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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 41



50. The educational system of Victoria, the basis of which is that secular instruction shall be provided by the State, without payment, for all children whose parents may be willing to accept it, but that whether accepted or not, satisfactory evidence must be produced that all children are educated up to a given standard, has been most successful in its operation; and for securing the object sought to be attained, it is believed compares favourably with any other country in the world. In 1872, just before the present system came into operation, the number of children returned as attending school was 137,978, whilst in 1878, after the system had been in force for six years, the number had increased to 227,037, or nearly 65 per cent., although during the same, period the population of the colony had increased by only 14 per cent. It was officially estimated by the Government Statist that in 1878 all the children in Victoria between the ages of 6 and 15, except about 7 4-5ths per cent., were receiving education during some portion of the year. It has also been estimated that the children attending school for not less than thirty days in a quarter amounted to about 68 per cent, of the numbers on the rolls, a proportion of efficient school attendance which, it is believed, has been attained in but few countries.