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In 1786 certificates of ability were required of all persons-at least in the cities—who opened a school.
In 1803 the higher schools were changed to gymnasia, organized on the same plan as the institutions of that name in Germany.
In the common schools established by Catherine II, the book of the duties of every man and citizen” bad been adopted as the basis of in. struction; this was replaced by a reacler containing pieces on agriculture, hygiene, and natural philosophy. The utilitarian age succeeded the philosophic age.
In 1804 a new effort was made to establish schools on the estates of the Emperor and the nobility; but, owing to want of money, nothing serious was done.
Finally the clergy felt touched in their honor, and decided to show what the zeal and devotion of the servants of religion may accomplish. In 1806 it was stated that in the district of Novgorod there were one hun. dred and six schools kept by officiating ministers. The report of Prince Gagarin, who mentions this fact, adds that, “unfortunately, two years later they had all disappeared.”
It will readily be understood that in a country where slavery exists, where, consequently, individual efforts are necessarily feeble and confined to private interests, the direct and effective intervention of the government is indispensable. Some steps in this direction were taken in 1828, and in 1835 a law placed all the existing schools under the supervision of the superintendents of the school-districts, which were generally of an enormous extent. Several district-schools were founded by the gov ernment to serve as models, but the parochial schools increased very slowly.
From the abolition of serfdom in 1861 to 1864.
After serfdom had been abolished, the Emperor Alexander II saw that the indispensable consequence of this great reform must be a thorough reorganization of public instruction. In 1861 a committee was appointed to draw up the plan of a law.
In 1862 M. Taneef submitted to the Emperor a “General plan for the organization of popular education," which contained some very excellent points. The result was the General Regulations of 1861, which are still in force.
RUSSIA. COMPARED WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.
Neither France nor England has so fully understood the problem before her. The difficulties which a complete reorganization of popular education meets in Russia are enormous. They are principally caused by the manner in which the inhabitants live, scattered over a large extent of country, and by their extreme poverty.
The following are the expenses of a school according to the report :
To support a school in the country-districts costs, therefore, $200, and to this sum must be added fuel and lodging, which makes the total expense even somewhat higher. In order to cover this annual expense, it is estimated that eight hundred persons, or two hundred families, must, on an average, contribute $1 per family, or 25 cents per head. Even in comparison with richer countries than Russia, this seems much. It is true that, in the United States, in the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, and in Denmark, the average expense per head is higher, but in France it is only 39 cents per head, in Norway 27} cents, in Sweden 30 cents, in Spain and Greece 25 cents, in Italy 13 cents, and in Portugal 8 cents.
In Russia 800 persons live on an average scattered over eight hamlets, covering about 20 square “ versts.” The density of population is so small that there are only 13.6 inhabitants to one square kilometer, (23 square kilometers to 1 square mile,) instead of 69, as in France. Under these circumstances only the children from the center hamlet and those living nearest to it could attend school regularly, especially during the winter-months. The remainder of the inhabitants would pay
their dues without having any benefit, which would necessarily foster discontent. As Prince Gagarin says, “It has, therefore, not been possible to make
, education in Russia compulsory, as in Germany, nor even to enforce the establishment of a school in each community."
It is doubtless impossible at present to introduce into Russia the educational systems of the western countries. It is not there that the models for imitation are to be looked for. The geograpbical and social conditions differ too much, but there is a country in Europe where the same difficulties are met with as in Russia, and where, nevertheless, education is as generally diffused as in Switzerland, Germany, and Den. mark, and that country is Norway. In Norway the population is still more scattered than in Russia, for there are only 4.7 inhabitants to the square kilometer. The ground moreover is very much broken by deep valleys and high plateaus ; the climate is exceedingly severe, and deep snow is very frequent; the hamlets are small, sometimes only composed of two or three farms lost in the wilderness. Nerertheless all Norwegi. ans, and even many of the Lapps, know at least how to rearl and write, and most of the farmers have an excellent education. How have these extraordinary results been obtained ? By means of the itinerant school, the flyttante skola. A school-master travels through each of these dis. tricts, staying some time in each hamlet. He is received in one of the arms, where he is boarded and lodged, and gathers around him the children of the immediate neighborhood. As they are never very numerous, he can give his whole attention to each individual, and thus they make rapid progress in a short time. When the teacher is gone, the mother, who of course can read, repeats the lessons with her chil. dren, and thus prepares them to receive a new installment of instruction on the teacher's return. Popular education in Norway and the north of Sweden is spread almost exclusively by itinerant teachers. In 1810 there were in Norway 7,133 itinerant schools and only 222 permanent schools. Since the country has grown richer and the farmers hare made greater sacrifices for the the cause of education, this proportion has been somewhat modified. According to the educational census, there were in 1863 3,560 itinerant schools and 2,757 permanent schools, and in 1866 3,999 permanent schools and only 2,315 itinerant schools.
THE COURSE WHICE RUSSIA OUGHT TO PURSUE.
Russia ought to follow the example of Norway, and make a commencement with the itinerant school. The peddler plays already an important part in the rural life of Russia. He brings the products of distant industrs and news from the outside world, thus representing commerce and the press. The itinerant teacher would be the peddler of civilization. Education would thus be brought to every house, and the teacher's influence on the parents and the hamlets where they dwell could not fail to be a happy one. There should be no hesitation to ask the clergy to assist in this work, for, being thoroughly national, it would not become as in Roman-Catholic countries, the tool of ultramontane politicians. It would be well to adopt the ingenious idea recently put in practice in England, of making the subsidies granted proportionate to the result obtained. It is the principle of responsibility and of piecework introduced into the educational field. According to Article 19 of the new code of 1871, the director of a school which is open at least 400 times during the year-either forenoon or afternoon--can claim six shillings for every child which attends school regularly all the year round, and, besides this, for every child examined at the annual examination by the schoolinspectors, 4 shillings if satisfactory in reading, 4 shillings if in writing, and 4 shillings if in arithmetic; making a total of 12 shillings.
