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I. VOLUNTARY CONTINUATION SCHOOLS.
Voluntary continuation schools for girls and women in Berlin have been conducted for a number of years by the city deputation for trade and continuation schools. In addition, schools founded by nonpublic agencies have been carried on either solely or partly for the purpose of meeting the needs of ambitious girls and young women who are able to give only a few hours per week to further education after leaving the day school.
1. SCHOOLS ESTABLISHED BY THE CITY.
(1) VOLUNTARY CONTINUATION INSTITUTIONS FOR BOTH SEXES. These were established originally for young men, but were opened to women in 1907. They are conducted in buildings used during the day by secondary schools. They are three in number, one in the Friedrichs Gymnasium, one in Bertram Realschule, and one in Dorotheen Städtischen Real Gymnasium. Attendance at these schools does not excuse from attendance at the compulsory continuation schools. Their aim is to offer opportunity for those having completed the equivalent of a middle school course to carry on their education, especially in English, French, and commercial subjects, after entering upon their occupations.
Fees are 1.25 marks per week-hour for each semester; that is, pupil taking four hours' work per week would pay 5 marks, or $1.25, each semester. All but two classes in the three schools meet from 8 to 9.45 p. m., or from 8 to 10 p. m. One class meets from 5 to 7 p. m., and another meets Sundays from 8 to 10 a. m. Most classes meet twice per week, though in some subjects only one session per week is held.
The curriculum differs but little in these three schools. It consists of German, French, English, commercial arithmetic, drawing, stenography, typewriting, mathematics, bookkeeping, commercial correspondence, and penmanship. The enrollment of women in the three schools for the winter semester 1912–13 was 331 out of a total enrollment of 991.
(2) VOLUNTARY CONTINUATION SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.
These schools, 12 in all, are conducted in elementary school buildings. Their aim is to strengthen and fill out the training received in the elementary schools.
Fees vary according to subjects taken, from 0.25 to 1 mark per week-hour for a semester. Singing and gymnasium work are free.
Nearly all of the classes meet between 2 p. m. and 9 p. m., though a few have forenoon sessions. In such subjects as tailoring, mending, and drawing the session usually lasts three hours, the class meeting only once each week. German, English, and French classes have two sessions of two hours each per week.
The curriculum is much the same in nine of the schools, consisting of German, citizenship, arithmetic, drawing, bookkeeping, commercial correspondence, commercial geography, French, English, stenography, typewriting, hand needlework, dressmaking, tailoring, ironing, mending, millinery, singing, gymnastics, and writing. Some of the schools do not have all of these subjects but have others, such as commercial arithmetic, machine embroidery, trade drawing for tailoresses, and costume drawing. Two of the remaining schools teach cooking only, and one combines cooking and housekeeping. Most of the cooking classes meet four hours, generally in two periods.
The attendance during the winter semester, 1913, numbered 7,537 in the 12 schools, only 667 of these being in the three cooking schools. Classes are most numerous in tailoring and dressmaking. Typewriting, German, and stenography come next in popularity.
(3) VOLUNTARY CONTINUATION SCHOOLS FOR UNFORTUNATES. (a) For feeble-minded.--Continuation schools for feeble-minded meet at a special school for feeble-minded children. No fees are charged. Classes in hand sewing, machine sewing, embroidery and lace making meet two afternoons each week from 3.30 to 5.30. Their work in these subjects is preceded by an hour of gymnastics and followed by a half hour of singing. From 6 to 7 on the same days German is taught and from 7 to 8 arithmetic. Housekeeping is offered twice each week for four hours, either from 9 to 1 or from 3 to 7 o'clock. There were 119 girls in attendance at all the classes for the feeble-minded during the winter semester, 1912–13.
(6) For deaf-mutes.-Classes for these unfortunates meet three evenings each week, between the hours of 6 and 10 p. m. German, arithmetic, hand needlework, and cooking are taught. No fees are charged. The number of girls in attendance was 22 in the winter semester of 1913.
(c) For the blind. The continuation school for the blind is connected with the city institution for the blind. No fees are charged. The work given consists of special instruction in reading and writing with characters for the blind, typewriting, gymnastics, singing, piono, musical theory, hand needlework, and housework. Forty girls were in attendance in the winter of 1912-13.
2. SCHOOLS ESTABLISHED BY NONPUBLIC AGENCIES OFFERING CONTINUATION
COURSES FOR GIRLS.
(1) THE INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL TRAINING INSTITUTION FOR
GIRLS AND WOMEN.
This school, conducted for some years by industrial and commercial organizations, was taken over by the city, April 1, 1913. Its work is carried on in an elementary-school building. Full-time day courses, covering 28 to 33 hours of class work per week are offered, for which the fees vary, from 80 to 120 marks per year. Also courses are offered in single subjects and in small groups of subjects, mostly in the evenings. German, English, and hand needlework may be had in the evening for 3 marks per quarter year, and bookkeeping, stenography, art needlework and ironing for 4.50 marks. Drawing, painting, and modeling are offered four hours per week for 11.25 marks. The school is organized into two general departments called the Commercial Preparatory School and the Industrial School, the former being considerably larger than the latter. Nearly a thousand students in all attend this institution, mostly in continuation classes.
