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the examinations for the ordinary it to them. It is not merely that M.A. degree is rising steadily, if they know little Latin, and make slowly, in quality ; but the num- perpetual blunders on elementary ber of students who come up to points of grammar; but their the university with insufficient minds have not been systematically training is still very large, and the trained, either in that or in any proportion seems scarcely to have other subject. They have not been diminished. The University of systematically taught to get up and Glasgow has established an en- to master any intellectual subject trance examination for all students whatever. They do not understand below the age of seventeen, and the principles of language, they has thus prevented boys who cannot take in and assimilate in ought still to be at school, and an intelligent way the explanations who cannot pass that examination, which are given to them. They from obtaining university privi- have not been taught to think, or leges; but the main difficulty has to express themselves clearly, not always been with students above always even grammatically, in their that age. The best test that I can own language. Not a few even of give in Latin is derived from the those who pass the examination for numbers of the Junior Latin class. the Middle class labour more or less That class consists of those who under the same difficulties. These either fail to pass the simple ex- students may know the main forms amination required for entrance to of the language moderately well,the Middle class, or who prefer to they may have learnt the more enter the Junior class rather than common parts of the accidence by face the ordeal of the examination. heart,—but their minds are not
the past session the Junior trained instruments; they have Latin class contained 119 students, not been taught to discern and apof whom 81 failed to pass the ex- preciate the fine distinctions upon amination, whilst at least one-half the perception of which all scholarof the remainder would probably ship depends, and which constitutes have done so had they attempted the real educational value of clasit. I have before me the results of sical training; they have little a similar examination with a similar quickness and versatility in apply. standard for the year 1874-75, and ing what they know or learn, unI find that the proportion of those less it be presented to them exactwho failed in the latter year was ly in the same way as that in which no greater, scarcely so great, as they originally learned it. Hence the proportion of those who have their progress is necessarily slow, failed in this. In other words, and is perpetually retarded, not of the total number of students merely by ignorance of Latin, but coming up to the university in the by an ignorance of English and by year 1886-87, fully as large a pro- a want of general knowledge, and portion were insufficiently prepared in consequence a large proportion in Latin as in the year 1874-75. of the best teaching of the class Now such students, so far as Latin passes over their heads altogether. is concerned, ought not to be at- Now if we look at the age of tending the university at all. The these students, we do not find that work which they need to do is not they are mere boys. Out of 119 university work, but school work; who constitute the junior class, and the university is not fitted, only 17 are below seventeen years and ought not to be fitted, to give of age; and we may regard seven
teen as being the natural and here is, that only 20 per cent of the normal age for entering the uni- students in the Junior and Middle versity. With regard, therefore, classes taken together were eduto the 102 students who are above cated at secondary schools. A comseventeen years of age, the evil parison with former years shows does not consist in the fact that that the proportion of such stuthey have entered the university dents is declining; for in 1873-74 too soon, but that they never car- the proportion of such students ried their school course to a satis- was 35 per cent; in 1874-75, it factory point at all. Some of them was 34 per cent. It would appear have not been at school for years, that from that time onwards the having been engaged in various percentage of students educated at employments during the interval. secondary schools has decreased,
2. Now, what are the schools until now it amounts to no more from which these 119 defectively- than 20 per cent.
On the other trained students come ? 50 of hand, the proportion of students the number have never had any who have supplemented an eleother education but that of the mentary school education with a ordinary public school; 45 have year or more at a higher school has received their main education at increased. In 1875-76 the proporsuch schools, supplemented with a tion of such students was no more year or two at a secondary school; than 9 per cent; in the present 23 only were educated at secondary year it amounts to 31 per cent. schools. If we take the schools at It will be interesting further to which the whole body of students compare the total number of stuboth in the Middle and Junior dents in all the Latin classes taken classes were educated – that is, together-Senior, Middle, and Junpractically, the whole of the ordi- ior--in two different years. The nary first-year students--the re- addition of the Senior class into the sult is that, of the whole number, calculation makes a marked differonly 20 per cent were educated en- ence upon the figures, as that class tirely at secondary schools, while includes most of those well-prepared 46 per cent were educated entirely students who are able on entering at elementary schools; 31 per cent to pass the preliminary examinawere educated partly at elementary tion for the three-years' course. A and partly at secondary schools, comparison of the years 1875-76 and 3 per cent privately or away and 1886-87 comes out as follows. from Scotland.
