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own officer? Their “Explanatory Pa- paper,” or a “revised rule,” as to give
Ulster, and have found utterance in
be discreditable, however, if a sel
fish sentiment of this nature were “The members of the community (Con- the highest rule of action known to vent) may discharge the office of literary the entire body, and it is fairer to take teachers, either by themselves, or with the the public documents of the General fit to employ; the salaries of such assistants Assembly as exponents of the course to be defrayed by the community, except in likely to be pursued. From one, enthe case of Monitors.
titled a “Statement of the Element-
of the Commissioners of National
that not only The special importance of the memo
the Rev. L. E. Berkeley, as Chair
man and convener of the Committee.
explanatory paper” of the Com-
production. The Language it is said was given to man
Presbyterian to conceal his thoughts. These score
Church, after a fuller consideration
against the exceptional legislation of the “For such reasons the Committee resolve Commissioners. They consider that mem- to reiterate the protest of this Church bers of the religious orders of the Church against the connexion of Convent Schools of Rome ought not to be included as with the National System so long as their teachers under a system of united National teachers are not required to submit in every Education, and especially when clergy, respect to the regulations of ordinary men' of all other denominations are ex- schools, and to endeavour to prevent the pressly prohibited from acting in that capa- Parliamentary sanction of the changes city. Convent and Monks' Schools are recently proposed by the Commissioners." esse ally sectarian and denominational institutions. According to the letter of the Right Hon Mr. Stanley, dated Octo- vations on the inevitable effect of the
Before making any further obserber, 1831, announcing the determination of the Government to constitute the changes now in progress, in introBoard, even the suspicion of proselytism' ducing an entirely new system into
to be banished from its schools. the management of National eduThat is not and cannot be the case in Con- cation in Ireland, a reference to the vent and Monks' Schools, where denomi- Estimates for 1864-5 will show how national badges are continually worn, and skilfully the project of subsidizing where the whole character and aspect of the convents by means of salaries the school is so peculiar. Their connexion to their “religious” teachers is being with the Board is contrary to another of worked out. "It has been stated that its rules, which affirms that “no emblems the New Rules remain
still unacted upor symbols of a denominational nature shall be exhibited in the schoolroom during the on. An examination of those Estimates hours of united instruction, nor will the tells a different story. There is an inCommissioners in future grant aid to any crease proposed in the votes for 1864-5, school which exhibits on the exterior of over 1863–4, of £10,753 9s. 9d., the the buildings any such emblems.'
total grant being raised to £316,770. This document, coming as it does A closer inspection of the figures, after the
Commissioners have had the however, shows that the Commisadvantage of putting the best face they sioners intend next year to lay out could upon their case, possesses pe under the two heads—“Salaries of
over £15,500 more than last year culiar force ; we therefore quote from it again :
Teachers, &c.;” and “The Inspection
Department. The balance between "It is proposed, for the first time, to £10,753 additional asked for, and the institute a class of superior monitors, or sum proposed to be expended, is pupil teachers, the overwhelming majority obtained by cutting down a number of whom will necessarily be given to schools taught by members of religious Model Schools, the book depart
of items, and most seriously the orders, to the great detriment of the Model Schools of the Board, in which the prin- ment, and the supply of school reciples of the system are fairly carried out, quisites. As the System is said to and in which the practicability and value be extending, it would seem to outof united education are
80° well illus- side observers that these are the very trated.
