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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

It Wants Simplification Right Through

It Wants Simplification Right Through.

In the first place, it must be simplified in its government, so that the head-teacher shall now whom he has got to obey—whether the Department, the Board, the Committee, or whom. If he is to do his work efficiently, and, indeed, unless he is to lead the life of a toad under a harrow, he must have one master, and only one. The syllabus of subjects to be taught must also be simplified, with its pass subjects, and class subjects, and additional subjects, and, what is far worse, subjects that are class subjects in the lower standards, and pass subjects in the middle standards, and again class subjects in the upper standards. Once more I say Alas! for the mechanism of office; if it were not irreverent so to express oneself I would say, God Almighty ought to have been in office when he made the human mind if that is what is expected of it. Nor is this all. The day's work of the teacher in school must be greatly simplified by the abolition of home lessons, the supervision of which now so greatly interferes with his proper work, and the only excuse for which is that the children may be kept quiet at home in the evening. And finally, and most important of all, the annual examination must be simplified, but as this will form the principal topic of my paper I will postpone for a few minutes what I have to say about it whilst I pass rapidly in review the conclusions actually arrived at by the Conference. Of these final recommendations I do not intend to say much; with many of them, such as they are, I agree thoroughly. The one that comes to my mind first is that in connection with