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Education makes the man; that alone is the parent of every virtue ; it is the most sacred, the most useful, and, at the same time, the most neg. lected thing in every country.
MONTESQCIEC. It is not for the sake of a parish only, nor for the mere local interests, that the law wills that every native of France shall acquire the knowledge necessary to social and civilized life, without which human intelligence sinks into stupidity, and often into brutality. It is for the sake of the state also, and for the interests of the public at large. It is because liberty can never be certain and complete, unless among a people sufficiently enlightened to listen on every emergency to the voice of reason.
Universal education is henceforth one of the guarantees of liberty, and social stability. As every principle in our Government is founded on justice and reason, to diffuse education among the people, to develop their understandings, and enlighten their minds, is to strengthen our constitutional government, and secure its stability. M. Guizot.
The education required for the people is that which will give them the full command of every faculty, both of mind and of body; which will call into play their powers of observation and reflection; which will make thinking and reasonable beings of the mere creatures of impulse, preju. dice and passion; that which in a moral sense will give them objects of pursuits and habits of conduct favorable to their own happiness, and to that of the community of which they will form a part; which, by multiplying the means of rational and intellectual enjoyment, will diminish the temptations of vice and sensuality; which, in the social relations of life, and as connected with objects of legislation, will teach them the identity of the individual with the general interest; that which, in the physical sciences—especially those of chemistry and mechanics—will make them masters of the secrets of nature, and give them powers which even now tend to elevate the moderns to a higher rank than that of the demi-gods of antiquity. All this, and more, should be embraced in that scheme of education which would be worthy of a statesman to give, or of a great nation to receive; and the time is near at hand, when the attainment of an object, thus comprehensive in its character, and leading to results, the practical benefits of which it is impossible for even the imagination to exaggerate, will not be considered an Utopian scheme.
E. H. Hickson, "Westminster Review."
Did I know the name of the legislator, who first conceived and sug. gested the idea of common schools, I should pay to his memory the highest tribute of reverence and regard. I should feel for him a much higher veneration and respect, than I do for Lycurgus and Solon, the celebrated lawgivers of Sparta and Athens. I should revere him as the greatest benefactor of the human race; because he has been the author of a provision, which, if it should be adopted in every country, would produce a happier and more important influence on the human character, than any institution which the wisdom of man has devised.
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN ZURICH.
TERRITORY-POPULATION-GOVERNMENT. THE CANTON OF ZURICH ranks second in population (266,265 in 1860,) and seventh in territory (659 square miles,) among the Cantons of Switzerland. The religion of a large majority (255,000,) is Protestant, and its government is a representative democracy-every citizen being a voter at the age of twenty. The cantonal legislature consists of two hundred and twelve members, who are elected for ten years, and who choose a smaller council of twenty-five members, (one-third going out every two years,) whose president is the chief magistrate of the Canton. The Canton is represented in the Federal Diet or Congress by thirteen members.
The Canton of Zurich is divided politically into eleven districts, (Bezirke,) subdivided into counties, (Zuenfte,) and the latter subdivided into communes, (Gemeine.) Every county, according to the number of its inhabitants, elects members for the Great Council, which is only complete after the members elect from the counties have elected thirteen more members by their votes. Bankrupts or persons convicted of dishonor. able crimes are disfranchised permanently or for a time. The Great Council, as representative of the people, is intrusted with the legislation. As the supreme authority of the country, it has the power to appoint all officers of the Canton, or to confirm appointments proposed. It elects the administration of the Canton (Regierungarath-Government council,) but only part of the Board of Education. By the free vote of the counties the government of each district is selected, (Bezirks collegium,) which fills all district offices, or has the final approval of all nominations. It appoints for instance the judges of the district, and proposes to the Gov. ernment council three names for district governor, (the head of the administration in the district,) who is the representative of the Government council in the district.
The subdivision of the Canton in regard to education is as follows:School community or neighborhood, parochial community (school circle,) district, Canton. The members of the school community are all those who are required to contribute for the support of the school, and entitled to its benefits; these select their school board. If a parochial community has several schools and consequently several school communities, the members of the parochial community are not identical with the members of the different school communities, as for instance resident citizens may be members of a school community. The school districts agree with the political districts, the school circles with the parochial communities.
SYSTEN OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
The Public Schools of the Canton are classified as follows:
A. Elementary school, attended by children from 6-9 years old.
9-12 2. Repetition school,
" 12-15 3. Singing school, attended by pupils beyond the age of 15 years,
who at the same time attend the class for religious instruction. II. SECONDARY SCHOOL, (Superior popular district school,) attended by
pupils of 12–15 years, and connected with the day-school. III. SUPERIOR AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS, (Cantonal schools.) 1. The School of the Canton. a. Gymnasium, preparatory for professional studies.
a. Lower gymnasium, for boys of 12–16 years.
6. Higher gymnasium, for boys of 16–19 years.
technical professional studies.
