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TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION ACTS.
Under the technical instruction act of 1889 a new and powerful impulse was given to educational progress. By this act it is provided that "a local authority may from time to time out of the local rate supply or aid the supply of technical or manual instruction, to such extent and on such terms as the authority think expedient, subject to the following restrictions," etc.
This confers, it would seem, sufficient discretionary power upon local authorities in appropriating the local taxes to the use of technical schools; but this provision is permissive, not mandatory. Local school boards have in many instances, however, promptly availed themselves of the provisions of this act; and on October 1, 1890, thirty districts were reported as utilizing the technical instruction act of 1889. It is estimated that the total amount which the counties in England and Wales will receive from the beer and spirits duties in aid of local taxation for educational purposes will aggregate £743,200 (83,616,782.80).
In this act there is no ambiguity as to what the term technical means. Section 8 reads:
The expression technical instruction" shall mean instruction in the principles of science and art applicable to industries, and in the application of special branches of science and art to specific industries or employments. It shall not include teaching the practice of any trade or industry or employment.
The expression manual instruction” shall mean instruction in the use of tools, processes of agriculture, and modelling in clay, wood, or other material.
It is clearly apparent that aid is not extended by this act to trade schools, but that what is in America commonly called manual trails, ing has been recognized as a legitimate branch of instruction by the British parliament, and, as such, entitled to the benefits of the new provisions. Under what is known as the local taxation act of 1890 supplementary provisions are made for facilitating technical instruction; and soon in every county and district this important educational reform will have made substantial progress.
In this connection we may properly transcribe the principal rules and regulations under which aid to science schools and art and technical schools in Great Britain is administered in accordance with the technical instruction act of 1889.
In the Science and Art Directory of 1890 the following rules are given as governing the administration of this aid:
LIX. A fixed sum each year will be allocated for grants in aid of technical instruction given under the technical instruction act, 1889, or under the technical schools (Scotland) act, 1887.
LX. The sum so allocated for the financial year 1891–92 will be £5,000 ($24,332.50).
LXI. The grant in aid will not necessarily be equal to, and in no case will it exceed, the amount contributed by the local authority out of the rates.
The conditions governing the allowance of grants for manual instruction in elementary schools and in organized science schools are mainly these:
3. The instruction must be (a) in the use of the ordinary tools used in handicrafts in wood and iron; (6) given out of school hours in a properly fitted workshop; and (c) connected with the instruction in drawing, that is to say, the work must be from drawings to scale previously made by the scholars.
6. If it appears that the school is properly provided with a plant for instruction, and that the teaching is fairly good, a grant of 68. ($1.46), or, if excellent, of 78. ($1.70) will be made for every scholar instructed, provided (a) that he has passed the fourth standard; (b) that he has received manual instruction for at least two hours a week for 22 weeks during the school year; (c) that a special register of attendance is kept; and (d) that each scholar on whom payment is claimed is a scholar of the day school and has attended with reasonable regularity. The grant may be reduced or wholly withheld at the discretion of the department, if it appears that the plant is insufficient or that the instruction is not good.
8. If the instruction for which the grant is made be for a period other than a year, the grant will be increased or diminished by onetwelfth for each month more or less than a year.
These regulations seem well calculated to secure proper and adequate instruction. Exception may possibly be taken to rule 3 (6), which requires that manual instruction must be given out of school hours, upon the ground that if manual instruction deserves to hold a place at all in the school exercises, it should be put on an equal plane with other regular and recognized branches of the curriculum.
Certain privileges are accorded to teachers and students in English schools which merit the highest commendation. Free admission to the South Kensington and Bethnal Green museums—including the science and art libraries--and to the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art is allowed to teachers of public elementary schools; to students of the Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines, National Art Training School, or of the Royal Academy of Arts and National Gallery; also to students attending science and art schools and classes, or training colleges.
MEANS OF SUPPORT OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION,
With reference to the means of support the institutions for technical instruction may be primarily classified as:
First. Those which exist by governmental support and authority alone.
Second. Those which, though generally founded by private enterprise or endeavor, usually prompted by pbilanthropic or religious interest, now receive more or less governmental support, either with or without further aid from manufacturing or other guilds or organizations.
Third. Those which have been created by associations or individuals,
guilds, or other organizations, and are maintained by them, their own earnings, and friendly donations.
Fourth. Those which have been established by institutions of learning as part of their educational system, or by individuals or industrial associations to advance particular interests.
Under the first of these classes it is surprising to note, when the vast industrial interests of Great Britain and the paternal character of her government are considered, that the government itself is so little directly interested, especially in its educational department, in industrial and technical instruction. Beyond being responsible for the elementary education in handicrafts and in technical branches included in the regular courses of study of the English national school system, the committee of council on education constituting since 1872 the board of education for England and Wales) has no representation in the schools of industry or technology of the kingdom.
A collateral department of education, also under the management of a committee of the British privy council, the department of science and art, is somewhat more appropriately, yet quite inadequately, represented in the field of instruction seemingly so naturally its own. Its operations extend to the whole of the United Kingdom. It has been known by its present name since about 1853.
