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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62



New Zealand is not behindhand in the matter of education. We have (as a Colony) long ago realised that it is a duty incumbent on the government of a country to see to it that the children who may be born into it shall be educated, and that the rising generation shall not grow up in ignorance, which is the father of crime. In order that no child may go uneducated because of the inability of its parents to pay, therefore our national schools are absolutely free to all. In order that there may be no denominationalism our National Schools are secular, and in order that no child may grow up in ignorance (because of the apathy of its parents), the attendance of every child page 36 which is not being otherwise educated is made compulsory. We have 1,200 of these grand National Schools presided over by 2,978 certificated teachers, including head masters and mistresses, of high qualifications. The scholars attending these schools number 118,000, and the amount spent by the Colony in their support is nearly £400,000 per annum. These schools, which are termed primary, not only teach the three R's, reading, writing, and arithmetic, but English grammar and composition, geography, history, elementary science, drawing, object lessons, vocal music, needlework, and domestic econony.

In addition to these Primary Schools the State supports 22 Superior Schools, such as High Schools, Grammar Schools and colleges, where an excellent education in the higher branches is bestowed. These schools are attended by 2,117 scholars, and are instructed by 123 regular professors and teachers, besides 22 visiting teachers. The annual cost exceeds £51,000, of which only £20,000 is paid by the parents of the pupils. So that the State furnishes a substantial portion of even this secondary system of education, showing that we appreciate education even at the Antipodes. In addition to this we have our New Zealand University with three university colleges and 1,161 undergraduates, many of whom have already taken degrees.