Of the total number of students The most remarkable fact to note there were-
5 It will thus be seen that there has public schools, as well as in that been a serious decrease in the of those who have added a year or number of students who have re- two of secondary education to an ceived a complete education at elementary school course. secondary schools; there has been 3. The next point to consider a distinct increase in the number is the character of the work of those who come from ordinary done at the university by stu
dents coming from these differ- and 1885-86. Out of a total of ent classes of schools. For this
121 prizes gained in all the Latin purpose let us take first the vari- classes in those three years, I ous higher examinations, the pass- find that 89 were carried off ing of which implies distinction by students who had been eduon the part of the student. The cated for not less than three years best first-year students enter for at a secondary school : only 30 by the Preliminary Examination, students either entirely educated which admits to the three-years' at elementry schools, or who had
in Arts. In November been for less than three years at a 1886, 35 students passed this secondary school. In the Greek examination in Latin. Of these, classes for the same three years no less than 31 were educated at there were 143 prizes gained. Of secondary schools. Previous years these, 108 were gained by secondexhibit similar figures : and it may ary school students (defined be said generally, that almost the above), only 33 by elementary whole of those who pass this ex- school students. This test, howamination come from secondary ever, is scarcely sufficient in itschools. The main exceptions self. It is no doubt a fact that, come from Garnethill and simi- in many cases, students who have lar schools, in which a system- had an imperfect previous trainatic effort is made to organise a ing at school make good their regular secondary course. Second, deficiencies at the university;
us take the annual Bursary and it might be expected that in Competition, success in which is the later years of the university the great object of ambition for first- course, especially in the subjects year students. In November 1885 of Literature and Philosophy, the there were 59 names placed upon difficulties caused by a lack of clasthe distinguished list. Of these, sical training at the outset would 49 came from secondary schools, 4 be overcome, and that the greater from Garnethill, 2 from other pub- zeal and ability of students who lic schools. In November 1886, have found their way to the unithere were 44 names on this list. versity from elementary schools Of these, 40 came from secondary would enable them to come conschools in Scotland, 2 from similar spicuously to the front. But the schools in England, 2 from public facts as a whole show that this schools under School Boards in is not so. The secondary school Scotland. These facts tell their students appear to retain their own tale. They show that, except advantage from the beginning of in cases where special provision has the course to the end, though been made to add on a systematic there is undoubtedly a certain course of really higher instruction, proportion of students who bethe ordinary board-schools cannot long to the class described above, prepare students so as to take a and who inake such good use of distinguished place when they enter their time at the university that the university.
