Page images

1. Religion.
2. German language.
3. Writing
4. Arithmetic.
5. Singing.
6. General instruction on subjects of natural history,

natural philosophy, geography, and geometry; also

on points appertaining to health and to farming. 7. Where there are sufficient means drawing is to be

taught. The last-named subjects are to be treated in such a manner that the more essential first five points are not to suffer by the attention bestowed upon them.

Of Inspection.The parish clergyman is the regular school Inspector. Where there are clergymen of different confessions, each clergyman inspects the schools of his church. Where a School Board is constituted, as stated below, the Board elects an Inspector. The Jews' schools are included in this regulation. The Inspector keeps a diary in which he enters the result of all his visits. He has also the charge of seeing that the school plan of instruction is followed. The clergyman, whether an Inspector or not, is bound twice a week to give instruction in religion at the school.

The School Authorities consist, in places where there are schools, of the

Inspector as chairman;
The mayor or headborough;
The vestry of the parish, amongst Protestants; the trus-

tees of foundations in Catholic communities; and the

directors of synagogues in Jewish communities. The teachers are, if possible, to be present at the deliberations of the authorities.

In large towns the Education Department can appoint a Board to take charge of all the schools, or of any separate school in the place. Where there is a mixture of confessions and creeds, the school must be placed under a separate Board.

Visitors.--One of the clergy of the district is to be appointed for six years as Visitor by the Education Department. Where there are but few schools of any one confession, a Visitor can be named for several districts. The Visitor also inspects the schools of Jewish persuasion.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop has control jointly with the Education Department over the religious instruction in Ronian Catholic schools.

The County Authorities are to be consulted respecting the founding of a new school, or the suppression of an old one; also, respect ing changes in the appointment of masters, and in the nomination of the School Board of Special Inspectors and of Visitors.

Children whose sixth year terminates between the 23rd of April

of one year and the 23rd of April of

the year following, are bound to commence their schooling with Easter of the second year. A year is allowed where infirmity or similar disabling causes are proved to the satisfaction of the school authorities.

The parish clergy, who keep the registers, have to furnish the school authorities with a list of all children whose schooling begins at the next following Easter. To this a list is added of all children not born in the place, and which has to be drawn up by the school authorities. These lists are to be handed to the schoolmasters; and one fortnight after the school is opened the schoolmaster has to return to the authorities the names of such children as attend the school, as well as those of the absent children. The latter are to be forced through the police to attend school, except where their absence is excused or explained for reasons hereafter to be stated.

Children leave schools also at Easter. Boys on having completed their 14th year, and girls their 13th year, or expecting to complete it before 25th April of that year. if by that period children who have attained these ages are not sufficiently advanced in the objects of instruction specified, they may be kept one or two years longer. Every scholar obtains a certificate on his leaving school.

Children who have private instruction, or who attend higher institutions, for the purpose of obtaining better instruction, are free of the school, but require a certificate from the school Inspectors. Private seminaries must be authorized by the upper school authorities. This authorization cannot be refused where the applicants are in every respect approved candidates as masters; but such establishments must make good the school money which they abstract from the regular schoolmaster.

Every week the schoolmaster is required to give to the school authorities a list of such children as have been absent without leave, or who having absented themselves, did not satisfactorily account for their so doing, together with number of days' absence. This list is handed to the burgomaster, who forwards it to the parents of the children, and imposes a fine, varying from 2 kreutzers ($d.) to 12 kreutzers (8d.) for every day of non-attendance.

Internal Organization of Primary Schools.—1. Schools that have but one teacher are to be divided into three classes, to be counted from the lowest as first upwards.

In the summer half-year the third or highest class has two morning hours of schooling daily; the second class has also two morning hours, and the first or lowest class has two hours in the afternoon.

In the winter half-year the third or highest class has three morning hours of instruction daily. The second class the first afternoon hour alone, and the second in conjunction with the first class or beginners. One of these classes is to be employed in writing, under the inspection of a proper monitor selected from the scholars, while the other class is taught by the teacher. On halfholidays (Wednesday and Saturday) the morning hours, three in summer and four in winter, are to be proportionally divided amongst the three classes.

2. When there are two teachers, the elder scholars are to be placed under one teacher and the younger half under the other. The school is then divided into four classes, each teacher taking two, and each class has instruction for three hours daily, both in summer and in winter, excepting on half holidays, when each class has but one hour and a half in the morning.

If the number of pupils does not exceed 210, they may be divided into three classes, with the consent of the school authorities. If boys and girls are instructed simultaneously, the division indicated above, into higher and lower classes, each under a separate teacher.

Where there are three teachers, one is to instruct the beginners in the two first classes. Where the upper classes are composed both of boys and girls, the elder pupils are under one teacher and the younger ones under the other, or the sexes may be separated.

With four teachers two distinct schools are formed, of four classes each, the arrangements being such as are already indicated.

These arrangements, being fixed by the Education Department, in conference with the parochial school authorities and the Inspector, may be modified to suit the exigencies and the means of larger towns or villages, provided that nothing be so arranged as to interfere with the rules that no class is to exceed 70 in number; that each class is to have three hours' instruction daily, and the upper boys' class to have four hours in winter, with the exception of half holidays, when the instruction is to be for them two hours, and for the others half-hours.

