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forces reveal themselves in such questions as- Jules Ferry. Guizot, who must be looked on as Is the school popular with the parents ? and the founder of the system, began his reforms by how does it shelve, solve, or sever the religious a survey of the educational plant on the difficulty? As for the influences that the social ground, a proceeding that might well be copied; milieu exerts, their name is legion, for their especially as regards secondary education, area of recruitment is world-wide. Every- / by those who will have to carry out the prowhere the centripetal force of the towns is visions of the present Bill before Parliament. growing. Which way, we ask, is the rural Compulsory education was not established by school pulling? Then comes a whole plexus | him, but each commune had to build a school of problems. Is there a rural exodus, and, and pay the teacher. He started also the if so, are the causes higher wages in the building of girls' schools, and normal schools, towns, conscription, the laws of inheritance, and the creation of an inspectorate. The Loi or alcoholism ? So that the last question we | Falloux, in 1850, divided primary schools into have to ask is this : In the midst of the general | State and private schools, and recognised rural decay is the school a centre and a rallying both. The régime of Duruy is remarkable for point of all social reform, or is it merely content the great extension given to evening classes, to interpret its duties in the narrow sense of and to the founding of girls' schools as well as instruction pure and simple ?
the establishment of the caisses des écoles for The problem is a big one, but it has got to helping the children of the poor who frequent be faced if it is to be properly stated. After the schools. all it is surely better to state factors im- | The Third Republic began setting its perfectly and superficially than conveniently educational house in order by a vast building to ignore them and set the school thereby in a and furnishing scheme. Every commune was false perspective. The aim of the present obliged to provide itself with, or share in a paper therefore will be twofold: after a rapid State school ; every department was compelled sketch of the general machinery as far as it to possess a couple of normal schools. State has reference to the rural school, to present aid was freely given, and in all, £34,000,000 as complete a view as time permits of the rural were spent by central and local authorities, school itself, and, secondly, to give a rough 35,145 schools were built or acquired, the total idea of the conditions prevailing in those parts of normal schools was brought up to 163, and of rural France with which the speaker is two higher normal schools for providing these personally acquainted, in order to indicate the schools with teachers were founded. Having problems to which the rural school can even put the buildings on a sound footing, the under the most favourable circumstances offer | teaching profession was next raised to the only a partial solution. En passant one hopes : level of a skilled calling by compelling all to bring out such points in French methods as teachers in religious or lay schools to hold a seem worthy of imitation. But the two certificat de capacité (or attainments' certifsystems, French and English, are so different, ' cate), while the State teachers were further there is nothing we can copy wholesale except obliged to possess a certificate of training it be the spirit of thoroughness which has (certificat d'aptitude pédagogique). animated French reformers.
Then came the triple reform of free, compulTo understand the present highly developed sory, and secularised education, with which condition of French primary education, a rapid 'the name of Jules Ferry will ever be connected. sketch of its past history seems necessary. The latter cut the painter once for all between The only name that needs be cited before the ! the public and private school, between the Revolution is that of Jean Baptiste de la Salle, State and the different cults. The teaching of the founder of the Christian Brothers-who in i la morale was substituted for denominational any history of the early beginnings of popular | teaching, and in the State schools the religious education must find a foremost place. Thanks teachers were either immediately or gradually to his teachings the monitorial system never replaced by laymen. The religious schools took abiding root in France, being soon ousted were left entirely free, the State only exercising by the so-called simultaneous methods of his a certain supervision over the sanitation and followers. The Revolution did little else than text-books and professional status of the express a pious resolution in favour of a teachers. The result is that in 1897, the total complete system of free, popular, and com- number of children still under religious pulsory education. The three great names instruction was 1,603,451, of whom 405,825 after the Revolution are Guizot, Duruy, and were still in State schools not yet laicised,
against 3,823,760 in the lay schools. This The Ministry itself is divided up into three does not include the maternal schools. If sections—University, Secondary, and Primary. these are reckoned in the figures are 1,955,199, The latter has the joint supervision of a few agaịnst 4,175,656. The great majority of the quasi-technical schools, but technology proper pupils over 6 in the religious schools are girls; and commercial education are under the there are in all only 436,726 boys in these | Ministry of Commerce. Agricultural schools schools. Of the Association laws it is im are under the Ministry of Agricnlture. Atpossible to speak here, as it is at present tached to the Ministry is a consultative comdoubtful as to what their precise effect on mittee; six of its 57 members are elected by primary education wiil be.
