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of either sex the designation of private tutor, &c. For these purposes the Empire is divided into a oertain number of districts or oiroles, presided over by a Curator for each, in subordination to the Minister of Public Instruction. Under the Curator are placed the Directors or Inspectors of each class of schools. The Director of the National Schools superintends also the training schools, the private schools, and the private teachers, in his province. In each province there is a School Council, to maintain connexion and unity, and develop sound pedagogic ideas. Ecclesiastic and military seminaries, and all others entrusted to special boards, are exempted from this system of administration.
In describing the national schools, the object in view is stated to be "the moral and intellectual education of the nation to such a degree, that every one should be able to understand his rights, and to fulfil his duties reasonably, as every man ought to do." Beginning with object-lessons, the designed course of primary instruction embraces religion, the vernacular, reading, writing, arithmetic, and singing. The limited space at our disposal will not admit of much detail; and the explanation of what is intended under the head "religion," may suflice as a specimen of the fuller explanations given.
"The instruction in religion," runs the Project, "is intended to develop in the children the sentiment of piety, to root firmly in their hearts love of God and love of their neighbour, and to elevate their minds to every thing that is good and noble. With this intention, explanations will be given of the principal prayers and the Shorter Catechism, and a short Bible history is explained. To this course will be added the reading of the Gospel and the Epistles in the Bussian language, the explanation of the Liturgy, and the signification of the most important festivals. During the reading of the Gospel, the attention of the pupils will be principally directed to the most important features of the earthly career of the Saviour."
A degree of proficiency in the vernacular "must absolutely be attained," including pure pronunciation, „ free from local and provincial peculiarities," with "correct oral and written expression;" and "pupils belonging to the orthodox persuasion are bound also to undergo instruction in the reading of books printed in the Sclavonic character." The books, and the use of them, are to be so arranged as to instruct the children in natural objects and phenomena, the history and geography of their country, the local situation of their native region, and its productions and phenomena, and mode of life, and as to "clear their minds of prejudice and superstition." Stress is laid upon singing, as "a means of exciting feelings of religion and piety," and of providing " good singers for the services of the church;" but, "to accustom them to an intellectual and elegant mode of passing their leisure time," the children may be taught such secular songs as, in subject and sentiment, shall harmonise with the aims of the school. If private individuals or societies desiro a complemental course in accordance with local wants, it may be introduced, on the proposers paying the expense.
The school term is to extend from the close of field labours till their resumption, the mean duration not to be less than six months. In towns and trading villages, schooling will go on the whole year round, except a summer vacation of from six to eight weeks. The schools will be closed on Sundays and holy days. They will daily open and close with prayer. The school hours will be oneand-twenty weekly, three of which must be given to religion. Children of all classes and denominations are admissible on being seven years old, and though utterly ignorant. It is at the discretion of the Minister of Public Instruction, whether, in any national school, the instruction shall be gratuitous or not. Girls may not be associated with boys, after the former have attained the age of thirteen years. To scholars who, on examination, shall be found to have satisfactorily completed the course of instruction, are to be given testimonials, signed by the Curator, the Teacher of Religion, and the Master or Mistress. Persons destitute of this credential, and who cannot produce from the nearest school a duly attested certificate that they know the principal prayers, and can read and write, are "ineligible for any honorary public functions." When such persons join a guild of trade, take out a certificate to trade, or apply for a passport, they will have to pay double the amount imposed by law. To this fine will be liable all persons, of both sexes, in the predicament described, who, on the day of the publication of the regulations, shall have attained the age of sixteen. The proceeds of the fine will be devoted to local educational purposes.
In each school there will be teachers of religion and of secular learning,—as many of each as the classes into which the school is divided. One of the two will teach singing; but, if neither can, a Musical Instructor will be specially appointed. In female schools, and in mixed schools, all the teachers may be females, except those who teach religion. This is the duty of the local clergy. But, if from any reason these cannot attend, the school teacher will be required to instruct the children in the most important prayers, with the explanation in the Shorter Catechism, and to go through the Bible History according to a book approved by the Holy Synod. The Parish Priest, however, is to examine the children when he visits the place, and to supply whatever he may find deficient.
The conditions of holding teacherships in national schools are, that the males shall have Teachers' Institute certificates, and the females be certified as knowing the course, and being practised in tuition. Till such teachers can be provided in sufficient numbers, other persons of approved learning may be appointed, including, in rural districts, priests and deacons of parish churches.
Corporal punishment is to have no place in the discipline of the schools. "The measures which the teacher may find it necessary to adopt for the correction of offenders, must be such as to develop and cherish in them the moral sentiment; and, therefore, corporal punishments are in no possible case permitted." The enlightened considerations under which this unqualified interdict is introduced in a country unenviably famous for the "Knout," are ably stated in an Explanatory Note, and may be regarded as indicative of great general advance in Russian ideas.
