Page images

was brought from £10,000 in very liberal years down to £5,000, and even less when more roads were required. In short the educational estimates were framed scarcely so much by the requirements of the Island as regulated according to the necessity for outlay in other directions. The educational department appears to have been one of most convenient elasticity or compressibility. If His Excellency Major General K. C. B. required or fancied he required new quarters for his Private Secretary or better stables for his horses, the amount needed for them was squeezed out of the educational estimates. “If the Commander of the forces fancied that the ordnance sheds or the lascar's huts would be more pleasant to the eye for a new verandah, half a score of schoolmasters were forthwith knocked off the year's estimates to meet the outlay.”

The sums voted for educational purposes in Ceylon are disbursed either in the up-keep of regular establishments where pupils are received and educated at very low fees, or by grants-inaid to private establishments, in which case the schools so aided must be in some degree under the supervision and control of the Government Inspector of Schools.

At Coloinbo there is a Principal Academy and Central School which, as Government establishments, have at one period reached a high degree of efficiency. Some of the most talented practitioners at the Colombo bar were there educated, and amongst others the late and present Deputy Queen's Advocates. Before the alterations which were unwisely made about the year 1847, the following was the annual cost of educating a pupil at each of the principal schools of the Island. At the Academy, ...

£ 4 10 0 At the Central School, Colombo, ...

5 16 0 At the Central School, Galle,

8 199 At the Central School, Kandy, ...

2 16 0 At the Native Normal Institution,

. 18 10 0 If the Model School of the Academy were considered apart from the Academy, the result would show a still smaller sum as the cost of each pupil, viz. ... ... ... £ 2 13 0

In 1817 or early in 1848 the fees at the Colombo Academy were raised from 38. to 58. monthly : the effect of this sudden change was soon discernible. The pupils fell off from 222 to 38. Of course the increase in the fees could not compensate for the much smaller number of scholars and the nett cost of educating these thirty-eight pupils in 1848 amounted to £31 for each. Subsequently to this, the Fee was again raised to £l monthly, which caused the pupils to decline to nineteen, their cost to the public being about £28 per head.

In 1817 the total number of Schools conducted or aided by Government was one hundred and twenty-two, ranging in the number of their scholars between two hundred and twenty and sixteen.

A portion, though until lately but to a limited amount, of the annual grants was spent in translations of useful school books into the vernacular. The success of the earlier efforts at creating a native educational series induced more attention to be given to the matter, and in the Blue Book for 1846 we find the following remarks on the subject :

“To the Department of Translation the School Commission is now applying more sedulously than formerly, and a sum of £468 has been estimated for the service of the year in this Department.

“In connection with Vernacular education, the School Commission which I am happy to say under the Presidency of the Bishop of Colombo, continues to give its services in the cause of education as formerly, has represented to me the expediency of doing more in the cause of Vernacular education; and it has been agreed that 30 new Vernacular Schools shall be established this year if practicable, for which a sum of £1142 has been voted. They will be conducted by Masters who during the last two years have been under training in the Native Normal Seminary, an institution which is admirably conducted by the Rev. Mr. Kessen. Here 40 young men and 10 young women, all Singhalese, receive a suitable education, and adequate subsistence-money at a cost not exceeding £750 per annum. The esta. blishment of these Schools will commence in the month of June, and I trust the result may be such as to justify the opinion which is gaining ground among thinking people, that education in the Vernacular, especially of females, is likely to do more for the improvement of the character and usefulness of the Natives, than attempts to impart a knowledge of English in places where there is no demand for it, and where the little that is learned at School is soon forgotten on leaving


“At present about one-fifth of the entire sum devoted to educa. tional purposes (viz. £12,600) is apportioned for education in the Vernacular.”

The School Commission is composed of eight or nine members selected from Civil servants, the clergy of various denominations and unofficial members of the Legislative Council, with the Bishop of the Diocese for Chairman though his Lordship has not of late years filled that office.

The Cotta Christian Institution under the care of the Church Missionary Society has exercised an extensive influence upon the youth in its vicinity, though it must be regarded rather as a Missionary than a strictly educational establishment. It may well be doubted, however, if the course of instruction there imparted is not of too high a standard for the objects of the Mission, and whether double the number of finished students of a less devoted standard would not work more real and lasting good to the community and themselves.

In the North of the Island the American Missionaries have a similar though larger establishment conducted on most excellent principles and with the happiest results.

The labours of the Missionaries in Ceylon are by no means light, yet save amongst the Tamils of the North it can scarcely be said that much apparent success has attended their efforts." There are many thousands of what are called Government Christians, that is, Buddhists at heart, but who to please their official uperiors make a pretence at conversion and occasionally attend church service. We were assured by one of the worthiest amongst the Ceylon Missionaries that in his twelve year's toilings he did not believe he had made above three sincere conversions to Christianity. Yet this good man had devoted his life to the work, spoke the language fluently, and went from village to village, often barefooted, with his Bible under his arm and preached the word of truth beneath the shade of a tree, within a village Ambelana, or street corner, or on the steps of Buddhist temples.