primary officials and teachers. The primary These reforms necessitated certain financial section of the Ministry keeps itself in touch readjustments, the most important of which with the actual state of education by means of was the transference of the payment of the eleven general inspectors. They act not only teacher from the locality to the State. In thus as the eyes and ears of the central authority, abolishing the payment of salaries by localities but also as its mouthpiece, Thus a year or two the Republic seems to have solved a large back it was decided to re-organise agricultural number of grievances. Henceforth the teachers education, and one of the inspectors made a were grouped in classes in which promotion tour of all the training colleges in order to give depends on merit and seniority. It is probable the right trend and direction to the teaching of that our County Councils will, sooner or later, the subject. have to formulate a similar scheme. Now that Coming to the local authorities, the rector of the raison d'étre of inequalities in salaries has the local university looks after the normal gone, the inequalities will have to go. The colleges in his district as well as the educa. Republic has also to its credit the re-establish tion side of the primary schools. In fact, one ment of the higher primary schools, which may look on him as a scrt of lay bishop whose have been an immense benefit to town and
seminaries are the normal colleges, and who country; and lastly, the most recent improve supervises the articles of faith and religion rement is the revival and enormous extension of presented by the education taught in the evening classes. This has been largely a primary schools. But his second in command, teacher's movement, and is an admirable
the academy inspector, being the man on the instance of the striking enthusiasm and spot (there is one for each department) devotion that pervades their ranks. One possesses really more effective power. In might almost call them the knights tem
administrative matters, and in the selection of plar of republican defence and popular the personnel he is independent. While directly education. The beneficial effect of these appointing the probationers, he also nominates drastic and thorough - going reforms on the full teachers, while the Prefect appoints rural education is obvious, if we put on one them. Situated midway between the central side the vexed religious question. The country authority and the schools, yet near enough school buildings are not allowed to fall below | to be in touch with both, he is evidently the a certain minimum of requirements. Salaries
pivot of the whole system ; not only does the not being a matter of locality, the tiniest efficiency of the schools depend largely on hamlet may, and often does, possess one of the him, but scarcely less important are his best teachers of the department.
diplomatic duties in keeping the school in And now to come to the actual machinery. | good odour with the local authorities, and We find the Minister has cognizance of all getting them to help education over and above schools as far as the sanitation and staffing
the legal minimum. are concerned. There is in fact po free trade The Prefect, like the minister, has to assist in teaching, nor can a school label itself with
him an advisory council of experts, called the any high sounding title it pleases; all schools,
conseil départemental. The educational public or private, must have the Government
element is in an immense majority on it. hall-mark. The fraudulent private school is In fact, it is practically an education coman impossibility in France. Yet this does not
mittee with no direct financial powers, the money mean that the neutral private school is disliked. being raised by the conseil du département (or On the contrary, the most thoughtful of French county council) which has representatives on it. reformers are highly anxious to encourage
A comparison between the education comprivate initiative in this direction-a matter
mittee under the Bill, and these bodies would our new authorities may well lay to heart. be very instructive but would take us too far.
Under the academy inspector come the for the department, and 56 per cent. for the inspectors who have each a district to look commune. The English parish has, therefore, after. We should regard them rather as had more to pay than the French commune. sub-inspectors. Originally largely recruited The cost of a place in the State schools has from among the teachers, they are now, been £12, against £,14 12s. 8 d. in English owing to the increased severity of the ex Board Schools. The total cost of education amination, practically taken from the ranks in France a year, including lay and religious of the professors in normal schools, the heads schools, is put at 1 millions, or, reckoning of which are also recruited by the same in interest on loans, 14 millions. examination. The examination itself is ex The efficiency of the French State teacher tremely stiff, especially the practical portion, may be judged by the following figures. and no one who is not a past-master in than 1-5th per cent. of the male teachers do pedagogics and practical knowledge of school not possess the brevet, and only 4 per cent. of work has a chance of passing.
the female teachers are without it; 45 per cent. The mayor of the commune has various possess further the certificat d'aptitude. This rights, including that of visiting all the schools can only be acquired after two years' work in in his commune. He is also supposed to the schools. The difficulty of winning it may summon the school attendance committees. be gauged by the fact that it generally takes The cantonal delegates are apparently meant teachers much longer to obtain it. I myto represent the popular and parental element. self came across a teacher who had taken They may inspect the building, supervise the eight years. children's behaviour, but if present at the Between 6 and 7-10ths of the present staff lessons given may not meddle with the teach-| have passed through a training college. As ing. The French have little belief in the regards the position of the State teacher in a educational judgment of the local butcher, village, it has, in some instances, been scarcely baker, and candlestick-maker. These “lay | a bed of roses in places where a laicisation figures" in more senses than one have even has taken place. Cases are not unknown less authority than Mr. Balfour's managers. | where teachers have been stoned and boyIn fact, they have so little that one inspector cotted, while jehads against the lay school described them to me as the fifth wheel in the have been preached by the local clergy. coach.
