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TWENTY-FIRST REPORT OF THE SECRETARY FOR

FOR PUBLIC
INSTRUCTION IN QUEENSLAND, BEING THE REPORT FOR
THE YEAR ENDING 31st DECEMBER, 1896.

To His Excellency The Right Honourable CHARLES WALLACE ALEXANDER NAPIER,

Baron Lamington of Lamington, in the county of Lanark, in the Peerage
of the United Kingdom, Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished
Order of St. Michael and St. George, Governor and Commander-in-Chief
of the Colony of Queensland and its Dependencies.

SIR,—I have the honour to submit to Your Excellency the Report of the Department of Public Instruction for the year 1896.

of inspectors.

emoluments of

restored.

superior State schools.

GENERAL 1. This Report with its Appendices deals with the educational work carried contents. on under the provisions of “ The State Education Act of 1875.” It also contains certain particulars respecting State aid to the following :-Secondary education in the form of grants to Grammar schools, scholarships to Grammar schools, and exhibitions to Universities; The Museum; and the Orphanages.

2. A conference of inspectors was held in the midwinter vacation week.Conference Numerous questions were discussed, and such of the recommendations of the conference as received the approval of the Government will be embodied in a fresh issue of the Regulations in 1897. The principal changes are a fresh distribution of work in the various classes, and the granting of a fixed salary to pupil-teachers on probation.

3. The scale of "additional emoluments” to head-teachers which came into Additional force from 1st January, 1892, was reduced by one-third from 1st July, 1893. From 1892 partly 1st July, 1896, Parliament having voted the necessary funds, I was able to restore to teachers the half of this reduction; so that, at present, the teachers receive five-sixths of the "additional emoluments” paid prior to July, 1893.

4. On the 30th July, 1896, the Legislative Assembly passed the following reports on resolution :-" That in the opinion of this House it is desirable that Reports should be obtained and presented to Parliament from the Under Secretary and the General Inspector for Public Instruction as to the advisability and desirability of amending * The State Education Act of 1875,' so as to incorporate therein the provisions of * The Public Instruction Act of 1880' of New South Wales relating to superior State schools.” Reports by Mr. Anderson and Mr. Ewart were laid on the table of the House on the 20th October accordingly, and appear as an appendix to this Report.

5. In the nature of the case, the operations of a Department that has usual growth. administered the Education Act of 1875 for over twenty years can now present little variety from year to year. The records for 1896 show the usual increase of schools and pupils, and consequently of expenditure, while the results of the teaching are, I believe, steadily improving. I'wo items in this Report invite special attentionthe great increase in the average daily attendance of pupils and the reduction in the cost per head of each child taught. The average daily attendance in 1996 was large increaso 6,016 more than in 1895. This is the largest annual increase recorded in the small cost per annals of the Department. The whole cost of Primary Education divided by the average number of scholars in daily attendance gives £3 10s. 8 d. as the cost per head. This sum is 6s. per head lower than the corresponding rate of last year, and it is lower than the rate for any previous year. This reduction will not be permanent Cause of however, for the great increase in the attendance during 1896 made it necessary to per head. increase the teaching staff by appointing a large number of pupil-teachers on probation, whose salaries, now very small, will increase from year to year; also, the expenditure in erecting, painting, and repairing buildings, which was kept very low, must in future be dealt with on a more liberal scale.

head.

Now Stato schools,

Additions to
State schools.

Increase in accommodation

Total accommodation

Xew provisional schoole.

Re-openod.

6. Only three new State schools were opened during 1896—namely, Crescent Lagoon (near Rockhampton), Wynnum, and Eight-mile Plains. The old and dilapidated school buildings at Laidley South were superseded by new premises erected about two miles to the south of the former site. Particulars of the cost of the buildings will be found in Table G appended to this Report.

7. Besides the numerous small repairs and additions to school furniture, important additions, repairs, and improvements were made at forty-one existing State schools. Particulars respecting each of these works are given in Table I. appended to this Report.