In places where industrial schools for girls are established, no change in these arrangements is to be made in consequence. Changes made, in consequence of the aid of an assistant being required from the ill health of the master, or an increase in the number of children, are to be reported to the Inspector, who will report upon them when submitting the results of his inspection to the Education Department.

3. The advance of children from one class to another takes place after the examination, with the approval of the Inspector, and with due regard to the age and natural powers of the pupils. When the parents do not consent, a child can only be required to continue at school beyond the legal age on an authorization of the Education Department through the Inspector.

4. Care is to be taken that the pupils assemble punctually at the fixed hours, and they are clean in person and attire. They must also behave with propriety both on their way to and from school and while at school. The injunctions concerning their conduct are to be publicly read to the pupils at the beginning of every half-year, and are to be hung up in every school-room.

The pupils can be placed in their respective classes, according to their conduct and diligence, every week or month ; but in the first classes oftener, if the teacher thinks it advisable.

Permission to absent themselves from a single lesson may be granted by the teachers; for more than one the permission must be obtained from the school Inspector.

Punishments consist in reprimands, in giving a lower place in the class, in tasks after school hours, and, where 'obstinate persistence in faults is observed, in blows with a cane on the hand in a manner that is not dangerous. The teacher only takes cognizance of faults committed in school, or on the way to and from school. Bad conduct at other times is only punished at school when the parents and guardians palpably neglect their duty.

5. The school-rooms should have ten feet 'in height, and be built on a scale of six square feet to a pupil.

Plan of Instruction. The aim of the primary school is to cultivate the intellect of the child, and to form his understanding and religious principles, as well as to furnish him with the knowledge requisite for his station in life. Instruction must therefore be imparted in such a manner as shall improve the mind.

The pupil must have his attention sharpened, and his intellectual energies must be brought into activity. He must learn nothing mechanically. The memory must not be cultivated, except in connexion with the understanding and the feelings. The formation of every idea is to be preceded by the requisite insight into its fundamental principle, whether exemplified by objects or figuratively. In all explanations the elementary principles must precede the complex views. What has been learnt must be made familiar by frequent application and illustration. The instruction given in the different classes must correspond with the plan here laid down.

Religious Instruction.Care must be taken that the lesson in religion does not degenerate into a mechanical learning of sayings and of chapters from the Bible. The pupil's insight into all points must be clear and well-grounded; his feelings must be roused and his good propensities must be confirmed.

The nature of the instruction given in religion is to be regulated in detail by the highest authority in the various confessions; it is to be communicated through the catechism and school-books approved by these authorities and sanctioned by the State. In this lesson the duties of the citizen are to be enforced.

The school is to open and close daily with a short prayer or hymn, and the children are to be kept to regular attendance at church, the subject of the last sermon being a matter for the catechist to examine them upon.

Grammatical Instruction.-Grammatical instruction must be connected with exercises in correct thinking, as well as in the fittest mode of giving expression to thoughts. T'he consideration of the correctness of an idea must precede that of the mode of express

ing it.

The organs of speech must be exercised until completely formed, and a due modulation of the voice must be cultivated. The writing lesson must teach neatness and a love of form.

Arithmetical Instruction.—Comprises the four rules, preceded by proper explanation of the properties and nature of figures, and simultaneously exercised, mentally and in writing. The mental calculation is to precede the written sum on all occasions. After practising the rules in whole numbers, fractions, and with given simple or compound quantities in examples applicable in common life.

In the second class the construction of simple geometrical figures is to be taught both to boys and girls. In ihe highest class the use of the square and compass, and the mode of reducing to proportionate dimensions is to be taught.

Musical Instruction.—The classes range as follows :-
First class.—Exercises of the ear and the voice. Simple solo airs.
Second class.--Duets and easy chorus singing.
Third class.-Chorus and ornamental singing:

General Instruction.—In natural history and philosophy, geography, history, sanitary points, and agriculture, will be imparted by the pieces selected in the reading-books, and can be enforced and illustrated by additional examples and reasoning on the part of the teacher.

Division of Time.-Half an hour daily must be devoted to religious instruction, but this time may be prolonged or abridged, according to the subject matter treated of.

The study of the mother-tongue, combined with reading and writing, is to occupy a portion of six days in the week, in addition to copies to be written out of school hours. Arithmetic is to be taken four times, and singing twice in the week. Instruction in matters of general interest is to be given to the second class once and to the highest class three times in the week.

The plan of the school is to be arranged between the teachers and the Inspector for every half-year, and a draft of it must be laid before the school authorities once a-year, together with the results of the inspection. When the children appear behind-hand in particular points of instruction, more time must be appropriated to those in the following year.

If the scholars of one school be of different religious confessions, care is to be taken that they receive their religious instruction at the same hour. If the school belong exclusively to one confession, but is also attended by children of another confession, the instruction in religion must be fixed in the last hour of attendance, that such as do not participate in it may go home, or wherever such instruction may be provided for them.

EMPIRE OF AUSTRIA. The Austrian empire has for many years possessed a methodical system of public education, respecting which, however, reports

« PreviousContinue »