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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

Illustrated Agricultural Reading-Books for State Schools

Illustrated Agricultural Reading-Books for State Schools.

The Revising Committee remarked:—"That Government be asked to encourage the introduction of reading-books such as are used in the State schools of other countries, devoted to descriptions of stock, crops and implements and plants, illustrated with the best types of the above."

Mr Overton moved, "That the Government be encouraged to introduce into our public schools reading-books more descriptive of agriculture." He pointed out that they did not want that all the masters should engage in teaching agriculture. What was asked was that books descriptive of agriculture, stock and plants should be introduced into the schools, and as far as possible be used as reading-books. He read a letter from the Education Department, in which it was stated that Professor Thomas, of Auckland, was engaged by the department to prepare a book on botany and agriculture for use in the primary schools of the Colony. The idea is to use the book in the country districts where agriculture is the prevailing pursuit, and another book on geology to be used in the mining districts. The study of one of these books is to be the elementary science required in the schools in which the book is used.

Mr Hare, in seconding the motion, said that farmers had not taken sufficient interest in education up to the present. There were splendid opportunities for taking University degrees, but there were none for taking degrees in veterinary science.

Mr Chaytor said it was very desirable that children who were to make their living by agriculture should have some idea of matters which interested them.

Mr Kirkbride had much pleasure in supporting Mr Overton's motion. He considered it a step in the right direction.

The motion was agreed to.

Mr Hare moved, and Mr Borrie seconded, "That this Conference wishes to impress on the Minister of Agriculture the necessity of facilities being given for the study of veterinary science in New Zealand by cholarships, and to enable the winners to study at Lincoln College and in Britain, and that as an incentive to study, some vacancies, as they occur, be open to competitive examination for the appointment of stock inspectors."

The mover and seconder spoke briefly in favour of the motion, which was carried.