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PRESENT STATUS OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION IN ITALY.
Italy is beginning to feel the influence of the interuational movement in favor of manual training and technical education. Though handicapped by peculiar difficulties in entering upon the work of reconstructing her school system, she has bravely made an effort in this direction; and will doubtless succeed at last in so readjusting the relations of her educational establishments as to bring them into closer harmony with the conditions of modern commercial life and business enterprise.
A bill was introduced in the chamber of deputies (of the Italian parliament) during the session of 1889–90, under the joint autliority of the ininister of agriculture, industry, and commerce, and the minister of public instruction, which provided for the reorganization of the school system of Italy, and the gradual evolution of art and trade schools, and of special schools for the promotion of industry and commerce.
On presenting this bill the two above named officers addressed to the chamber of deputies a clear and logical memorial in support of the measure. They urged that the bill “does not create a new type of school, but determines the legal status of existing types.” They advocated a reform in school management, however, as entirely feasible without doing violence to established methods.
“The tecbnical school," said they, "has two functions-one is to give the general culture necessary for admission to the technical institute, the other is to give the special training that is an end in itself. The character of this special training should depend upon the particular enterprises carried on in the respective localities, whether art, industry, or commerce predominates."
The idea which they explained and amplified at some length was that the technical schools must inevitably become industrial schools of arts and trades, or of art applied to the industries. This evolution is in progress in France, transforming into professional schools their con. tinuation schools, which correspond to the Italian technical schools.
“The names applied to the schools should correspond to their intrinsic nature in every instance" is the aphoristic expression by which the scheme for changing the designation of the different classes of schools is justified.
The innovation is a comprehensive one. Title I, article 1, of the bill declares that all scholastic institutions (day, evening, Sunday, and
vacation schools) “whose design is to promote and perfect national industry” shall be governed by the present law. They are to be distinguished as schools of arts and trades, and schools of art applied to industries.
Title IV, article 23, states that the provisions of the present law are applicable
1. To the higher schools of commerce, at Venice, at Genoa, and at Bari. These impart higher scientific education, with the applications of science to various branches of domestic and international commerce.
2. To the Industrial Museum at Turin.
Article 24 requires that the instruction given in these schools "shall be coördinated with that of the technical institutes, that of the commercial sections with the courses in the higher schools of cominerce, and that of the physico-mathematical and industrial sections with the curricula of the Industrial Museum and of the Naval School.”
In concluding their comments on the new project of law the two ministers observe that it is “especially recommended to your favorable suf. frage by virtue of the end which it contemplates—the increase, and the technical and ästhetic improvement, of industrial production, the promotion of national industry, and the economic progress of the laboring classes."
At Genoa manual training is about to be introduced into the commu. nal schools. At present it is experimentally taught to some 400 pupils.
The School of Industrial Design and Elementary Mechanics at Naples comes very near the manual training system. There is a small shop connected with the school, where the rudiments of practical metal working are taught. No workmen are graduated here; boys are only prepared to adopt later on some trade in the line of metal working. In this school are & teachers and 40 pupils. An income of 8,000 lire ($1,544) supports this school. 02 this sum the state grants 3,200 lire ($617.60); the prov. ince, 2,000 lire ($386); the municipality, 1,600 lire ($308.80); and the chamber of commerce, 1,200 lire ($231.60). This school was organized about six years ago, but it is not in a flourishing condition.
In Italy, at the close of the school year 1886–87, there were 419 technical schools, and 74 institutes of secondary technical instruction. In the technical schools there were 28,140 pupils in regular standing as to membership, and 628 auditors, or pupils attending certain classes, but not enrolled as full time students. The technical institutes, which are of a higher grade than the technical schools, had at that date 6,231 students and 410 auditors.
In proportion to the population there is in Italy one technical school to every 67,923 of the inhabitants and one technical institute to every 384,589 of the inhabitants, or 57,727 inhabitants for each technical insti. tution of higher and lower grade. There are 12.08 technical students in these schools to every 10,000 of the population. The number of technical schools in Italy increased by more than one hundred from 1880 to 1887. In the year 1880 there were 314, while in 1887 there were, as above stated, 419. Within the same period the number of pupils increased from 22,120 to 28,140.
The foregoing figures do not include the institutes of technical instruction of the mercantile marine. Of these there were 23, with 595 students and 36 auditors at the end of the school year 1886–87. It would be inconsistent with the object of this inquiry to make extended reference to the Italian lyceum, gymnasium, or university, but there are several special higher schools and institutes which deserve to be mentioned.
Among the higher institutes those devoted to technical studies are the following:
At Bologna is an institute of civil engineering and architecture, having in each department a three years' course of study, and attended in 1886–87 by 131 students. At Milan there is a technical institute with a course of instruction divided into three sections, viz., a preparatory course of two years' duration, with 123 pupils enrolled in the school year 1886–87; an engineering and architectural course of three years, with 166 pupils; and a course of physics and chemistry of four years, with 3 pupils. Naples, also, has an institute of civil engineering and architecture, with 214 students of engineering and 2 of architecture in 1886–87; the course of study covers three years in each department. Rome has a similar institute, with a course of study of the same length, but with only one student pursuing architecture and 81 in the department of civil engineering. The Turin institute has three departments. In 1886–87 there were 305 students of civil engineering, 89 taking industrial engineering, and none studying architecture.
Among the special schools, of a rank below the institute, may be named the commercial school in the small town of Bari, which was attended by 49 pupils in 1886–87; the commercial school at Genoa, with its 27 pupils; the school of naval engineering, mechanics, nautical training, and hydrographic engineering at the same place, having 89 students; the schools of agriculture at Milan and Portici, the former having 44 students, the latter, 72; the Industrial Museum at Turin, with its electrical engineering course and 75 students; and the commercial school at Venice, with its two, three, and four years' courses and its 88 students in the year 1886-'87.
The British commissioners visited the Milan institute and in their report referred to it in the following terms:
The Technical Institute of Milan is situated in the via San Marco. Like most of the schools and many of the private houses of Milan it was originally a convent. We had the opportunity of being present when lessons were being given in the ordinary subjects of instruction, and likewise of inspecting the appliances and methods of teaching for the special subjects. In one rooi we found a class of boys receiving a