Let this principle be introduced in Russia; let 1 or 2 roubles be given to the teacher or the priest for every child that can read and write, and the results will be surprising. But if progress is to be made, the gov. ernment must above every thing grant a liberal appropriation. The Emperor Alexander was fully convinced of the urgent necessity of energetic action, but to do anything at all much money was required. In a recent decree (December 25, 1873) addressed to Count Dmitri Tolstoï, the minister of public instruction, the Emperor, after giving a rapid sketch of the development of education during the last few years, insists in the strongest terms on the urgency of upholding, by constant
vigilance, the principles of faith, morality, and public duty in the numerous schools organized with a view to meet the demands of the age. The Emperor says: “ That which, according to my view, ought to contribute towards the sound education of the younger generations, should never become an instrument of demoralization, a danger of which some symptoms are alrearly showing themselves. To keep up popular education in the spirit of religion and morality is a task which belongs not only to the clergy, but to all enlightened men, especially the Russian nobility, which has been called to be the guardian of the public schools, by guarding them against dangerous and corrupting influences. To this effect, special rights have been conferred on the leaders of the nobility in their capacity of curators of the primary schools in their dis. tricts, and the minister of public instruction, in concert with the minister of the interior, is invited to come to an understanding with them, so as to enjoy their active co-operation in this great and useful work."
It is an indisputable fact that all the efforts of the nobility and the clergy will remain futile without considerable appropriations by the government. In 1870 Count Tolstoï demanded an increase of 200,000 roubles ($160,000) for the primary schools, and ouly got 100,000,($80,000.) It must be acknowledged, however, that quite recently the appropriation has been considerably increased. The sum expended for primary schools in 1871 amounted to 2,742,008 roubles, ($2,193,606,) of which sum 1,271,825 roubles ($1,017,460) were raised by the city and rural communities, 766,642 roubles ($613,313) by the provincial assemblies, and 703,541 roubles ($562,833) by the government. The government-appropriation, which at first was only 100,000 roubles, ($80,000,) has, there. fore, in a few years increased more than sixfold. The government, moreover, contributes 216,329 roubles ($173,036) towards the total annual cost of 334,351 roubles ($267,480) of the normal schools. The remainder of this sum has been raised by the provincial assemblies, by the interest from legacies, and by fees paid by the students. We must confess that these sums appear insignificant when compared with those expended for the same purposes in other countries, e. g., the United States or Germany. The city of Berlin recently voted an annual sum of $187,400 for five years for the erection of secondary schools. The wants of the primary schools in Russia are perfectly enormous. Nearly everywhere suitable school-houses are wanting. While official reports usually print everything in the brightest colors, the reports of Prince Gagarin and Count Tolstoï possess the great merit of concealing nothing, however disagreeable the truth may be.
STATISTICS OF THE RUSSIAN EDUCATIONAL REPORT OF 1871. The Russian report, published in 1871 by the minister of public instruc. tion, states that the regulations of 1864 have never been fully carried out. Of the 34 provinces where the zemstros (provincial councils) have been organized, only 14 have sent in very incomplete reports. In these 14 provinces, the most densely populated and the most civilized of the empire -St. Petersburg, Moscow, Poltava, Tver, Kostroma, Cherson, Jaroslaf, Ekaterinoslat, Charkof, Tambof, Orel, Kasan, Symbirsk, Penza-with 20,425,294 inhabitants, there were in January, 1870, 4,247 schools, with 4,982 teachers, of whom 3,516 were priests,) and 143,385 scholars, i.e., 1 scholar to every 142 inhabitants. In Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Saxony, and the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, there is 1 scholar to every 6 inhabitants. In the rural districts, the official report says, teachers are scarce and badly paid. The schools, small in number, are
. kept in the most unsuitable places, in the entries of large buildings or even by the side of the common prisons. In the district of Toula, according to the report published in French in 1872, only 12 of the 599 schools have a special school building, 70 are in government-offices, 59 in the guard houses attached to the churches, and the others in still worse places. The report says: “The bad location of most of the schools explains their very unsatisfactory condition, and is in every way injurious to the cause of public instruction. Badly-located schools, without competent teachers, without books and the most indispensable apparatus, are only calculated to create a general distrust of all education, and such distrust not unfrequently leads to the closing of the schools." Thus, in 1871, there was not a single school in the district of Tsaritsin, in the province of Saratof, because the schools had all been closed by the communal authorities and the buildings sold. 66 It must be confessed,” says the minister of public instruction, " that these are deplorable facts, but they are easily explained by the lack of sufficient funds. According to information furnished by the superintendents of the schooldistricts, each school did, on an average, not have more than 142 roubles ($113) per annum, a sum which is entirely inadequate, because the minimum for which a school can be supported is 250 roubles, ($200.) The distribution of the funds is, moreover, very unequal. The two-class model schools of the ministry of public instruction receive each from 885 to 1,226 roubles, ($708 to $981,) and among the schools of the provincial assemblies there are some which have from 600 to 1,020 roubles, ($180 to $816.) On the other hand, there are some schools, e. g., in the district of Gdovsk, in the province of St. Petersburg, which receive only 50, 25, and even 10 roubles, ($40, $20, and $8.) In order to put an end to such a deplorable state of affairs, it would be necessary to impose a schooltax on the communities and provinces proportionate to their resources and their wants, and, abore everything else, to grant considerable subsidies from the treasury of the empire.
DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING ACCURATE STATISTICS.
It is rather difficult to find out the exact number of primary schools; it seems that there are no complete official statistics, for the Russian