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formerly of the Calcutta Free Church Institution, témarked :--• “Several of their Missionary Schools in Iudia had been affiliated with the Universities. They had agreed to take the lists of books and subjects prescribed for University examinations by the senates, which were very mixed bodies of men. He felt it was a grave question to be considered, whether, as Missionaries they were justified in putting themselves in the position of being bound to take lists of works which upon the whole might not be what they themselves would have chosen. And then there was another point connected with this subject, the general secularisiny influence possibly resulting from having in view, the preparation of young men to pass examinations for degrees. Formerly they had simply laboured to evangelise ; now there was an additional object in view, that their young men should be able to pass certain examinations." Report, p. 146.
The Bishop of Calcutta, Dr. Duff, and others, have been able to secure some very beneficial arrangements. A few admirable selections have been made as subjects for university examinations. On the whole, however, theinfluence of the secular party generally predominates. Some leading men, holding the antiquated ideas formerly current at Oxford, make instruction in the classical languages one great aim. Instead of the students acquiring a thorough acquaintance with English and knowledge through its medium which would expand their minds, much of their time is now wasted in endeavouring to gain a smattering of Latin, Sanscrit, or Arabic. Some objectionable English books have been chosen for examinations. Pope's Essay on Man contains deadly poison to a Hindu; to study the fascinating pages of Byron in Missionary Institutions would not be approved of by many Christians at home. But the greatest indifference has been shown with regard to the Vernaculars. Idolatry, pantheism, transmigration, fatalism, immorality, and deceit; are inculcated in several works prescribed.* It is
* The Compiler has brought the subject officially before the Senate of the Madras University, giving some quotations.
objected that the language has been the great consideration. One is reminded of a story told of a prince-archbishop in the Middle Ages. A peasant was scandalised at the dignitary's indulging in oaths. The reply was, “ I swear as a prince, not as an archbishop.” The scholarship and morals of the students cannot be considered as totally apart.
The Lahore Chronicle made the following observations on the general written examination prescribed by the Punjab Director of Public Instruction :
“Another remark which must be made has reference to Mission or Grant-in-aid schools. The teachers and scholars in these Institutions spend or ought to spend a great deal of time, strength, and labor, on studies not embraced in the Director's scheme, and consequently not included in the examination papers. For example, the Bible, Evidences of Christianity, &c. occupy a prominent place and fill up much of the time in - Mission Schools. All this must be either in addition to the studies in the (iovernment curriculum, or to the exclusion of some and the slighting of others.
" It is to be feared, however, that the tendency will be (if it has not already been) to induce managers of Grant-in-aid schools to make their institutions less Missionary, less Christian, and more secular and heathen in their tone and curriculum, in order to make a finer show and cut a better figure in Reports. The more Missionary in character, the greater difficulty in competing. The less Missionary the more marks !” April 15, 1863,
The compiler asked the Principal* of a Missionary College, whether the Evidences of Christianity formed one of the subjects of study. The reply was, "No; we have no time for it.” Formerly the chief question auged to be, Had you any baptisms last year ? Now, often it is, How many of your students passed ?
If instead of tamely accepting everything superstitious, or other wise objectionable, prescribed by a university, a vigorous stand was taken and an appeal
* No longer in India
made to enlightened public opinion, a reform might be brought about.
The conclusion which the compiler would draw may best be expressed in the words of Dr. Candlish :
“ The relation of our Institution to the Government College, and the appearing of our pupils for final examination at the Government College, and taking honours, makes it all the more needful that the conductors of our Institution should be possessed of that spiritual vis vivida, of which Dr. Duff speaks in his
It may be observed, that Government Grants to Vernacular Schools are considered to be less liable to injurious consequences. Some Missionaries say that the visits of the Government Inspector relieve them of the task of looking after the secular branches, and enable them to devote their whole time to the religious instruction.
Perhaps the chief change required is a rule similar to the following in England :
“ 13. The Committee of Council consults the religious or educational bodies which are mentioned in article 30 before making representations to Her Majesty for the appointment of Inspectors to visit schools in connexion with these several bodies.” Revised Code. • No European infidel, or heathen with perhaps idol marks in his forehead, should be allowed to visit Mission Schools.
MEASURES FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATION.
Teachers are probably the most neglected class of Mission Agents. While some schools are well conducted, a large proportion are not doing one-fourth of the good that might be accomplished.
Some of the means necessary to raise the standard of education may be noticed.
* Speech at Conference on Foreign Missions, November 23, 1861,
1. The Establishment of Training Institutions It is almost as impossible to obtain efficient teachers without Normal Schools, as to have good physicians without Medical Colleges. ..-2. Periodical Meetings with Teachers. -Evidence has been adduced (see p. 261) to show the need of this. Subjects of study and criticism lessons should be prescribed. When the Missionary cannot take the teachers himself, a superior Native Agent should undertake the duty.
- 3. An adequate supply of suitable Books.-Remarks have already been made under this head.
4. Systematic Examination and careful Inspection.-Indolence is a besetting sin in a climate like India. However thoroughly teachers may have been trained, in general they can be kept up to their work only by strict supervision. By a little arrangement, this need not take much time. The same lessons should be prescribed for all schools of a similar grade. Those within easy distance may be brought together, and corresponding classes examined at once. Besides saving time, this acts as a stimulus both to teachers and scholars.
Vernacular Schools under untrained teachers, especially at any distance, are in general worthless without careful supervision. Much of the value of schools consists in the aid they give to other branches of Mission work. A kind of hold is gained over a village by a school ; but this is in a great measure thrown away, if not followed up by preaching and visits from the Missionary.*
* See Papers in the Ootacamund and the Punjab Conference Re. ports. Every Missionary with schools under his care should study two or three books on education, as Stow's Training System, Dunn's Normal School Manual, Gill's School Management, Currie's Early and Common School Education, &c. There is a small volume, " Hints on" Education in India, with special reference to Vernacular Schools," by the compiler,
XVI. CHRISTIAN LITERATURE. Native Literature - Few Missionaries know any thing about the books issued by the Native presses even in the towns where they reside. Any information available is chiefly due to the exertions of one man-the Rev. J. Long. Yet few things deserve more attention. Popular literature affords great insight into the Native mind. The Missionary acquainted with it is less likely to fight “as one that beateth the air.” An accurate knowledge of it is of special importance as a guide in the preparation of Christian books.
Limited Circulation.-- Christian literature has had to encounter two classes of obstacles. I. Difficulties arising from the state of the people ; II. Circumstances connected with the books themselves. : Among the first class may be mentioned the following :
1. The small proportion of readers. The number is supposed to vary in different parts from one in 300 to 10 per cent. Official inquiry gave 2 per cent. as the proportion in Mysore. Mr. H. Woodrow estimates, that including every variety of Schools, in the richest and most populous portion of the Province of Bengal, there are about three persons in every hundred under education.
2. The low intellectual state of the people. As described in a previous chapter, it is still the mythological period with the masses. Ballads and tales, like those in the Arabian Nights, alone are relished. The want of general information renders many subjects totally uninteresting even to many who can read.
Indifference to spiritual religion is not specially noticed, as not peculiar to India.
There are impediments from the second source. .
1. Want of adaptation. The Rev, J. Long remarks :
- The Hindus in their own writings show a great fondness for