תמונות בעמוד

The annual reports relative to this school for the years 1854, 1855, and 1856, furnished to the Church Education Society by their inspector, have been laid before me, and I have to observe, with refer ence to these reports, that none of the causes of complaint against the master, alleged to exist by Dean Kennedy and others with the utmost positiveness, upon the daily report book, and accompanied, in one instance upon record at this very moment, by a running commentary in the handwriting of the schoolmaster, are noticed even in a passing way.

Nothing can more strongly illustrate the superficial, and I regret to say unreal, nature of the Society's inspections of this school than these reports. The first in the order of time, that for the year 1854, is characteristic_it commits the inspector to no expression of opinion whatever with respect to the working of the school, and the range of conjecture it opens up is quite unlimited. The statement in that report is to the effect, that this is a most interesting school, but that the attendance has been lessened by circumstances.” The second report enters more into detail, but ascribes what would seem to be considered the comparative inefficiency of the school to the opposition it had to encounter from Dean Kennedy, whom it represents as unfriendly to Scriptural education, but without the slightest allusion to the matter of Dean Kennedy's observations in the report book. The report for 1856 states, that « there is much to be pleased with in this school ;" but I, after my experience, am entirely at a loss to reconcile the statement of the inspector with any thing that I have seen or heard in the school. Absolute incapacity upon the part of the teacher, and complete darkness in the minds of the pupils, with charges of the most serious character against the master, authen. ticated by the signature of a dignitary of the Established Church, and remaining unnoticed and unrefuted in the report book, are not to be regarded as matter of complacent notice.- [19th October, 1856.]

Killucan ; Creddunstown School.-What amount of instruction is given here, in accordance with the scale of proficiency, I am unable to say ; but the amount retained is very small indeed. The grammar class was perfectly ignorant of the nature of the parts of speech, or the meaning of the words; “ rich," was stated to be a noun, a pronoun, and a verb. No pupil could give me the meaning of the word, “ inconceivable,” occurring in the reading lesson. The closest approach to the explanation of the word "monstrous," was “great." This school is certainly worse than useless.[9th April, 1856.]

Old Ross, Parochial School. This is a very wretched school, and the pupils receive a very inferior education in the mere elements of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Although geography and grammar are professed to be taught, the pupils had scarcely any knowledge of the former, and were entirely ignorant of the latter. In arithmetic the pupils answered fairly to the extent of compound multiplication, but could not go farther. The writing was fair. In English dictation, out of seven pupils two alone acquitted themselves with any degree of accuracy. Mental arithmetic is taught to a small

extent. The school is miserably supplied with books and school requisites, and there is but one very small map (that of Europe) in the School.-[22nd September, 1856.)

Delgany ; Windgates Girls' School.-I examined the most advanced class in the school, comprising six girls. They read badly from the Third Book of the Christian Knowledge Society. With the exception of one girl none of them could parse ; and in geography their answering was not good. The school appeared inefficiently conducted, and there was besides a deficiency of books and proper school requisites.-(1st September, 1856.]

Derrylossary, Parochial School. The state of instruction in this school was indifferent. The children whom I examined read badly and, although the most advanced class in the school, were unable to parse. In arithmetic and geography the general answering was very unsatisfactory.-[2nd September, 1856.)

Ballymodan ; Curravarrahane School. The state of secular know. ledge in this school is very low; but much attention is given to religious instruction. In arithmetie and geography the pupils are more than commonly deficient. The same may be said as regards grammar, of which they are nearly altogether ignorant. The wri. ting is fair, but, in general, the pupils are deficient in the most ele. mentary knowledge of the branches I have stated. They are, in general, very young. Four pupils have commenced Euclid, but have not advanced beyond the Definitions.-[23rd January, 1856.]

Ballynaclough, Parochial School.There were only two pupils present when I visited the school ; they were both very young girls, and their koowledge was very elementary. They could read pretty well, and could do a sum in short division, but knew scarcely any thing of geography or English grammer. The amount of secular education given in the school is very small. Dean Head, the rector of the parish, seems to pay great attention to the religious instruction.-[28th April, 1856.]