Perhaps one of the most interesting and important steps in advance that have been made in Ceylon is that of inaugurating “ Schools of Industry” amongst the natives of the Western Province. The merit of this undertaking belongs to the Rev. J. Thurston, a Chaplain attached to the Bishop of the Diocese, Dr. Chapman who has himself ever taken a lively interest in this as in any other means of advancing the welfare of the people. By dint of great personal sacrifice and by constant care and supervision the reverend gentleman has induced the young Cingha. lese to enter warmly into his plan : they have by his means acquired a degree of taste and skill in many of the useful arts, unknown to them before. Specimens of their workmanship were forwarded to the Universal Exhibition at Paris, and we perceive were thought sufficiently deserving to merit a Medal of Honor at the late award of prizes.

It must be confessed, however, that as regards the spread of education generally, and with it that of Christianity, in Ceylon, the long and generous efforts made by missionaries and others have been comparatively a failure. It is only of late as already noticed that the public has been aroused to the importance and value of vernacular instruction, which we believe to form the only true solution of the question. As regards the spread of Christianity the inherent apathy of the Singhalese, is the great obstacle. Education would at once remove this stumbling block.

The tenets of Buddhism as originally preached differ so little

from the moral part of Christianity that one might expect education to reconcile the heathen of Ceylon to our faith. Ori. ginally all temple property was consecrated in a great measure, to educational objects and confirmed in that object by Kandyan law. Had our Government taken care that this direction was really given to the large amount of temple property, instead of being lavished on thousands of idols and illiterate priests, they

would have accomplished much for Ceylon. This might easily • have been carried out by appointing as Basenaikes or Civil Administrators of the Temples, only such Kandyans as would have seen to the just appropriation of the funds.

In the same manner the official sanction to the appointments in the priesthood might be refused except when the office was bestowed on educated men, and thus in time the character of the Buddhist priesthood would be elevated and some opening made for the gradual introduction of Christianity amongst them. At present it is the utter ignorance of the priests that offers the most insurmountable barrier to proselytism. They are ignorant even of the tenets of the faith which they profess to teach and are not likely to enquire into the truths of any other religion. When told how closely the rudiments of their religion approaches to Christianity they exclaim, “then why ask us to abandon it?” The power which the Government holds in its hand might in this respect be employed with incalculable advantage.

Scarcely less would be the result of a greater freedom of intercourse between the two races,—the governing and the governed. So long as a wide barrier separates the Eastern and Western races, whilst the one are taught to believe and made to feel that they are an inferior people to the other, and whilst the latter hold themselves aloof from their eastern fellow subjects in the belief that they are of another kind and of a nobler destiny, all progress will be denied the more humble nation, whether it be in Ceylon or in Continenal India.

Let the head of the Government set the example and shew the native races by practice what we content ourselves with ad. mitting in theory, that they as British subjects have the same social rights and privileges as any other portion of the community. Let a better, a more kindly feeling be maintained between the two races : let them feel that our rule is not that of the strong over the weak, but that of the West over the East, not the rule of the sword and the bayonet, but of the plough and the printing press. Let them know and not only know but feel, that if we conquer we can likewise conciliate : if we subjugate we at east know how to preserve and protect. That power will ever be the most enduring, the most world wide, which, though built by physical force is consolidated by humanity and justice.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Art. II.-1. Khujeenuh ul Musàl. Lucknow.

2. On the Lessons in Proverbs. Rev. R. C. Trench.

East the real length Urselves se that Pect to

It can hardly be said that India is well known to the English, even to that section of us whose business lies therein. It is true that the members of this latter class condemn, and not without reason, the ignorance of their countrymen at home; but when the Anglo-Indian proceeds to boast of his own superior information, there is often but little foundation for the vaunt. As a General knows the land in which he is encamped, so we may know India : its external features may be mapped, its languages studied, its history and mythology made the subject of scientific arrangement which might surprise the natives themselves : but any, or all, of these sorts of information would fail to constitute a true knowledge of the country. It is the people, surely; the millions on millions who till the soil and possess the cities, by whose sufferance and respect for superior capacity the European rules; it is of these that knowledge must be had before we can assume to ourselves such acquaintance with India as may enable us at length to produce some actual effect on the civilization, the regeneration of this unhappy region. The English in the East may not be altogether to blame for their ignorance; hitherto they have formed so small a proportion, such a mere advanced guard; but assuredly the ignorance exists, and as certainly, must be dispelled. The social life, the real moral motives, must be un. veiled; not that life as seen in the houses of Presidency “ Ra.. jahs,” or even of mofussil Nuwabs; not those morals professed with such parrot-fluency by pupils of the Government Colleges; but the life and principles of shops and cottages, the conversation of the “ Chopal,” the morality of the market-place; when the fierce sun has driven the pale foreigner to the asylum of his bungalow; and when reclining on his couch with the last volume of shilling Railway reading before his half closed eyelids, he fancies the artificial silence about him to be the normal condition of the Indian world; and no more vigorous work to be occupying the native community than such as at present engages his own. punkah-cooly ; all which time however if he went forth he would find that the sons of the land were enjoying themselves in their, own fashion ; that conversation and business were going on much as they did in the days of Bikram Ajeet, before any thought of conqueror, Christian or Moslem, troubled the dwellers in Jumboodeep.

FOLKLORE (as the Germans have it) is the key to national character; there is no nation that has not its tales, its ballads, its proverbs, more or less peculiar to itself; or, even when held in common with other races, tinged with the especial hue of its own civilization, JUSE, 1836.


« PreviousContinue »