(2) VICTORIA CONTINUATION AND TRADE SCHOOL.
This is one of the best known institutions for girls and women in Berlin, owing to the high grade of its work and to the fact that it was formerly under the patronage of the Empress and Queen Victoria, mother of Emperor William II. Full-time day courses, day continuation courses, and evening continuation courses are offered.
Fees in the evening school are from 1 mark to 1.50 marks per month, except for cooking, in which it is 10 marks for the semester. In the day school fees vary from 3 to 12 marks per month, according to the amount and kind of work taken. Free places are provided under certain conditions.
Courses offered in the day school include German, French, English, history, history of literature, history of art, hygiene, physics, citizenship, household bookkeeping, single and double entry bookkeeping, commercial arithmetic, citizenship arithmetic, household arithmetic, commerce and accounts, commercial geography, penmanship, stenography, typewriting, machine sewing, simple needlework, industrial needlework, art embroidery, drawing, millinery, tailoring, mending, cooking, ironing, and hairdressing. Nearly all of these subjects are offered in the evenings also.
The attendance in the winter of 1912–13 was 748, of whom 330 were in evening classes.
CONTINUATION SCHOOL OF THE
This school, open to both sexes, enrolls about 120 women to 510 men. It offers elementary instruction in German, arithmetic, and penmanship; commercial instruction in bookkeeping, commercial arithmetic, commercial correspondence, French, English, and stenography; and technical instruction in freehand drawing for all callings, ornamental and figure drawing, painting from life, and several lines of trade drawing for men. Special classes in gymnastics and singing are conducted for women. (4) THE
COMMERCIAL SCHOOL AND
INSTITUTION FOR GIRLS.
The corporation of the Merchants of Berlin established this school and still maintain it. As indicated by its name, it has a day department, though most of the instruction in this department is given between 3 and 8 o'clock p. m. In the continuation department where the hours are 8 to 10 p. m. it is possible for a student to take as little as two hours of work per week. Fees are higher than in most of the voluntary continuation schools, being 10 marks for two week-hours per semester and 15 marks for four week-hours.
The curriculum includes the principal subjects usually given in a German commercial school-English, French, German, penmanship, stenography, arithmetic, bookkeeping, typewriting, and German correspondence. The most popular subjects are stenography, with 555 pupils; penmanship, with 285 pupils, and typewriting, with 281 pupils. English comes next with 164 pupils and French next with 119 pupils. The total enrollment of the school for the winter semester 1912-13, in day and continuation classes, was 1,293, making this the largest of the nonpublic group of schools.
II. COMPULSORY CONTINUATION SCHOOLS. While for 10 years the city of Berlin has required all employed boys between the ages of 14 and 18 to attend continuation classes, similar provision for girls was not made until April 1, 1913. The law, modeled after that which established the compulsory continuation schools for boys, provides that: “All female unmarried workers employed in industrial or commercial pursuits within the precincts of the city of Berlin are compelled to attend and take part in the instruction of the established industrial and commercial continuation schools of the municipality of Berlin.” This obligation lasts until the close of the school semester in which the pupil completes her seventeenth year.
For those pupils failing in this time to complete the requirements of the continuation school, the period of compulsory attendance is extended to completion of the eighteenth year. This
law provides exemption for those attending a guild or other continuation school in so far as the work done in this school is recognized by the authorities as equivalent to that of the compulsory continuation school; for those who have completed a nine-year course of study in a higher school; for those suffering from too great physical or mental deficiencies for them to attend the special schools for unfortunates; and for foreigners living in the city.
The law prescribes that the instruction shall includo occupation information, life information, arithmetic, bookkeeping, drawing, and housekeeping. It provides that the number of hours of instruction shall not exceed six per week and that they shall be between 7 a. m. and 7 p. m. Special schools may be established and special courses worked out for such girls as are incapable of doing the work of the regular continuation schools.
The employer is obliged to excuse girls from work in time to wash and dress properly to appear in class, and the duty of watching over their attendance also rests upon him. If a girl is prevented from attending continuation class on account of sickness, her employer must send a statement to this effect to the school the next time she goes. If she is absent from work more than a week, the employer must notify the director of the school at the end of the first week and again when she returns to work. If an employer for some particular reason (as, for example, on account of special sale) wishes a girl excused from a single period of attendance at the school, he must send such request to the director of the school before the time he wishes her excused, stating the reason for his request. A parent or guardian may not keep a daughter or ward from attendance at the continuation school. Persons violating any of the above regulations are subject to a fine of 20 marks ($5) for each offense.
No fees are required of girls attending these continuation schools.
ADMINISTRATION OF THESE SCIIOOLS.
The compulsory continuation schools for girls are placed under the same management as those for boys—the city deputation for trade and continuation schools. The same division of the city into 10 continuation school districts has been adopted. At present the schools are conducted in elementary school buildings, in many cases in the same buildings where voluntary continuation schools have been meeting for several years and where they still carry on their work.
During the year beginning with Easter, 1914, the second year after the law went into effect, seven types of compulsory continuation schools for girls were in operation-for unskilled workers, for feather and artificial flower workers, for bookkeepers, clerks, and copyists, for milliners, for tailoresses, for sales girls, and for seamstresses. A school for unskilled workers was opened in each of the 10 districts.