Happily this phase seems to be passing The two principal things to note, as regards | away, and any attack on the State school even this apparently complicated machinery, are in a catholic district would probably be mal vu. the smoothness with which it works --- due Otherwise the rural teacher's position is to the clearness with which the function of probably from a social standpoint more comeach official is defined-and the enormous fortable than with us, To begin with he preponderance given to expert as compared possesses that indefinite prestige that attaches with popular management. What we have to to all Government officials. Again the contour learn from France, as far as one can judge, is lines of the local society are less abrupt in not to destroy our capacity for self-government, France. They do not rise in the terrace-like but to strengthen it by fortifying it on the fashion as they do in England with the expert side.
labourers, farmers, parson, and squire, all Clearness in function has led to clearness in more or less at different altitudes and elevations, finance. At present the State is the largest with no definite ledge for the unfortunate contributor; the income and expenditure of schoolmaster to settle down on. At the certain taxes formerly handled by the depart present time there seems to be a growing ment and commune are now part of the central i shortage of teachers, as with us. This is budget. At present the State pays the teachers' being happily met in some departments by salaries, the county council pays for the up giving bonuses to those teachers who prepare keep of the normal schools, and the parish pupils for the normal school examination. An pays for the cost and up. keep of the school idea has got abroad which rightly or wrongly buildings. A few figures may prove of interest. | asserts that the teachers are turning the In 1897 the State spent about 58 millions, and children against the profession, though the communes over 2 millions. The normal curiously enough they continue to send in schools have cost over 2 millions. The per- their own. centage of the cost of building and furnishing The vast majority of normal students come has been 40 per cent. for the State, 4 per cent. | from the primary schools. They are practically
recruited from the department in which the without a fireplace. Ninety-five per cent. of college is situate. When they leave the college the rural schools have gardens, not, as has they desire to settle in their own department, been rashly asserted, for experimental purand look on being sent to a neighbouring poses, but for the private use of the teachers. department as a sort of exile. One often hears In the old days the teacher was the priest's the departments spoken of as merely geo. | man, and was obliged to sing, himself and his graphical expressions, yet it is evident that little ones, in the choir. To-day he is nominally this homing instinct of the teacher is gradually his own master, but owing to his secretarial giving each department its own educational duties and his evening classes, he is probably as physiognomy, and thus it is reserved for the hard-worked as any man in the world. Yet the primary teachers, whom an impartial philoso amount of grumbling one heard was very small. pher might call the real children of the One comes across everywhere signs of the Revolution, to give life and personality to the missionary spirit which the desire to raise the administrative entities — into which their country after 1870, and the militant reforms of spiritual forefathers re-divided France more Jules Ferry, have produced. A National Union than a century ago. Curiously enough, while of Teachers has just been started, and the late the teachers remain stationary it is the in- Minister of Public Instruction, who rightly spectors who move from department to depart- | recognised in the teachers a sort of republican ment in France. This is the exact contrary to army of occupation, gave it a hearty send-off. us, where inspectors are more or less stationary | Other functionaries may change their political and teachers more or less on the move. This colours, but it will take many years to make no doubt is largely due to the inequalities in the vast army of teachers untrue to their salt. local salaries.
They are to my mind the sheet-anchor of the From a financial point of view the French Republic, and the chief visible definite concrete teacher does not seem to be so well off as the expression of the nobler side of the Revolution's English, though some of the English are worse aspirations. Their relations with the inspectors paid than some of the French. The English | are generally excellent. Their relations with certified master obtains on an average the other grades of education are singularly £127 2s. 7d. The best French male teacher | distant. Still this has not been a defect in the only receives in the country 6,80 a year; in the past. It has enabled them to cut themselves town he receives various extra allowances. On ! adrift from a vast amount of scholasticism the other hand he is always housed free of ex- | which pervades French secondary education, pense, which is rot the case with his English | while social education and culture have peneconfrère. Again, he can add to his income trated so far into lower strata of French life, by being secretary to the parish council, or by that the primary teacher has not suffered as running evening classes. Living is probably | might be expected from his isolation from as dear in France as in England, but the style secondary education. Lately the need of of living is distinctly more economical, as a i closing up the republican ranks has been feit, comparison between the salaries of French and a teachers' guild, to include teachers of and English civil servants of the same grade | every grade, has been started. would show. After 25 years' service the French After the teacher, the school. Allusion has teacher receives a pension, provided he is 55 already been made to the law, that every years of age.
