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object lesson to a primary class, an ornamental design applicable to some species of feminine work, an elementary exercise in chemistry, physics, or natural history (at the option of the candidate), and a test either in cooking or in needlework.
Paris is foremost in the absolute provision for manual training in connection with primary schools. Over a hundred schools of that city are now furnished with workshops. Wood is the material worked upon. Each shop is provided with twelve planing benches and four lathes; one boy is placed at each of the former and three at each of the latter (one to work, and two to observe him) so that twenty-four boys are employed at a time. All boys above ten years of age in the schools to which shops are attached take part, and they do not seem to dislike it, though it involves extra labor, the instruction being given outside of the regular school hours; viz., from seven to half past eight in the morning and from half-past four to six in the evening. It is not expected that such training will make workmen, but it gives a new form of activity to the boys' minds and valuable exercise to their muscles. The establishment of a workshop with its tools and material costs about $240. Iron-working will soon be introduced into one quarter of the city where it has been specially requested.
The Minister of Commerce has ordered an inquiry into the industrial and commercial schools for the purpose of securing a full report as to their age, resources, courses and methods of instruction, their results as indicated in the subsequent careers of their scholars, and the views of their managers, teachers, etc., as to the means of rendering them more efficient.
GERMANY. -Over-pressure and School Hygiene. For the time being the question of classics or non-classics have given place to that of over-pressure in schools. The evil is manifested particularly in gymnasien, real-schulen and special schools, as those of agriculture. Within the last two years, commissions have been appointed in six German states to investigate the causes of the evil. As set forth in their reports, these causes are in the main excessive study-hours both at home and in school, too many branches of study, and requirements above the mental capacity of youth. For the agricultural schools, twenty-four branches are enumerated, which students entering at nine years of age and pursuing the course six years are expected to master. As the result of the reports, decrees have been issued by the governments of Prussia, Saxony, Würtemberg, Hesse, Bavaria, and Alsace, which are designed to check the overpressure. The decrees deal also with school hygiene, a subject which is being more and more considered throughout Germany. This growing interest is mainly due to the publication of Dr. Cohn's investigations made in Breslaw in 1865-66, as to the effect of school-life upon the eyesight, muscles, nerves, etc. It will, perhaps, be remembered that Dr. Cohn found the increase of near-sightedness to be in proportion to the increased strain upon the eyes by school-tasks. In village schools the per cent. of near-sighted children was 1.4; in gymnasien, 26.2 per cent. Dr. Cohn showed farther that nearly every hygienic
, requirement was violated in the construction of school furniture. Great improvements have been made in school furniture since the publication of these investigations, and the German governments generally, are legislating for the suppression of the hurtful conditions noted. Careful experiments have recently been made in the forty government institutions of learning in Saxony for the purpose of determining the atmospheric conditions and the best means of heating. According to the results which are reported by Dr. Reinhard of Dresden, president of the government medical faculty, heating by hot air secures to the room a more constant temperature and a smaller proportion of carbonic acid in the air. The air is therefore purer and healthier, and its hygrometric condition less variable. The Minister of Public Worship has ordered further experiments in this direction.
ITALY.—Primary education is in a backward state in Italy, especially in the rural districts of the south. This is owing partly to the miserable condition of the peasants, which makes it nearly impossible for the children to attend school or to profit by ordinary school instruction. The need of a change in this respect is emphasized by the eagerness evinced by the workingmen of the cities to make up in the adult schools for the neglect which they suffered in childhood. The progress of secondary schools is relatively greater than of primary.
Servia.—In 1882 Servia was reported to have about 600 primary schools, or one school for 3,000 inhabitants. Only one-tenth of the children attended these schools. The education of girls is in a much more backward state than that of boys. The present minister of public instruction, M. Stoian Novakovitch, has established a journal which serves as an organ for his department. From a recent article in this journal we learn that there are two normal schools for male teachers, with 196 students, and three gymnasia, with 1,103 students. This makes about 1,000 classical students among two millions of men. There are besides twenty-five pro-gymnasia,
. with only four classes, having 4,727 students. Superior education is represented by the institution at Belgrade. This is not really a university, since it does not grant Doctors' degrees. It simply prepares young gentlemen for liberal careers, Last year there were 172 students, - 86 in law, 21 in history, and 41 in pure and applied science; the rest were not specified.
BELGIUM.-- Universal suffrage, limited by an educational test, is now the law of Belgium for municipal elections. An examination of the 8,357 militia-men enrolled in 1882 showed that 22 per cent. could not sign their names correctly. A further examination of those who had been at school from four to six years, showed an equally astounding amount of ignorance. The immediate result has been the establishment of schools for electors at Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, and other large towns.