departments in which an increase " The time when this is proposed to be was desirable. A little reflection, done renders the proceedings peculiarly, however, explains the anomaly. The suspicious-a time when the hierarchy of Commissioners have reduced the nethe Church of Rome are forbidding the children of their people to attend Model cessity for their Model Schools-and Schools, and when they are demanding there will be less necessity for them separate training for their teachers. The next year, if their plans succeednecessary consequence of the new regu- by substituting Convent Schools lation, if sanctioned by Parliament, will for them. In other words, they be that in a few years the great mass of have entered into a competition the teachers connected with the National with themselves, and are effectually System in Ireland will be trained by mem- doing the work of the ultramontane bers of religious orders, and trained in bit, hierarchy, by “extinguishing" their ter hostility to that very system of united schools under State management, education in connexion with which they have been nurtured, and which they wil by a gradual but sure process, to rego forth professing to administer. Sectarian place them by a class of exclusive rivalry and religious animosity will be ecclesiastical schools, which, besides inavitably increased, and the educational all their other objectionable pecuprogress of the country greatly retarded. liarities, have this in addition, that their teachers will not submit to the Orders, many of them really unpaid, authority of the Board, accept its and their nominal salaries going to the methods of classification, or acknow- support of the convent or monastic esledge the authority of the State in tablishment. Under a scheme thus any practical form. It is to those wholly subordinated to ecclesiastical teachers, under various designations, control, it must be manifest that the that the major part of the new grant Roman Catholic portion of the public is to go, which, added to what they grant would become the solid resource enjoy already —and they have been of a potent and universal agency for gaining ground pecuniarily since 1861 proselytizing purposes, in addition to - will enlarge by a substantial sum being an instrument of the ultrathe revenues of the conventual es- montane reaction in Ireland, which tablishments of Ireland. It was re- means a revival of superstition, agitapeatedly stated, and generally be- tion, and poverty. lieved, some time since that the It is plain, then, that by their Pontiff
, in his difficulties, had levied a “superior monitors' "scheme-which serious contribution from the monks they have had the hardihood to reand nuns of this country, and it may present by the mouth of the Attorbe that, among other reasons, the ney-General in the House of Commanagers of these establishments of mons as a slight extension only of an “religious” have been impelled by existing and legitimate practice—the a motive of economy to gather large Commissioners have finally democrowds of children into their schools, lished any claim of their system to to the prejudice—the ruin, in fact be considered a “mixed” one, and --of the lay schools in their neigh- have introduced sectarianism in its bourhood, and to claim on their most objectionable form. They were account new subsidies from the warned that this would be the ultiCommissioners.
mate result of the policy of weak This is a source of revenue which, compliances, so far back as the besides being convenient, and pos- time when Arch bishop Whately sessing the virtue of elasticity, has seceded. The Rev. Mr. Rutledge, in also the special advantage of intro- a masterly speech delivered at the ducing the principle that the ultra- last meeting of the Church Educamontane episcopacy wish to see uni- tion Society, quoted the motto affixed versally adopted. It is the thin end by the late distinguished prelate to a of the wedge, driven a good way, too, pamphlet addressed to his clergy after by one effective blow. It seems to he had resigned his place on the Board. them but a single step more to This motto consisted of a passage from complete triumph-and what that Thucydides, to which Dr. Whately triumph is to be, it behoves the pub- gave a significant and forcible applilic to consider. It was reiterated very cation. * For this small matter,” it significantly on a late occasion, that ran,"contains the very thing that is nearly four-fifths of the pupils in the to put your resolution to the test, and National Schools of Ireland are Ro- if you give way to these demands, a man Catholics. The Roman Catholic still heavier burden will presently be body practically distribute at present, laid upon you.”Various burdens, therefore, four-fifths of the grant, or each heavier than the preceding, have probably close upon a quarter of a been laid upon the shoulders of the million sterling per annum, on an
