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PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN PRUSSIA. The palm belongs to Germany of having first associated the school with the church as an inseparable accompaniment to parochial organization. In every German state the inhabitant of each parish is by birth a participator in, and is consequently bound by obligations to, the system of public instruction which has been adopted by the State. Prussia has done most towards perfecting, on a large scale, the system of popular instruction which most closely suits itself to the wants and abilities of a large nation.
In Prussia the school emanates from the locality where it is found. Poors’-rates have not been generally exacted in any part of the kingdom, but school-money has long been levied as a rate incumbent upon all who have children. The rate varies from 3d. to 6d. per month, according to circumstances; but a proof of pauperism suffices to cause it to be remitted, and even the poorest are not debarred the advantages of education. The school reflects the character of the population of each locality. The religious profession, the industrial tendency of the community, give each their imprint to the mode of teaching. But as formal religious instruction is always given by the pastors of the towns and villages, it is found easy to combine children of different religious persuasions in the same establishment without inducing collisions between them or their parents.
The Prussian government has furnished Her Majesty's Minister at Berlin with unpublished documents concerning school attendance, from which the following survey of the state of elementary education throughout the kingdom is taken. The number at school is shown to have been at the close of 1846,
In country schools, 955,386 boys, and 927,656 girls;
In town schools, 280,062 boys, and 270,229 girls ; making a total of 2,433,333 at elementary schools. If the scholars at schools of a higher description, including the gymnasia or grammar schools, of which no return is here given, be added, the total enjoying school education in 1846 was 2,542,961 scholars of both sexes, or in proportion to a population of 16,000,000 of souls as 1 to 6.
Respecting the outlay for these schools, the tables communicate little information, since they do not include the contributions in the shape of school-money levied from the parents of the children who attend the elementary schools. The grant from the State budget in aid of elementary schools amounted in 1845 to 37,0001., and the sum appropriated in the same year for educational institutions of all kinds was 1,138,050 dollars, or 170,2071. 10s.
There is a minister of public instruction at Berlin, who is also at the head of church affairs, and communicates through the local Consistories in the provinces with which he corresponds. School Inspectors are appointed to various districts, one of whom is always the Superintendent or Bishop of the district.
STATE OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF PRUSSIA IN 1846.
1. Königsberg 1,598 1,750 173
639 680 24
1,194 1,360 31
691 747 23
1,023 1,015 70
14 19. Munster
530 417 29 20. Minden
389 76 21. Arnsberg
81; 876 37 22. Coln
881 8.30 71
56,858 17 42
7 1,402 18
6 3,847 19 32 6,844 21
2 1,139 6
1,828 5 31
574 4 29
441 1 1
1,088 3 126
503 2 136 1,009 1 43
29 2 48
382 1 95
401 1 101
Total 24,030 25,914/2,749 1,856 1,235,448 1,197,885 342 598 197 43,516 360 1,094 640 48,302100 505 197 15,62441 2,186
No statistics of education have been furnished by the government, but Her Majesty's Minister at Stuttgardt has sent the following abstract of the law.
Each locality, comprising 30 families, is compelled by law to have a primary school.
Localities containing a population of less than 30 families, are compelled by law to unite with a neighbouring locality in the establishment of a school.
If the neighbouring locality is at a distance of more than 24 English miles, or the road thereto dangerous, then the Government Committee of Education can decree the establishment of a separate school even for 15 fainilies.
If in a community of different religious confessions the minority comprises 60 families, they may claim the establishment and sup. port of a school of their own confession at the expense of the whole community. The expenses to be paid by the whole community, without regard to religious confessions, and by each individual in proportion to the amount of taxes paid by him. In poor communities the government contributes in part towards the salary of the schoolmaster and repairs of the school.
The salaries of the schoolmaster are in places containing 4000 inhabitants 350 florins, and house rent; in places containing less than 4000 and more than 2000 inhabitants, 300 florins, and houserent. In a school where more than 60 scholars attend, 250 florins, and house-rent. In a school where less than 60 scholars attend, 200 florins, and house-rent.
A proposal has been lately laid before the Chambers, authorizing the government to raise the salaries of the two classes of schoolmasters last named.
Second schoolmasters receive a salary of 150 florins, and are allo one room and fuel.
An assistant schoolmaster (candidate) receives a salary of 120 florins.
In a school where the number of scholars exceeds 90, two schoolmasters are allowed ; if more than 180 scholars, three school. masters; if more than 270 scholars, four schoolmasters, and so on in proportion. The school hours are,
In summer 4 hours per day;
In winter 6 hours per day. The school is under the inspection of the clergyman of the confession to which the schoolmaster belongs, and under the control of the presbytery.
There is in each district a special school inspector, who is a clergyman.
The visitation of the schools is made by the school inspector of the district, the clergyman, and the presbytery of the community,
The attendance of every child at the primary school is compulsory, unless he frequents a superior school, or receives private instruction, such as he would obtain at the primary school.
It is compulsory upon parents, guardians, &c.: should they forbid the children's attendance at the school, or not allow their receiving private instruction, they subject themselves to a fine, and even imprisonment; and if afterwards they should still refuse to allow the children to attend the school, then the police is requested to adopt such measures as will compel the children to visit the school.
If a child, by reason of health or otherwise, is unable to attend the public school, then the parents or guardians are obliged to see that he receive private instruction, and, if unable to pay for it, the community is obliged to supply the means.
Children who have not frequented the primary schools, are equally obliged to attend the public examinations.
The Bavarian government has kindly furnished Her Majesty's Minister at Munich with unpublished tables, containing the statistics of public instruction in that kingdom, as late as the year 1844. The system followed is best illustrated by the tables themselves, which are accompanied by no remarks.
Elementary education is given in the German schools, of which the following is the report for 1844.
Number of Scholars in Day:}183,641 186,102 90,697 92,529 1,637 | 1,633 In Holiday and Sunday-}136,477 146,007 40,876 42,595
The population of Bavaria being 4,250,000 souls, it follows that 1 in 7 attended the day-schools, and 1 in 5 a school of some kind in which elementary instruction is given; but the attendance at all the schools shows a greater proportion of instructed, being little under 1 in 4 of the population.
A complete system of inspection is established throughout Bavaria; the reports of the inspectors including not only the number and proficiency of the scholars, but also the conduct of the teachers, the state of the buildings, and the nature and extent of the funds available. Every school ought to be provided with a small nursery garden, that the children may learn the mode of treating trees and plants. Out of 6065 German schools, it appears, from the reports, that 5284 actually had nursery grounds attached to them.
It is necessary in Bavaria, before admission can be obtained into any higher school, to have passed a satisfactory examination in the lower school. Not only must all candidates for offices under the State pass examinations, but examinations are held of apprentices in trade, who wish to become masters, and even of officers in the army on promotion.
GRAND DUCHY OF BADEN. The Grand Duchy of Baden has furnished no statistical returns illustrating the state of popular instruction in that country; but a volume of laws and ordinances respecting schools has been sent, which affords a complete view of the system adopted in one of the inost advanced constitutional states of Germany. As the principle is almost the same which is followed throughout Germany, Denmark, and Holland, we give a condensed analysis of the plan upon which the primary schools are organized. It may be remarked, that in Baden the care of the schools is not confided to the authorities who have the charge of church affairs, as is the case in Prussia. The department of education is under the direction of the Minister of the Interior in Baden. But the local school authority is commonly a parochial committee, consisting of clergy and laymen combined.
An ordinance of 1834 states the subjects on which instruction is to be given in the primary schools.