8. The amount of accommodation in the State schools of the Colony was in State schoolo. increased by 7,427 square feet during the year 1896. Of this increase 2,540

square feet was furnished by the new schools at Wynnum, Crescent Lagoon, and Eight-mile Plains ; 5,087 square feet by additions to existing schools at Croydon, Fortitude Valley, Junction Park, Bundaberg East, Goodna, and Indooroopilly Pocket. Allowing 8 square feet of floor space for each child, provision was made for an increase of 928 pupils. The actual increase in the average attendance at the State schools was 4,863.

9. At the end of the year the total floor space in the State schools was 462,476 in state schools, square feet, exclusive of verandahs; and allowing 8 square feet for each child, the

accommodation was enough for 57,809 pupils. The average attendance at those schools for the year 1896 was 46,087.

10. Thirty-five new provisional schools were opened during the year. They were situated as follows:-In Moreton District: Blackbutt, Charlwood, Currumbin Creek, Fairney View, Grantham Scrub, Gregor's Creek, Mount Forbes, and Razorback; in Darling Downs and Western Districts : Annievale, Beranga Bridge, Bergen, Brigalow Gully, Columboola, Mulga, Poybah, Prestons, Retreat, and West Haldon; in Wide Bay and Burnett Districts : Bidwell, Duingal, Givelda, Kalbar, Kannagan, Kingbombie, Pie Creek, Rosedale, and Traveston Siding; in the Central Districts : Alligator Creek, Pleystowe, and Scrubby Mount; in the Northern Districts : Dungeness, Evelyn Scrub, Freshwater, Golden Gate, and Horn Island.

11. Three provisional schools which had been closed for some time were re-opened, namely, Kington near Rockhampton, Mount Shamrock in the Burnett District, and West Prairie in the Darling Downs District.

12. Six provisional schools were closed on account of insufficient attendance, namely, Apple Forest near Leyburn, Bajool near Rockhampton, Broughton Road near Charters Towers, Cressbrook on the Upper Brisbane River, Grass Tree near Mackay, and Inskip Point at the entrance to Wide Bay.

13. A State school took the place of the provisional school at Eight-mile Plains, near Brisbane. The State school at Kamerunga, near Cairns, was closed on account of insufficient attendance, but was replaced by the new provisional school at Freshwater, on the Cairns-Herberton Railway.

14. Nineteen applications for the establishment of new State schools were received and dealt with. At the end of the year 11 of these applications had been approved, and preliminary action taken to establish the State schools. In the case of the other 8 applications, action was postponed pending further proof that the attendance at the existing provisional schools would be sufficient to warrant a State school. Particulars respecting each of these applications are given in Table H appended to this Report.

15. Fifty-seven applications for the establishment of new provisional schools were received and dealt with. At the end of the year 34 of these applications had been approved and preliminary action taken to establish the schools, 9 of the applications were not approved, and 14 were in abeyance pending further information. The action taken with regard to each of these applications is specified in Table H appended to this Report.

SCHOOLS IN OPERATION IN 1896.

16. At the end of the year there were in operation 763 schools, comprising 385 celeb of the year. State and 374 provisional, together with 4 special schools-namely, the Reformatory

school for boys at Lytton, and the schools for aboriginals at Myora near Dunwich, Deebing Creek near Ipswich, and Murray Island in Torres Straits. There was a net increase of 33 schools for the year.

Schools closed.

State schools applied for.

Provisional schools applied lor.

Number of

17. The total number of schools open during some part of the year was 772. During the year.

18. The tabular statement below shows the classification of the schools open Classification of at the end of the year, and compares it with that of the previous year :

schools.

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19. The Regulations provide for a State school being established when the overgrown permanent average daily attendance reaches 30 pupils, but no less than 64 of the schools. provisional schools had an average daily attendance for the year sufficient to justify the establishment of a State school. One of them (Mareeba, a railway terminus) had the large average daily attendance of 126, Apple-Tree Creek had 80, and Wilsonton 72. Nine provisional schools had an average daily attendance between 50 and 70, and at 52 others the average daily attendance was between 30 and 50. The difficulty which the promoters of schools find in raising one-fifth of the cost of State schools before the work can proceed explains the delay in the substitution of State schools for overgrown provisional schools. The facts appear to indicate that the local ability or willingness to provide school accommodation suitable in amount and kind does not keep pace with the increase of population. The greatly enlarged number of provisional schools with a daily average of over 20 pupils is noteworthy. Of these there were 168 in 1896 against 95 in 1895.