they rise above many of those Next, let us examine the vari- who outstripped them during their ous prize-lists in the different first session. I may explain that classes of the university. I take the figures here given, though first the prizes that have been substantially accurate, are not exgained in the Latin classes in the haustive, as there is a small numthree sessions, 1883-84, 1884-85, ber of the prizemen whose school
statistics I have not been able to the Mathematical and Natural
This defect, however, will Philosophy classes form a distinct not alter the proportion for the contrast to the figures given above ; numbers given. Thus, of those and it is evident at a glance that who gained prizes in the English the mathematical and arithmetical Literature class during the three training in the ordinary public years given above, and under the schools of the country is of a same conditions, twenty-nine prize- higher quality than their literary men were educated at secondary work. In the Mathematical class, schools, nineteen at ordinary public during the three sessions already schools. In the class of Logic, given, the elementary schools have sixty prizemen were educated at the superiority: 47 prizes were secondary schools, twenty-nine at gained by secondary school stuelementary schools. In the Moral dents, as against 61 by students Philosophy class, forty-seven prize- from elementary schools. But in men were educated at secondary the Natural Philosophy class the schools, twenty-seven at elemen- proportion is reversed : 27 prizes tary schools. And it should be were gained by secondary school observed that amongst those classed students, 24 by elementary. It will as coming from elementary schools be observed here that in peither have been included all those who case do the elementary school have supplemented their elemen- students hold their own proportary school education with one or tionately for their numbers with two years at a secondary school. the others; and in Natural PhilosoIf we take the whole of the five phy, where higher mental capacliterature classes together, the re- ity is called into play, the majorsult is as follows: 333 prizemen ity of the prizemen come from in all were educated at secondary secondary schools. schools, as against 138 only at an Now are these conclusions true of elementary school; and it is to Glasgow only. Through the kindbe noted that even of those who ness of some of the professors in the are put down as belonging to ele- University of Edinburgh, I have mentary schools, a considerable pro- obtained similar statistics with reportion-between one-half and one- gard to the prizemen in that univerthird-have supplemented their sity also. They are not quite comelementary school education with plete, and I have no statistics to one or two years at a secondary show whether the proportion beschool. We have thus the very tween elementary and secondary remarkable result that, whereas school students is or is not the same only from twenty to thirty per as that which prevails in Glasgow ; cent of our students—less than but taking all the prizemen for one-third of the entire number- the present year in the classes of have obtained the whole of their Latin, Greek, Logic, and Matheeducation at secondary schools, matics, I find that by far the largthese students carry off at least est number of prizes were gained three times as many prizes in the by students coming from secondary literary classes as those coming schools, and that students educated from public or other elementary at elementary schools did not gain schools. In other words, their more than 20 per cent, in some numbers are as one to three, their cases rising to 30 per cent, of the distinctions are as three to one. total number of prizes gained.
The results of the work done in All these facts point in the same
direction. They show that a stu- country in a prosperous, or even dent who has been systematically satisfactory condition. trained from the commencement
No doubt there are many cases with a view to a higher education, of students of ability, nay, even of has the advantage over other stu- genius, coming from the humblest dents throughout the world of his homes in the country, who could university course. They show that never have approached the univerit is only in comparatively rare in- sity at all had they been obliged stances—instances in which, with- to enter it through the portal of a out great natural ability, and with secondary school. But such stuout an ambition to correspond, the dents are the exception, not the student would probably never have rule. Men of such fibre and quathought of coming to the univer- lity are pretty certain to rise to sity at all—that the deficiencies of their natural level under any cirearly training can be made up for cumstances, and they know how during the years of the university to take advantage of the very slen
They show conclusively derest opportunities for higher that it is to the secondary schools education which may have been of the country that the universities afforded to them. But in dealing must look for the supply of their with national education, we must best brain-power; and that if we consider not so much the exceptions are to reach a really high level of as the mass; and if we expect the attainment in the universities, it higher education of the country to must be by encouraging, by im- be maintained at a high level by proving, by calling into existence cases which are necessarily excepsecondary schools—or let us rather tional in their character, the whole say schools, by whatever name they public machinery of education may be called, in which a really will break down. We must prosystematic course of secondary vide for the average student the education is carried out. Those kind and amount of education who consider that it is the main which experience has shown that function of the university to the average student requires. We reach a high standard of excel- will hail with acclamation those lence, and that to the country who can rise in spite of the deficiat large the quality of the work encies of our educational machinery, done by Ilonour students is of more but we must not make their case importance than the work done by a reason for dispensing with that Pass students, must regard
must regard the machinery altogether. students who have received a high Comparisons
frequently previous training as forming the drawn between the higher educavery life-blood of the university. tion given at elementary public It is a matter, therefore, of essen- schools of to-day, with that which tial importance to the interests of used to be given in the old parish the higher learning of the country, schools of Scotland; but the anand to the universities themselves, alogy is a misleading one. that public attention should be old parish schoolmaster was freattracted to this fact, that it is quently successful in preparing to the maintenance, proper equip- students for the university, partly ment, and, if necessary, the im- because he was himself probably a provement of secondary schools, university man, partly perhaps bethat we must look if we desire to cause he devoted to them too large see the higher education of the a proportion of his time. The