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able character of the promoters and directors of these institutions, the fact may be cited that, in almost every city, the alderman of public instruction or the mayor, who chiefly controls the schools, is either a university professor or a member of the national chamber of deputies or a professional specialist, in every case familiar with public needs and vowed to the public service, whether he be a renowned artist or distinguished engineer.
The latest information with regard to industrial education in Belgium, later in most cases than the official school reports, is found in the admirable treatise, L’Enseignement Spécial en Belgique, by Monsieur H. Bertiaux. This book will be freely quoted in the following pages.
The interesting report of M. de Ridder, professor at the university and alderman of public instruction at Ghent, made to the government in 1882, gives a discouraging account of these institutions.
Apprenticeship schools were established by the state as early as 1766 to teach lace making to the indigent peasantry. At successive financial crises occupation of one kind or another was provided by the authorities to relieve the destitution of the poor. As the introduction of machinery at the beginning of this century revolutionized Flemish industries, especially the flax manufacture, hosts of workers were without employment, and several communes opened weaving schools where even very young children were received and taught to read as well as to work. But in these workshops and schools combined, the educational features were in time sacrificed to the financial interests of exploiters of labor. Abuses grew up; work crowded out lessons completely, the hours of toil became excessive; children 5 and 6 years old were overtasked at lace making, the women lace makers and weavers grew more and more ignorant and incapable of perforining household duties; the pay dwindled to a ridiculous pittance, and great misery ensued.
To comteract these results the state tardily intervened and limited hours of labor, insisted upon less work and more study, and prescribed a minimum compensation. Gradually, however, the apprenticeship school has languished and many have been suppressed. Such as are now maintained aim to supply employment during the winter to the chil. dren of the agricultural classes until the field work can begin.
In some localities a fine quality of work is produced and the training has a most salutary effect upon the young workers.
In the kingdom on December 31, 1889, as many as forty apprentice. ship schools (écoles d'apprentissage) were subsidized by the state, with a total of 990 pupils (906 boys and 84 girls), 311 completing the course of instruction during the year.
These institutions have had their day of usefulness, and their importance is now declining, although they still receive subsidies. More than
one half the expense of maintenance in 1890 was borne by the state, about one-sixth by the provinces, and one-fourth by the communes, leaving one-twelfth only to be supplied from other sources.
The first apprenticeship school founded at Ghent in 1817 was distinctly a charitable institution. All branches of the flax and woollen industries were taught, and lace making, embroidery, sewing, shoemaking, and carpentry, with book lessons of an elementary kind. In 1811 the state and the provinces granted subsidies to this and similar enterprises which resulted in their rapid multiplication. But, since 1919, every school thus endowed has been placed under the supervision of a commission named by the administration. Two inspectors visit the apprentice workshops at frequent intervals to see that the rules are observed. They promote the theoretical and practical education of the apprentices, and develop the technical knowledge of the foremen by means of lectures. Every year they make a report concerning the object of their mission.
In 1890, 35 of these workshops were in active operation, 26 in western Flanders, 8 in eastern Flanders. In the province of Namur, at Jemelle, is a school for girls, differing from the other ateliers d'apprentissage in giving only trade instruction, including hand and machine sewing, the making of common articles of dress, washing, ironing, and kindred pursuits. In 1890, 84 pupils attended. The course lasts two years and instruction is free.
Certain other apprenticeship shops possess special elements of vitality and admit of such development that at last they are transformed into trade schools, where the course of instruction includes, besides theoretical and practical weaving, the principles of mechanics and drawing, and the elements of primary education. Eight regular weaving schools have been recently founded, six being in western Flanders, where the children pursue primary studies at least an hour a day, under a public school teacher. Their labor at the looms is paid for at rates depending both on the pupil's aptitude and the contract with the manufacturer in charge of the shops—a part of the wages being held back, however, to purchase such an outfit as the pupil at leaving may need to carry on his trade at home. Prizes of money are also awarded for the same purpose, with the object of encouraging home industries and of giving the peasantry a resource on which to draw at seasons when agriculture can not be followed.
SCHOOLS OF AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE.
There are several important schools of veterinary science, of agricul. ture, and of horticulture in Belgium. Of these the oldest and perhaps the best is the State Agricultural Institute at Gembloux. In 1890 this institution had 115 students pursuing agricultural studies.
Candidates for admission must be 16 years old, and, if not holders of a degree, must pass an entrance examination.
S. Ex. 65- -12
The course of instruction occupies three years. The studies of the first year are mathematics, rural engineering, land surveying and levelling, physics and meteorology, inorganic chemistry, botany, anatomy of the domesticated avimals, general agriculture, external characters of the domesticated animals, sylviculture, mathematical drawing, practical farming instruction, and excursions.
The second year deals with hydraulics and irrigation, drainage, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, mineralogy, geology, general zoology, animal physiology, management of domesticated animals, general agriculture, sylviculture, and horticulture, rural and constitutional law, bookkeeping, practical instruction, and excursions.
The final year's studies embrace general mechanics, mechanics applied to agriculture, rural buildings and country roads, agricultural technology, chemistry, zootechny, microscopy, special cultures, sylviculture, rural and political economy, agricultural bookkeeping, practical instruction, and excursions.
Connected with the institute is a farm of 165 acres, in the cultivation of which the students take part. The cultivation of sugar beets is successfully carried on, and, notwithstanding the fact that in this industry the products of the soil are sold off, necessitating the purchase of large quantities of artificial fertilizers to maintain the productiveness of the fields, this farm yields an annual profit of $1,500.
Among the horticultural schools of Belgium may be mentioned the State Practical School of Horticulture at Vilvoorden, and that at Ghent bearing the same name.
