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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Education Question

Education Question

is not, I think, correctly understood by some of my friends, who seem to think that I advocate the substitution of a denominational for the present system; that, of course, would mean abolishing the State schools. I do not propose that, nor am I opposed to the free and compulsory system. I am quite willing that the present system shall continue, but, believing as I do, that no satisfactory arrangements can be made for imparting religious instruction in the State schools, and that there are a very large number of parents who deplore the page 4 absence of such instruction, I am in favour of a capitation grant to any other schools, the course of secular instruction in which shall include the compulsory subjects in the State schools syllabus, and which shall be subject to the regulations of the Education Department relating to qualification of teachers, inspection, &c.

The plan I advocate would enable parents of my way of thinking to combine in establishing schools in which the high moral lessons to be found in the Bible may be inculcated. I am persuaded that there is no unsurmountable difficulty in the way of a common understanding being arrived at between most of the religious denominations as to the course of religious instruction to be given. Controversial points can be avoided, and they could all agree that the children should be taught to believe in God the Great Architect of the Universe, and their accountability for their deeds. Such a lesson must exercise a restraining influence on the rising generation, which would most assuredly tend to make them better citizens.