commune must have, or share in a school of The housing question does not appear to be ! its own. So strong is local feeling that the a burning question in the country as far as the united district comparatively common in head teacher is concerned. The chief griev. England is rare in France. Only 2 per cent. ance seems to centre round a matter that has of the communes have a school in common. lately been agitating Parliament, the matter One pig-headed commune with a school popuof whitewashing. Members of the parish lation of 5, insisted on building itself a school council, who only whitewash their own pre that cost $800. Such cases of obstinacy mises once in ten years, cannot be got to would be unheard of in England. The country understand the necessity of such proceedings is now covered with a complete network of every other year for the school buildings. | State public schools. Out of 36,174 communes Assistant teachers, according to the law, have only 47 have no school at all. Communes adequate accommodation, but in reality the over 500 are legally obliged to have a separate two or three rooms they ought to have often 'school for girls, and even this provision has shrink to a single room, and that sometimes been very thoroughly carried out. The
buildings generally are in a good state of the law, the mayor of the commune was to repair. Of course, those built 70 or 80 years summon the attendance committee and, if ago are less suitable than those erected necessary, set the law in motion. A good 20 years ago. The school furniture is less many mayors did, with the result that they satisfactory, but here improvements are being and sundry other zealous parish councillors gradually made. An excellent idea is the lost their seats at the next election. Their distribution of large coloured illustrations by fate has made the law practically a dead the Ministry, which are really views of French letter in the country. One of the chief sources scenery procured from the railway companies, of irregular attendance in the north-western with, of course, the time-table part sup departments is the departure of the children in pressed. These sheets add a certain amount the spring for the grazing districts, where they of attractiveness to walls that are other. | guard the cattle. These little pátours, as wise bare, for pictures to the country lad are they are called, often take six months' French as fascinating as flowers to the town child. | leave at a time. Haysel and harvest, appleWe might almost look on them as the flowers picking and grape-gathering also produce of the town, fit subjects of barter for our rustic irregular attendance. Several remedies have primroses and daffodils. The only piece of been proposed. Some have suggested that school furniture which need detain us is the the teacher should be armed with the power of musée scolaire, or school museum. One finds putting the law in motion-an evident mistake, it everywhere. Its use has been admirably as it would bring him in direct collision with defined as the indispensable auxiliary of the the parents. A better idea is that of vesting real object lesson. It must not, however, these powers in the inspector, who is suffiresemble a curiosity shop, for collections ciently highly placed to be beyond the reach formed at hazard, and with no definite plan, of local vengeance. But while those in authoare of no utility. The museum must be appro- rity with whom one conversed, agreed that the priate to the teaching, not the teaching to law should be made more effective, they most the museum. The use of the museum will be of them deprecated any wliolesate setting in well seen when we come to the agricultural | motion of the legal machinery, as likely to do teaching. Unfortunately, in a good many more harm than good in the country districts, cases, it evidently was not utilised as it ought where the peasantry are by nature highly conto be. Not a few that one saw resembled too servative, and local customs and prejudices are much the collection at a marine store dealer's. I strong. One inspector, in particular, told me
And now for the children. They were, for he had made a thorough trial of the legal rethe most part, neat and tidy in their dress. | medies. It had been a complete failure. Then Their hands especially were clean. The copy- | he had turned round and experimented with books, which are usually a fair test in these the system of allowing the teachers to inform matters, were singularly free from“ tell-tale”. the parents that the inspector would always bioger-marks. Their behaviour, on the whole, | favourably entertain a request for leave of was excellent. In the classes of one or two absence if the work was specified. Eighteen younger teachers one saw a certain amount of years' experience had proved the system by-play going on, but that is the teachers' worked extremely well. fault. This good conduct is the more sur Another way of keeping on the children was prising, as corporal punishment has been to discourage them from presenting themselves abolished in French schools, much to the for the leaving certificate before they were dislike, it must be admitted, of the older twelve. Much good is also done by those teachers. But the younger generation seem teachers who make personal inquiries of the to get on very well without it-in theory. In parents whenever a pupil is absent. To render practice I should be inclined to take the word the system official, as some propose, would of a teacher, who said, “ There is not a good just destroy the whole value of it. It is master going who has not given a 'sound appreciated, just because the teacher's smack' to some child in his life." .
act is voluntary. In some departments, How do the children attend? Well, that is the method is being tried of giving a problem which would take up too much bonuses to those teachers who improve their room to discuss fully. One can only give attendance average, and also of taking the conclusions. To begin with, the attempt to fact into account in regard to promotion. The make the duty of compelling attendance a practice has been followed by excellent relocal matter has been a failure. According to sults, and is one we might well copy. It is