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In the day schools industrial education supplements to some extent the academic work, but one of the greatest needs in connection with the present educational system is that more training of a vocational character be provided. It is important that as much training as possible be given to enable the natives of Alaska more readily to earn a livelihood in the changing conditions with which the advance of civilization has confronted them.
Many natives, with very little supervision, would become excellent carpenters. In all parts of Alaska their skill in carving proves that the making of furniture could be made a very remunerative native industry. In the native houses well-constructed articles of furniture could be made to take the place of the cheap and often unsatisfactory furniture which they now buy in stores. In the shops they could be taught how to riiake cooking utensils, sled runners, anchors, chains, and rigging for their boats. In Alaska almost all communication is by water. The aboriginal races of Alaska have always been expert builders of canoes. In the progressive villages power boats and (small schooners have replaced the primitive native canoe. Boat building would, therefore, be a very important subject of instruction. The natives could also be taught how to construct and repair engines for their power boats. Their skill in sewing and in the making of ceremonial robes shows that they would make excellent tailors. With very little training they would excel in mechanical trades, such as typesetting and printing. In the weaving of baskets they are proficient. This talent, which in some parts of Alaska appears to be disappearing among the rising generation, could be fostered.
Special industrial schools are in process of organization at Eklutna, near Anchorage, on the Alaska Railroad, at Kanakanak in southwestern Alaska, and at White Mountain on the Seward Peninsula, where buildings have been erected and to which teachers have been sent to develop courses in such activities as carpentry, boat building, carving, the tanning of reindeer hides and of the skins of fur-bearing animals, the curing of fish, tailoring, nursing, home economics, sanitation, and physical education.
Originating, in 1892, in importation of reindeer from Siberia to furnish subsistence for the Eskimos in the neighborhood of Bering Strait, the reindeer industry has expanded until it has assumed chief importance in the bureau's industrial activities in behalf of the natives. Herds are now maintained near all of the principal native settlements of western Alaska from the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean; in the interior near Mount McKinley National Park; along the Alaska Railroad; on Kodiak Island west of the Gulf of Alaska; along the Alaska Peninsula; and on the Aleutian Islands. So rapidly have the herds increased that the total number of reindeer in Alaska in June, 1924, was estimated at 350,000, of which about 235,000 were owned by the natives. One of the principal problems confronting the Bureau of Education at this time is the reorganization of the reindeer industry on a cooperative basis so as to make it possible to handle more efficiently the increasing herds and market the surplus meat. This reorganization will attempt to care not only for the distribution of the herds, as in the past, but for handling the industry on a business basis. The present commercial value of Alaskan reindeer herds is approximately $8,750,000: $1,550,000 more than the sum paid for the Territory by the United States in 1867. This does not take account of more than 200,000 reindeer slaughtered in the past and used as meat by the natives or sold by them, nor does it include the benefit derived by the natives through participation in this great industrial success.
TRANSPORTATION OF APPOINTEES AXI) SUPPLIES
One of the greatest problems in connection with the work of the bureau in Alaska has been the transportation of appointees and supplies from Seattle to the remoter settlements. In April, 1920, the U. S. S. Boxer, a wooden vessel which had been used as a training ship for naval cadets, was transferred from the Navy Department to the Interior Department for use by the bureau in connection with its work in Alaska. Funds to cover the expense of fitting the vessel for service in Alaskan waters were provided in the Interior Department appropriation act approved May 24, 1922. During the winter months of 1922-23 a Diesel engine was installed in the vessel and it was refitted for its work in the waters of the Pacific and Arctic Oceans as far north as Point Barrow.
Annually the Boxer carries from Seattle to the coast villages of Alaska and to the distributing points at the mouths of the great rivers teachers, physicians, and nurses, together with a heavy tonnage of supplies and equipment. On its southward voyages it brings out employees whose terms of service have expired, and carries reindeer meat, furs, and other valuable commodities which the Eskimos wisli to be sold for them through the Seattle office of the Alaska division.
During the winter of 1923-24 in a four-months cruise in Southeastern Alaska the Boxer served as a floating school for 20 native young men, with the ship's officers as instructors in navigation, radio telegraphy, the operation and care of Diesel engines, dynamos, and marine machinery, also in cooking, personal hygiene, and physical training, as well as in general elementary subjects, with special emphasis on speaking and writing English.
During its cruise in the summer of 1924, in addition to performing its routine duties, the Boxer rescued the crews of the Lady Kindersley and the Arctic, schooners which had been caught in the ice near Point Barrow, the northwesternmost cape of the continent. This action saved the lives of these men. The Boxer also took on board at Point Barrow a party of eight men of the United States Geological Survey and conveyed them to Xome. But for this service, these men would have been compelled to wait at Point Barrow for two months until the freeze up, and then would have had to proceed to Nome by dog sled, with great loss of time, and at a cost to the Gov-, ernment of thousands of dollars.
STATISTICAL" SUMMARY OF EDUCATION, 1923-24
Frank M. Phillips
The following bulletins containing educational statistics for the school year ending June 30, 1924, have been issued:
State School Systems 1925, No. 42
City School Systems 1925, No. 41
Public High Schools 1925, No. 40
Private High Schools and Academies 1925, No. 23
Kindergartens _. 1925, No. 20
Teachers Colleges and Normal Schools 1925, No. 28
Universities, Colleges, and Professional Schools 1925, No. 45
This report attempts to give brief summaries of the data contained in these seven publications, and to add such material as may seem to be of value.
Table 1.—This table presents a summary of the enrollments in various types of schools, classified by control, public or private.
Table 2.—In this table the per capita costs are based upon the total enrollments as reported either by State or by local authorities. The total cost includes current expenses and capital outlays, but does not include payments for debt services. For college and university costs the total receipts, excluding additions to endowments, are used. The per capita costs for public elementary and for public high schools are estimated from city school reports and from the few State reports where it is possible to divide the expenditure between elementary and high schools. For private elementary and for private high schools the per capita costs are estimated to be the same as for public schools of the same type.
Tables S and 4 present historical summaries concerning gifts and endowments to education. The bureau has gathered this information for even-numbered years only since 1916.
Table 5.—This table shows distribution of teachers by sex and by type of school for each 10-year period from 1890 to 1924. The percentage of men teachers has been gradually decreasing during this period until 1924. For 1890 it is 35.8 per cent; 32.6 per cent for 1900; 25.2 per cent for 1910; 18.5 per cent for 1920; and 21.2 per cent for 1924.
Table 6.—This table presents a summary of enrollments by type of school, by 5-year periods from 1890 to 1924. The public elementary