In each of these schools the course of studies includes the French aud Flemish languages, arithmetic, geography, geometry, and the elements of chemistry, physics, and geology. Bookkeeping, the construction of greenhouses, laying out of gardens, and the various branches of horticulture are also taught, and practical instruction is given in the gardens, nurseries, and greenhouses. At Vilvoorden candidates are admitted to the school at 17 years of age. The full course extends over three years. Resident pupils are charged about $10 per annum for tuition; 110n-residents, about $20. Many applications for admission are refused for want of room. The number of studerts in 1990 was 40.
The minister of agriculture, industry, and public works, M. de Bruyn, has taken special interest in the improvement of agricultural methods in Belgium. To that end, also, he has established dairy schools for women and girls in various farming districts. Competent men and women were first sent to study the agricultural and dairy schools of Germany, France, and England, who, besides, are well acquainted with all achievements made in this line in the United States.
The young woman who conducts the dairy school at Wevelghem, which may be taken as a type of this instruction, had been a delegate to England, and her methods are of the most practical character. A fine farm was first selected as an experiment station; and the pupils,
who are farmers' daughters or candidates for teacherships in the newer dairy schools, board with the owner's family. They milk the cows, overlook their feeding and housing, study cattle diseases, aud inform themselves about pastures and foods. The dairy itself is equipped with the best and most improved apparatus, often two objects of the same kind but of different make or patent being provided to facilitate comparison of methods. For certain purposes English appliances are best liked; for others, American or German patents give best results, the pupil in each case making her own tests. A small chemical laboratory is usually at hand, where experiments of all kinds germane to the work go on. Lessons on subjects pertaining to agriculture and the dairy and exercises in bookkeeping and accounts occupy a few hours each day. Exact record is preserved of the amount of milk each cow gives, the quantity of cream taken from it, and the amount of butter and cheese produced. In short, after two or three years of such training, the pupils become either practicaldairymaids or competent teachers, and leave the school with vastly higher ideas of the dignity and importance of farming as a life pursuit. When housewives may thus acqnire a scientific grasp of the difficulties which beset the farmer's family and incline his womankind to desert the country for the overcrowded towns, it follows that the depopulation of the rural districts in favor of cities will be checked. Moreover, even in the remotest places, the government provides funds for and causes to be given annually a certain number of free lectures on farming topics, so that the whole agricultural popnlation may learn something of modern progress.
HOUSEKEEPING SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.
To supply the deficiencies of female education, and to qualify girls for the positions as wives and mothers which they are predestined to fill, housekeeping schools have been established all over the kingdom, and classes in domestic work have been attached to many public schools.
To a manufacturer, M. Smits of Couillet, belongs the honor of founding the first housekeeping school in Belgium, in 1872. The children of his workmen learned to sew, knit, mend, darn, trim, cut and fit, not only underwear and women's garments, but men's trousers, blouses, and waistcoats; to repair cloth, to cut patterns, and to use the sewing machine; to wash and to iron, to cook, and to make and bake bread. This school coming under the notice of the Prince de Chimay, governor of Hainaut, he started a similar one at Frameries in 1874. After having maintained this and several institutions of like character from his own purse for a number of years, the prince in 1877 requested the minister of the interior to incorporate the schools for domestic instruction with the official system of education. Now a network of such institutions covers the whole country.
Some of the most successful of these classes are conducted by the Catholic sisterhoods in Brussels and in the provinces. Those carried on in convents and in public and parochial schools are administered on the most economical basis, the cost of superintendence being practically nothing. Moreover, almost every woman of rank in the kingdom has one or more such schools under her special charge, either in town or country, and overlooks every detail with the sisters. The wives of manufacturers, too, and other women in private life are founding courses for domestic work in villages and in districts which the government has not yet reached; so that here, as in the trade schools for girls to be described later, private initiative has been the entering wedge in bringing about these reforms. Already marked improvement may be observed in the homes of the miners and other working people within the radius of this instruction.
In 1889, under the auspices of the ministry of public works, a central committee of women devoted to the interests and propagation of housekeeping schools was formed, with the Countess of Flanders as president. In 1890 there were 20 communal or public housekeeping schools, 31 free housekeeping schools, 44 classes in household work annexed to communal schools, 15 classes attached to schools adopted by the committee, and 34 classes belonging to free schools. In 1892 these numbers had increased to 250. Appliances for teaching all branches of domestic economy are ample. For cooking classes the equipment is complete, all necessary kitchen utensils being supplied. Collections of various edible commodities are also furnished, and pupils are carefully taught the cost of the different articles of food.
HOUSEKEEPING SCHOOL, RUE LOCQUENGHIEN, BRUSSELS.
of the many housekeeping schools established in connection with public, parochial, private, and trade schools for girls in Belgium, the best equipped, most scientific, and most advanced is located in the rue Locquenghien, one of the poorer quarters of Brussels. This is not connected with any other school. The pupils devote all their time to the course of instruction. The object is to train girls to be good housewives, or to become cooks, laundresses, and maid servants. Pupils go at 8.30 and remain till 4 or 5 o'clock, with interval for dinner, which is prepared by the group assigned to cook on that day, each group taking turns at all kinds of household work, washing, ironing, cleaning, filling lamps, marketing, cooking, darning, setting the table, and serving the meals. All the studies pursued bear on these practical exercises, theory and practice being united in every lesson. The girls are supposed to remain in the school three years, when they receive certificates of proficiency. The menus selected are such as would be used in poor and middle class households, with a view to encouraging the pupils to make the most in after life of small resources.
Every week two mornings are given to cooking by sections of the class in turn, and one day to washing, another to ironing. The rest