In 1836 a sum of £1,500 ($7,299.75) was voted by parliament for the encouragement of art, with which trade and navigation became associated. The first school of design was opened at Somerset House with 12 pupils, in 1837. Subsequently a sum of £10,000 (818,665) was voted in aid of fourteen schools, and by this means art education was provided for about 2,250 pupils. This sum became exhausted in 1810, and since that date the amount necessary for each school, or for providing new ones, has been included in the annual estimates. In 1845 the Royal College of Chemistry was established in Oxford street, London; and in 1851 the Jermyn street Royal School of Mines was started. These institutions are now united under the title of the Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines, at South Kensington.
Museums were opened at Dublin in 1855, South Kensington in 1857, Edinburgh in 1866, and Bethnal Green in 1872. A considerable sum has been expended on the collections of objects of interest, some of which are lent to provincial museums.
The Directory, containing regulations for establishing and conducting science and art classes, was started in 1860, and is now published annually as a parliamentary paper, forming an appropriate medium of communicating official information relative to subjects of instruction, dates of the various examinations, and other details. The annual May examinations were instituted in 1861, on the results of which grants, certificates, prizes, and scholarships are awarded.
The aim has been to supply more advanced instruction than is usually given in the public elementary schools, and to raise the intellectual character of the community; but the results rather point to the conclusion that the science and art department was appointed before its time.
The departinent has rendered valuable assistance to the cause of public education, in so far as it has been the medium of inducing teachers to qualify themselves to impart instruction in a number of most necessary branches of education. Nunerous scholarships have been founded, and are awarded on the results of examinations held by the departinent. In 1868 the late Sir Joseph Whitworth offered the munificient sum of £100,000 (8186,650) for this purpose, which was accepted and supplemented with a like sum by the government.
There are two teaching scholarships in chemistry of the value os £50 ($213.33); four royal scholarships of the value of £15 ($73), and two of £25 ($121.66); two princess of Wales scholarships, value £25 ($121.66) and £11 (553,53), respectively, ete. There are also rewards in money, books, medals, local exhibitions, assistabce to teachers, and the like.
A limited number of teachers and of students in science classes who intend to become science teachers are admitted free to the sessional course of instruction in the Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines. They receive third-class railway fare and maintenance allowance of 21s. (85.11) per week while in London. In certain cases the allowance may be increased to 30s. ($7.30). Teachers are also assisted, in certain cases, to take a course of instruction in some of the provincial colleges.
The two distinctively technical schools of the science and art department are: (a) The Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines, South Kensington, London, the appropriations for the maintenance of which school for 1889 were £15,879 ($77,275.15); and (b) the National Training Art School, South Kensington, London, the appropriations for which school for 1889 were £5,345 ($26,011.44).
The local schools of science, under the direct supervision of the department, in various parts of the kingdom, though often existing as adjuncts of public institutions of learning, are so dependent upon the government for their existence and are so variously conditioned as to make them more properly enumerable in this than in the second class. They required for 1889 an appropriation of £89,500 ($435,551.75).
The art schools and classes, national scholarships, etc., in local schools, received in 1889 £38,500 ($187,360.25). The same conditions exist as have been noted in regard to the schools of science.
The total expenses incident to the conduct of these widely scattered schools of science and of art in all parts of the kingdom reached in 1889 the sum approximately of £154,000 ($749,441).
It is obvious that it would be both impracticable and of little utility to obtain a complete list of these hundreds of schools, which, as engaged in one branch or another of technical (and occasionally of jadus.
trial) training, derive their existence from the paternal functions of the government itself. These, together with the two government schools at South Kensington and the elementary instruction referred to of the national school system (except in so far as the wonderful collections of the British and other museums are most helpful collaterals), seem to exist as the only illustrations of the government's direct efforts in the diffusion of industrial and technical knowledge. The wide spread public interest in all that pertains to this subject, as already evidenced by numerous bills before parliament, will undoubtedly soon produce important and characteristic results in a governmental way.
Consideration of the second class of institutions brings us to an examination of those wbich, though founded by private or associate enterprise-generally from philanthropic motives, now receive governmental aid, with sometimes that of other corporate bodies.
By far the most active, effective, and important exponent of the gov. ernment's interest in schools of this class—singular as it may appear to those not conversant with all the facts—is the board of charity commissioners, a department whose ordinary functions would naturally be supposed to be quite outside the lines of educational work, except perhaps as they might, in the inost elementary way, be incident to workhouse or charity schools, etc.
Their connection with this work and the institutions of industrial and technical instruction is indeed unique, and the circumstances from which it arises would hardly exist apart from a centralized form of government, or a civilization as old and as marked by the appreciation of the humanities as that of England. Yet the relation sustained by the charity commissioners is as logical as it is beneficent.
The charity commissioners were created by act of parliament in 1853 to superintend the administration of charitable and educational en. dowments all over Great Britain. In 1853 Prof. James Bryce carried through parliament an act providing for the consolidation of all the old parochial charities in London (the objects of many of which had totally ceased to exist), and the application of the income to the welfare of the poorer classes throughout the metropolis, under the manageinent of the charity commissioners, by means of facilities for industrial and technical teaching, the support of museums and libraries, the creation of recreation grounds, the establishment or aid of hospitals, asylums, and similiar provident institutions, and such other agencies as might approve themselves to the commissioners as promotive, in the language of the act, of “the physical, social, and moral condition of the poorer inhabitants."
As the result of the careful inquiry made by the charity commission. ers, under the powers conferred by this act, into the great number of obsolete endowed clarities, or those whose funds greatly exceeded the