Bourney, Parochial School. The children in the school when I visited it were very young ; but for their ages, I think their proficiency was below the average in parochial schools. They had very little knowledge of geography; were nearly altogether ignorant of grammar ; not being able (with one exception) to distinguish the parts of speech. They read pretty well in a elementary book, and, for their age, had a fair knowledge of arithmetic. The writing was not good. The schoolroom is kept in a very dirty state.-- (16th April, 1856.)

Tramore, Parochial School. The secular instruction given in this school is exceedingly limited, both in amount and quality. The pupils exhibited a fair proficiency in the principal rules of arithmetic. In English dictation they were lamentably deficient, almost every other word being wrongly spelled. In geography they were no better; and of grammer they were utterly ignorant. Two of the pupils alone had commenced Euclid, but had not gone beyond two or three propositions. The principal attention seems to be paid to religious instruction, and to needle and fancy work, which is executed with con. siderable neatness. The teachers do not appear competent to give an improved education.-_ [30th November, 1855.)

Antrim ; Bow Lane, Erasmus Smith's English Girls' School.-I examined in the girls' school the head class in geography and arith. metic; the answering in the former was very poor, and the answering in the latter was indifferent. The mistress attributed this in a great measure to the children being unaccustomed to be examined by a stranger. The ages of the girls examined were from nine to eleven.--[E, P., 13th March, 1856.]

Ballintoy, School.—The condition of this school is a disgrace to a civilized society. It enjoys a house and plot of ground, and an in. come which, though small, might be considered a very fair endowment for a village school. The schoolhouse was an extremely substantial and commodious building; but it is almost roofless. The master is suffering under the complaint of asthma, and is unfit for his situation physically, and has not had an education for the office, being educated for the sea, and placed as a schoolmaster because unable to follow a wore active pursuit. Three of the children present were labouring under heavy colds, most probably taken in this large and uncovered building. There are no privies. The school is wholly without superintendence of any kind. Neither the proprietor of the estate (who is an absentee) nor his agent, so far as I can collect, look after the school. None of the clergymen of the district visited it. There is no supply of books, nor regular course of instruction. The atten. dance is very small, and it is so much lost time to those who do attend.

Keady; Tullyglush School.—This school is in a lamentable way; the infirmity of the master, the want of books and school requisites, the dilapidated state of the house, and the absence of any salary for the master, all contribute to render this a very inefficient school.

The schoolhouse would require a good deal of repair to put it into moderate order. The school can be called nothing but a hedgeschool.-[23rd November, 1855.]

Anna ; Drumaloor School. The pupils present, although quite of an age for greater proficiency, were hardly able to read the Second Book of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, or to get through a verse of Scripture ; grainmar or geography was therefore quite out of the question. The master has only been recently appointed ; but this is not sufficient to account for the low stage of proficiency, which it is all, it seems, that can be reached in a school of more than thirty years' standing, having fifty-nine pupils upon its roll, and an average daily attendance of twenty-two. It is more satisfactory, of course, to see the pupils in a class suited to their knowledge and abilities, than to find them forced upwards by injudi. cious promotion, as I have most frequently noticed them ; but, at the same time, there must be a want of energy and zeal, on the part of the managers and inspectors of the school, as it is unreasonable to suppose that they should not be able to qualify some at least of fifty-nine pupils for the reading lessons of the Third Book of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and to fit them for the light studies which usually accompany it, and which are so much less trying than those followed by the third class in National Schools.[12th March, 1836.]

Belturbet, Erasmus Smith's English School. The pupils were defi. cient in their answering generally, and understood little of what they read. They were evidently kept under scarce any restraint, as dur. ing my examination of the master, they whistled, talked aloud, and came to him with complaints of each other. I have, however, visited schools where the amount of instruction was smaller than here.[25th January, 1856.]

Kildallen, Parochial School. The schoolmaster is very ignorant. It can hardly be expected he should teach grammar, when he said to me,“ We bes' very few on Saturdays." I examined the chidren in a verse of the Acts of the Apostles, and no one could explain the meaning of the word “consenting," in the passage, “ And Saul was consenting to his death."-[26th January, 1856.]

Killeshandra, Parochiul School.-The state of instruction is very low indeed in this school. The pupils could not give the meaning of any word in a simple verse of Scripture. In geography they answered quite wildly. One said Europe was in England ; and another, that Paris was seated on the St. Lawrence. Altogether, I have met with few less promising schools.-[18th January, 1856.]