20. Two pairs of half-time schools were in operation during the year, namely, Hall-timo Pikedale No. 1 and 2, and Nellybri with Retreat.

21. Tables A, B, and C, appended to this Report, give full particulars respecting the schools in operation during the year

1896.

schools.

attendance.

children.

ATTENDANCE OF CHILDREN. 22. For 1896 the gross enrolment was 77,317 in the State and 13,463 in the Enrolment. provisional schools, making a total of 90,780. The net enrolment (or number of distinct children on the rolls) was 81,754, showing an increase of 7,212 on the net enrolment for 1895.

23. The average daily attendance was 46,087 in the State and 8,229 in the average daily provisional schools—total 54,316, showing an increase of 6,046 on the average daily attendance for 1895.

24. The annual returns from head teachers for the year 1896 show a total of Neglected 1,763 children (969 boys and 734 girls) between the ages of six and fifteen, who, though living within reach of a school, are not educated up to the standard of education, and are not attending any school. Of these, 956 are between the ages of six and twelve, and 747 are over twelve. The total number of neglected children thus reported is less by 216 than it was in 1895.

25. The number of children reported as not attending school the minimum Partially number of days required by the Education Act—that is to say 60 in the half-year— children. was 9,811 in the half-year ending June, and 8,620 in the half-year ending December. Comparing these numbers with the corresponding ones for 1895, we find an increase of 1,585 defaulters in the first half-year, and 319 in the second half-year.

Funder of

TEACHERS EMPLOYED. 26. At the end of 1896 the total number of teachers employed was 1,715, an increase for the year of 181 teachers. The tabular statement following gives the numbers in detail, the minus sign indicating a decrease :

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Average number
of pupils
taught by
each teacher.

27. Dividing the average daily attendance as given in Table C by the number of teachers given in the same table, we find that during the year 1896 the average number of pupils taught by each teacher was 3-47 in the State schools, 21.2 in the provisional schools, and 316 for all the schools. The corresponding numbers for 1895 were 34:8, 20-2, and 31•4. Again, dividing the increase in the average daily attendance (6,0-46) by the increase in the number of teachers (181) we find the average number of pupils for each teacher appointed to be 33.4.

28. The following is a comparative view of the number of teachers employed in the State and the provisional schools, respectively, at the end of 1896 :

Number of teachers in State and in provisional schools respectively.

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• Including 63 teachers eligible for classification when their services are required in classified State schools.

Status of teachers,

29. From Table F we learn that of the entire teaching staff of the colony at the end of 1896, 51•1 per cent. were classified, 27:3 per cent. were unclassified, and 21•6 per cent. were pupil-teachers. The number of classified teachers in each rank and the number of pupil-teachers in each class at the end of the year are shown in the condensed statement below:

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Promotion of teachers,

30. Of the 876 classified teachers 101 received promotion in classification7 from class to class by examination, and 94 from division to division as a reward for meritorious service. Of the unclassified teachers 42 received promotion into Class III.—the lowest rank of classified teachers. Of the 371 pupil-teachers 151 received promotion in the ordinary course of their apprenticeship.

31. Excluding the increments to pupil-teachers (£2,120) the increased annual expenditure consequent on these promotions was £1,274, dating from 1st July, 1896, when the financial year begins.

Consequent expenditure.

32. Particulars respecting the promotions made in 1896 appear in the following Particuları. tables :

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in 1890.

33. The number of teachers who left the service during the year was—males, Loft the service 41; females, 103; total, 1-14. This includes the teachers whose services terminated on 31st December. The corresponding number for 1895 was 170. The tabular statement below gives the status and sex of the teachers who left in 1896:

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34. An analysis of the reasons assigned for leaving the service gives the Beasons for following results :

service.

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• There comprised pupil-teachers who had completed their pupilage. They were re-employed as teachers ourly in 1897.

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