6. Higher school, for boys of 15–18 years.
schools, particularly with the gymnasium-a school of purely liberal studies, as well as a professional school for the statesman,
jurist, physician, theologian and teacher of Superior schools. 3. PROFESSIONAL Schools, joined to the Secondary-school.
a. Seminary for Teachers.
c. Agricultural Institute. The attendance at the day school is obligatory to all children. Scholars who, after passing the day school, do not enter the secondary or the canton school, are required by law to attend the repetition school, in which instruction is given on one day per week, and afterwards the singing school, which demands their attendance for one hour in the week.
Fathers who have given evidence of their ability to instruct in the primary elements of education, are permitted to teach their children at home, instead of sending them to the primary school. Whoever occupies a public teachership, or acquires the certificate of eligibility for such position, is a member of the Board of Teachers of the Canton of Zurich. Those who teach in secondary and primary schools, and have acquired the qualification for secondary or primary instruction, compose the body of public teachers.
All the members of the Board of Teachers are voting members of the
School Synod. All the public teachers of a district form a district. chapter of teachers. The teachers at a seminary belong to the chapter of the district in which the institute is situated. The director of the seminary has the privilege of an advisory member of all the chapters. Synod and chapter elect their officers from their own members every two years
Every parochial community elects a school committee, with the resident pastor as chairman, for the inspection of their schools and general superintendence of their interests; the other members of this committeeto the number of five at least—are elected by the parochial members for a terin of four years, in the manner that the term of half of them expires every two years. They can be reëlected.
The teacher is entitled to a seat in this school committee as advisory member. The superintendence over the schools of a district is vested in a district school committee, composed generally of seven members, two of whom must be pastors, and two teachers, and the remainder must be elected from citizens not of these professions. The two theologians are elected by the ministerial chapter, and the two teachers by the chapter of teachers of the district; the three other members by the government of the district (Bezirks collegium.)
The term of office is six years; every three years a new election of three members takes place, but the old members can be reëlected. The district-school committee elect three alternates, one from the teachers, one from the ministers, and the third from the residents of the district.
Every member of the district school committee is appointed inspector of a certain number of schools in his district. Each primary school must be visited twice a year by the parochial school committee and by the inspector. The inspector conducts the public examination and makes a report on the condition of the school to the district committee. Beyond the inspection of schools it is the duty of the district committee to see that all laws regarding public instruction are faithfully observed ; they are the representatives of the Cantonal Board of Education.
Every secondary school district (which comprehends generally the several school communities of more than one parochial commune,) has for the administration and superintendence of the secondary schools a secondary-school committee, two members of which are elected by the district school committee, and the remaining two by the parochial school committee, for the same term as the members of the last named committee.
The number of members of the secondary-school committee elected by the parochial committee depends on the number of school communities united in the secondary-school district. Every school community shall have at least one member in this secondary-school committee; the latter elect their president from the members, and each member is required to visit the school at Icast twice in every year. Moreover every secondary school is visited by a district inspector.
The Board of Education superintends all matters of instruction of the
entire Canton. For the purpose of consultation the Board is divided into two sections, the first for secondary, the other for primary education.
The proceedings of the Board of Education are always published in the official papers. The Director of Education, a member of the Great Council, is President of the Board ; and of the other six members, two are elected by the School synod from the teachers, and four are appointed by the Government council.
The Board of Education selects the presidents of the district school committees from the members of the same; the presidents of the district committees form the superintending board of the high school. All superintendents of other schools of the Canton are either appointed directly by the Board of Education, or nominated by them for appointment to the Government council. An exception from this rule is the Agricultural Institute, which belongs to the Department of the Interior, and is under the special direction of the Committee of Agriculture attached to this department. The members of the superintending board of this Institute are elected by the Government council on the nomination of the Department of the Interior. The directors of cantonal schools have a privileged seat in the meetings of their superintending board, and are advisory members. Every parochial and secondary-school committee makes a yearly report to the district committee after the annual examinations; the district committee, on the basis of the reports from the parochial committee and the inspectors, submits an annual report on the condition and progress of schools of their district to the Board of Education, and the Director of Education, from these and from the reports of superintendents of superior schools, completes the report on education in the district. The presidents of the chapter of teachers report on the proceedings of the chapter to the director of the Seminary, and the latter renders a total account on the chapters. The reports of the Director of Education and of the director of the seminary are presented to the School synod, which generally orders the publication of the same.
All the officers of the parochial, secondary and district committees labor gratuitously. As members of special committees for inspection of new buildings, etc., they are paid actual expenses. The recorder of the district committee and the president of the chapter receive a moderate remuneration; the members of the Board of Education receive mileage in proportion to the distance they reside from Zurich.
In school matters, appeal can be taken from the decision of the parochial committee to the district committee, and finally to the Board of Education.
The definite appointment of primary teachers is made by the school community ; that of secondary teachers by the secondary-school committees; teachers of the cantonal schools are appointed by the Board of Education, or nominated for appointment to the Government council. In regard to the Agricultural Institute, the Department of the Interior and the Committee on Agriculture again take the place of the Board of