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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30


page 17


Table Showing Age and Sex of Pupils, December, 1886.
Ages. Boys. Girls. Total.
Five and under seven years 11,000 10,024 21,024
Seven and under ten years 20,601 18,964 39,565
Ten and under thirteen years 16,967 15,740 32,707
Thirteen and under fifteen years 5,589 5,253 10,842
Over fifteen years 973 1,217 2,190
Total No. on Roll 55,130 51,198 106,328
Table Showing Classification by Standards, Dec., 1886.
Standards. Boys. Girls. Total.
Preparatory Classes P. 15,675 13,781 29,456
Class for Standard I 9,518 8,990 18,508
Class for Standard II 8,548 8,047 16,595
Class for Standard III 8,407 8,060 16,467
Class for Standard IV 6,303 5,999 12,302
Class for Standard V 3,860 3,664 7,524
Class for Standard VI 1,965 1,844 3,809
Passed Standard VI. (S. VII.) 854 813 1,667
Totals 55,130 51,198 106,328

It is sometimes asserted that Standards V. and VI. are of little value to working men, as they cannot afford to keep their children at school to take advantage of them. The above table is a complete answer to such an assertion, as it will be seen that at the end of 1886 there were 13,000 pupils on the school books who had passed Standard IV.; 13,000 out of a total of 106,000. These figures tell plainly that the Upper Standards are highly appreciated by parents, and it speaks well for their prudence and self-sacrifice, that during times of severe depression they manage to keep their children at school so long.

page 18
Table Showing Average Age of Pupils at Standard Examinations.
Years. Months.
Standard I. is passed at the age of 8
Standard II. is passed at the age of 9 10¾
Standard III. is passed at the age of 11
Standard IV. is passed at the age of 12 6
Standard V. is passed at the age of 13
Standard VI. is passed at the age of 14 2

The above Table suggests one or two points of great interest. It shows that pupils pass the fourth Standard at an average age of 12 years 6 months. Now suppose the school doors closed against these pupils, what are they to do? They may be, as some contend they are, more matured than those of the same age, say in Britain. But even so, what are they fit for physically? No master or mistress cares to employ a boy or girl under 14 years of age, and by reference to the above Table it will be seen that our boys and girls pass the Sixth Standard at a trifle over that age.

Percentage of Passes in Standards.

For the information of members of Committees and parents it may be well to mention that the percentage of passes in the Standards for 1886 was, for the whole colony, 42½. For the year 1885 it was 71. The difference was accounted for in the fact that the basis of calculation had been altered. Before January, 1886, the passes were reckoned on the number presented by teachers, who were allowed to withhold from presentation any child they deemed unprepared.

After the 1st of January, 1886, however, the passes had to be reckoned on the total number on the roll. Under the old system a teacher might present, say 40 out of every 100 on the roll. If 35 out of the 40 presented passed, the passes were said to be 87 per cent. But, as will appear clearly, there were but 35 per cent, of the roll number who passed. Under the present system every child whose name is on the roll is page 19 reckoned as being presented, so that the percentage is lowered. In a school at the examination of 1885 the passes might be as above. In 1886 the teacher might pass just as many of his scholars out of every 100, and yet his percentage of passes would be but 35. Through ignorance of this change of the basis of calculation, many Committees were considerably troubled when they received the Inspectors' reports upon their schools for 1886. In some cases teachers were called in to explain how it was that the school was going to the dogs. And it was commonly reported that many Committees were denied the satisfaction of publishing the Inspector's report, as they were thoroughly ashamed of the low percentage of passes. It would be for the best interests of the schools if less importance were attached to the number of passes, and more attention paid to the very many other points which characterise good schools. Both Committees and teachers may be well satisfied if, with other points satisfactory, they get anything over 30 per cent, of passes.

Number of Schools, December, 1886.

The total number of Schools in the colony on Dec., 1886, was 1,084, with an average of 85,343 in attendance. It is upon this average that the Capitation Grant is made.

Schools with under 15 pupils 71
Schools with 15 and under 20 pupils 96
Schools with 20 and under 25 pupils 106
Schools with 25 and under 50 pupils 371
Schools with 50 and under 75 pupils 129
Schools with 75 and under 100 pupils 83
Schools with 100 and under 150 pupils 72
Schools with 150 and under 300 pupils 67
Schools with 300 and under 500 pupils 35
Schools with 500 and more 24
Total 1,054
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