Stranorlar, Erasmus Smith's English School.The situation of this school is pretty good, but there is a cess-pool on the premises which is filled with every kind of filth. The house, which was originally a very fine one, is at present in a very wretched condition. The master informed us that arrangements have been made for its repair.

In this school, as in all other schools under the Erasmus Smith Board which I have visited, I have been unable to form any safe opinion as to the efficiency of the visitation. The visiter very rarely makes any entry or memorandum in the school register of his visit, what he observed, and what he wished to have remedied. Where the visitation merely is for the information of a board or commission in Dublin, this may be enough ; but when the primary object is, or should be, the admonition and inciting of the master and pupils, some record should be made, which would always be before the master's eyes, and to which the visitor on his next visitation might refer, to see how far his admonitions have been attended to ; without this, the great purpose of visitation is lost sight of.-[8th October, 1856.]

Downpatrick, Blue, Girls' Sehool.-In the girls' school there are no regular classes. I examined in geography, in which the answering, except by one, was very bad. Two only of those present could write from dictation. It was well done by one of the girls and badly by the other. I can hardly say there was any answering in arithmetic.

The state of attainment does not at all correspond with what one would expect from the return made by the mistress of the number of pupils using the different books.

Both these schools are in an unsatisfactory state. The master and mistress are quite unsuited for their places; they are much too far advanced in life. Their removal is now under Mr. Ker's consideration. The girls' school does not commence at the hour directed by the rules given to the mistress; and the girls are not classed.

• The master and mistress were removed in July, 1856, and trained teachers appointed in their place.

The taking in lodgers by the mistress during the assizes ought not on any account to be permitted, and, I understand, will not in future be allowed.-[30th January, 1856.]

Enniskillen ; Derryheehan Boys' and Girls' School.The mistress is daughter of the master, and has no salary as distinct from him.

I examined a class consisting of six children--three boys and three girls, eldest aged fourteen, and youngest eleven years--in writing from dictation, arithmetic, grammer, and geography. The answering in grammer and geography was very indifferent, in arithmetic very fair. The writing of three of the children was scarcely respectable, two others very bad, and the sixth did not write.

I consider that the quality of the instruction given is very wretched, and that neither the master nor his daughter is qualified to conduct a school with success, or to afford even the low degree of instruction which the neighbourhood desires to have.—[10th June, 1856.]

Clondermot ; Culkerragh School.- There is neither discipline nor instruction in this school. It is, in fact, a school but in name. I do not think it answers any of the purposes of a school, and I consider that the annual endowment bestowed by the Irish Society towards its support is thrown away. It virtually has no books. The Holy Scriptures are converted into mere reading-books, for want of books proper for that purpose. There are no maps, and, when I visited, but one slate pencil. The other ordinary requisites of a school were equally deficient. The roll (if there be any) was not in the schoolroom. There is no register or report-book. There is no visitation, except by the members of the family of the proprietor of the estate, who, I doubt not, discharge their duty to the school in the most exemplary manner; but they can never supply the want of extern visitation.

The school is, in fact, a private school for the tenantry of the proprietor of the estate, supported entirely by a grant from the Irish Society. It appears from the master's evidence, that no part of his miserably small salary comes from the proprietor, whose tenants' children are educated in the school; and neither a suitable house nor the commonest school requisites are provided, nor is the school placed in connexion with the Church Education Society or the National Board, whence proper supervision and direction might be had. I therefore am obliged to say, that the grant of the Irish Society is not judiciously bestowed in this instance; and further, that no grant should be given in such a case as this, but in aid of some equal or adequate contribution given by the proprietor.

When a teacher's salary is limited to £10 and the trifle which school fees can produce, it is a mere pension or superanuation, and it cannot be available for the advancement of education.

I asked for five pupils who could write. Only one was produced, aged about twelve years, who wrote from dietation very indifferently. He answered in English grammer very badly: I examined him and three others in geography, but could get no answer, and scarcely any answer in arithmetic. I asked them to read they did so rapidly, indistinctly, and badly. The school was like a bear-garden during my visit.[3rd October, 1856.)

Kilmore, Parochial School.-Nothing could be much worse or more

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