed might he to R decree earmarked fo'' the b(-r-.efit of local students in Hfghty equtpped technical coHeges. But not wholly ;o by a-ny means. for the' upkeep of verv hpa,vy expenditure, und It they are fully to justify themselves there mugt. be an cuttook upon the progress of the scientinc world in general, with attendant htgh cost to keep j MK;e with it.. Same Rute of Thumb. "One way in which subscribers might obta.in special value for their 'money, not only without lowering, but, to the contrary, derating central standards, would .be by gaining the assistance of the experts of the colleges in the solving of particular probtems in manufacturing practice. Bring the highly trained chemist, physicist or metallurgist -t{j the works, show him the difficulty, a,nd ask him to help get over it. 'Also pay him wetl. A man will do much for kudo; he will do more for kudos and cash. At the start there would probably lip a good deal of distrust and contempt between the rule of thumb man with his practical knowledge, but no science and the scientific man with hLs load of science but no practical knowledge of work- ing conditions and dimculties. But as each found out the strong side of the other, this would soon pass a.way, and one successful result of a co-ordination of scientific brains and working experience would do more in the way of convincing than a. world of talking and arguing. The success in increased pro-nts on these lines of manufacturer. A would soon bring all else from B to Z into line. Not Too Many tnst'tuttons. But whatever line is t-akeu to gain the best men and the best results, let there not be a multiplying of local and competing technical colleges under the mistaken notion of thus best looking after local men, needs, and subscriptions. Thoro is not enough monfy to go round, and the result will mevitably be wantage upon an insum- ciently high sta,nda,rr! of efuciency. Further there 'is not enough local material of a sufti c-iently high sta-ndard of quality to justify the expenditure upon. In any case, the best men will go to the best, and not -the," ne?ro&t sch')'?. The biid-i ca-pab'p ?f Iiigher and wilder nights have rarely stuck to the home preserves, and wisely so, or we would have keener local contests, instead of National a.nd Imperial advance, "To bring this home locally LIajielly,; supporting Swansea., aniliated with a uni- ) versdty, would, in mv opinion, be of Far more value to Lianelly than in running an independent technical college of his own. instead, improve and en- large the scope of its technical classes as far as possible, so as to give e'/ery ycung man who cares to attend them every possible chance to get on. Beyond that, the best ttiat can be done for those who get above their level is to' support them liberally in the very best technical college that the joint efforts of the whole western manufacturing district ? can equip with the very latest and very best in teaching capacity and scientific and other apparatus and material. llet anyone who seeks'to know if the foregoing is anywhere near the mark, go through a modern technical college—that at Swansea if he wills-under proper guidance, and see for himself what the means for encctive technical education really are."

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