The national schools are not necessarily supported by the State, although, in every case, under its supreme control. They are established at the desire of "the local, municipal, or rural communities, without assistance from the State or with such assistance, which is given only in such cases where * * * the local community shall appear to be actually destitute of the means required." The General Assembly of the town or village desiring a school must agree to afford a locality, to supply fire and light, with all needful apparatus and furniture—to pay salaries, in towns, of 250 roubles to the master, and 80 to the religious instructor; in villages, 200 to the one, and 50 to the other, besides due payment to the teacher of singing. Private individuals may both found national schools and teach in them, subject to the regulations. Unaided schools may be opened without preliminary permission, the masters being duly authorised to teach. Rotation, or itinerant, schools are to be provided for wider districts thinly peopled. Two such districts may unite for this purpose. Special school funds are, as far as possible, to be established in every community.
For the purposes of management, each school is to have a Curator chosen by his community for three years, when he will be eligible for re-election. These, it is expected, will often be landed proprietors or parish priests; but any one is eligible who can read and write, and dwells near the school. These Curators, though not accounted in the service of the State, are, for the time, to be exempt from all other communal service, and may, if nobles or merchants, wear the undress uniform coat of the eighth class of the Ministry of Public Instruction; or, if simple burgesses or peasant*, a blue kaftan, with silver lace on collar and cufis. After twelve years' service, national school teachers, originally belonging to the peasant or the burgher class, are to be raised to the rank of "personal honorary citizen;" and, if they distinguish themselves by zeal for twenty years, they may, on the intercession of the authorities, attain to the grade of "hereditary honorary citizen." Pensions and medals of certain orders also are within their reach.
We observe, that, in the oversight of the teachers under his charge, the Curator is to take with him "the consent of the community " when reporting decisively against "the incompetent and negligent." It is part also of his duty to see that the funds to pay expenses are "at least four months in advance." Further, he is to exercise his supervision over " as well day as Sunday schools;" and, as the ability to read and write becomes disseminated, to connect with each school "a library of books calculated for general perusal."
It is provided, that, in provinces where the national schools are more than seventy, an Inspector shall be appointed to assist the Provincial Director in yearly visiting and examining both public and private schools; two Inspectors where the schools exceed 150; and three where they reach 200. Observers familiar with the mode of appointing Inspectors in England, will remark, that, in Russia, Provincial Directors are hereafter to be selected from among Inspectors, and Inspectors from among trained teachers who have served ten years with credit. In the mean time, even University men are not to fill these posts unless they have also served ten years in the Education Department. Directors are to be nominated or dismissed by the Curator of the Circle, subject to confirmation by the Minister of Public Instruction; they are to superintend Training Institutes as well as Schools; and they are to make yearly a full report to the Curator above them on every branch of the subject. They are empowered to confirm appointments and dismissals of Teachers and Assistants by local Curators; to appoint eligible Teachers at the Curator's request; and to present for "rewards and gratifications" the names of deserving Inspectors, Curators, and Teachers. In the internal economy of schools exclusively supported by the local community, the Director must not interfere; yet is he bound to see that they actually receive the income guaranteed, and, should that be insufficient, to communicate with the proper authority, in order to obtain more.
The Training Institutes for Teachers are described as "close institutions on a family footing, to give the pupils the example of« modest, tranquil, yet active mode of life." They are to be supported by payments from the Imperial Treasury four months in advance. But communities or even private individuals may found them, with the same privileges as if founded by the State. There will be a Teacher to each class, such teachers forming the directing council, under the presidency of one of them, selected by the Circle Curator, as Inspector of the Institute. This functionary will select the others, who, reported by the Council, through the provincial Director, to the Circle Curator, will be confirmed by authority. The duties of religious instructor are confided to one of the local clergy, elected by the Institute Inspector with the concurrence of the diocesan authorities, and confirmed by the Circle Curator. An "agronomist" will have charge of the gardens and model farm, and will instruct the pupils in such occupations. Sixteen is the minimum age of admission, Each candidate must have been vaccinated, and be free from such defects as epilepsy, scrofula, weak chest, imperfect sight, and stammering speech. Pupils belonging to the class of subjects liable to taxation, are to be exempt from the payment of imposts, from military service, and from other burdens. The pupils are to live five in a room, the senior superintending. Having completed the Institute course, they will be bound to teach in national schools for not less than six years. Those who are indigent will be clothed at the public expense. The teaching in the Institutes is to correspond in range (for the most part) to that in national schools, and not to be extended until it shall bo found expedient to raise the standard in those schools. "The instruction in religion,'' for example, "is limited to the course of the national schools, and therefore consists equally of the historic and dogmatic portion of theology; but, at the same time, the age of the pupils, and their future professional destination, allow of the possibility of uniting to the dogmatic part further and more detailed explanations, and enlarging the historical portion by the reading of selected extracts from the Russian translation of the Bible." As one means of teaching the art of teaching and of discipline, "on particular occasions, the teacher discusses with the pupils the conduct of the younger scholars, [in the practising schools,] and especially their infractions of discipline, pointing out the means of preventing or of correcting them."