Commissioners since 1853, and now, education in all respects such as they at last, they have bent their backs could reasonably desire. But their to one which crushes them to the convent schools aggression shows earth. Sir Robert Peel, speaking that they are not satisfied with this. with all the responsibility of his posiThey aim, in fact, at obtaining, four- tion of Chief Secretary for Ireland, fifths of an expanding grant, in the and certainly with no feeling but a form of a sum of money handed friendly one for the system, has deover to them, to be disbursed by clared that the change they have their Church upon a scheme entirely made involves a sacrifice of "fundaexclusive, having its secular books mental principles.” of the Church's preparation—its in- At this crisis in the history of the dependence of intrusive inspection - National System, it is proper to inand its teachers belonging to the quire how far it has succeeded in really educating the people. We see during the process of instructing the that in its political relations it is an generation nowin early manhood, comenormous disappointment. We turn paratively few of whom have emigratto the Census Report for 1861, on Edu- ed. The Roman Catholic Church has cation, for information as to its success given it the warmest support, and or failure in what is its real task. worked it out earnestly. Every parish There is much here that is very cheer- has had its National school; and yet, less. The Census Commissioners say, after at least twenty years of an effort with reference to elementary instruc- embracing all parts of the country, tion, that the Society of Friends is the result mentioned is the saddening that in which it is most general, there record. In Leinster, 34'9 per cent. of having been only 4:1 per cent. of its the Roman Catholics can still neither members, five years old and upwards, read nor write ; in Munster, 48:4; in returned as unable to read or write. Ulster, 444; and in Connaught, 59-4. The Independents come next, with The Commissioners say that'" the 6'8 per cent.; the Methodists third, difference in favour of the members with 90 per cent. ; the Baptists of the Established Church and the fourth, with 9'2 per cent. ; the Pres- Protestant community generally, bebyterians fifth, with 11'1 per cent.; tween the per-centage of their ignorthose tabulated under the head of ant and that of the ignorant amongst “All other Persuasions,” sixth, with the Roman Catholics, may be account118 per cent.; the Jews seventh, ed for to a great extent by the social with 119 per cent. ; the members of position of the two bodies ;" but the Established Church eighth, with surely, making every allowance for 160 per cent.; and the Roman Ca- this consideration, it is depressing in tholics ninth, with 45*8 per cent. the highest degree, that after so long From these remarkable statements and full a trial of the education exit appears that the Church population, periment, there is nothing better to though excluded for a generation from show than this. The phenomenon is the advantages of a State grant, stand calculated to awaken suspicions and almost as well as the Presbyterians excite serious inquiry. In Ulster, too, who have enjoyed and used it with it must be remembered, where the skill and perseverance. The slight Roman Catholic general population difference between the Presbyterian more nearly approach in their conbody and the Church population in dition in life the Protestant people, this point is attributable to the dif- the per-centage of totally ignorant is ferent circumstances of the poorer 44:4. It appears, moreover, that 19:1 classes of Protestants, in the north per cent. of the Roman Catholics in and in the south. But when we Ireland could “read only” (one can come to the figures relating to the well fancy how trifling a test of literRoman Catholic inhabitants we are ary acquirements this was, as applied really amazed. Nearly half the by the enumerators), and 35:1 per Roman Catholics in Ireland cent. could read and write. Startled neither read nor write after thirty by these figures, the Census Comyears of a National Education sup- missioners themselves say -“Upon plied with ample funds. Is this the whole, while regarding the ability creditable? Does it show that those to read and write, or to read only, who have managed the system deserve ascribed to individuals in the Census public gratitude? The more the Returns, as but an inadequate test of painful fact is examined the less does the diffusion of elementary instrucit tell in their favour. Of the emi- tion, it must be admitted, on the other grants of the last ten or fifteen years, hand, that the want of that power is a it is not too much to suppose that very sufficient indication ofignorance. a great proportion were unlettered It would be obviously unsafe to persons. They were in the prime of life, institute any very close comparison and had not enjoyed in their youth the between the educational statistics of advantage of the National school. 1834 and 1861, but it is, nevertheless, Their removal ought to have reduced remarkable that in the former year very greatly the relative number of there were not less than 9,657 schools the inhabitants unable to read and in Ireland. · In 1861 the number was write. On the other hand, the National 10,170—but a slight increase. In system has been in effective existence 1834 the Protestant pupils numbered
162,953; in 1861, 127,173. As the System is a failure in respect of the
-as much as 82:73 per cent. was tane attacks. There is a much less derived from the State funds. From liberal feeling, in fact, with regard to these particulars the general conclu- education now than in 1834. The sion seems to arise, that the National Roman Catholic Church demands at