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raise the character of human beings. The uncultivated can not be com petent judges of cultivation. Those who most need to be made wiser and better, usually desire it least; and if they desired it, would be incapable of finding the way to it by their own lights. It will continually happen, on the voluntary system, that, the end not being desired, the means will not be provided at all, or that the persons requiring improvement having an imperfect or altogether erroneous conception of what they want, the supply called forth by the demand of the market, will be any thing but what is really required. Now any well-intentioned and tolerably civilized government may think without presumption that it does or ought to possess a degree of cultivation above the average of the community which it rules, and that it should, therefore, be capable of offering better education and better instruction to the people, than the greater number of them would spontaneously select.
Education, therefore, is one of those things, which it is admissible in principle that a government should provide for the people. The case is one to which the reasons of the non-interference principle do not necessarily or universally extend.
With regard to elementary education, the exception to ordinary rules may, I conceive, justifiably be carried still further. There are certain primary elements and means of knowledge, which it is in the highest degree desirable that all human beings born into the community should acquire during childhood. If their parents, or those on whom they depend, have the power of obtaining for them this instruction, and fail to do it, they commit a double breach of duty ; toward the children themselves, and toward the members of the community generally, who are all liable to suffer seriously from the consequences of ignorance and want of education in their fellow-citizens. It is therefore an allowable exercise of government, to impose on parents the legal obligation of giving elementary instruction to children. This, however, can not fairly be done, without taking measures to insure that such instruction shall always be accessible to them, either gratuitously or at a trifling expense.
John Stuart Mill. Political Economy, v. 9, § 8.
That the people should be well educated is in itself a good thing: and the state ought therefore to promote this object, if it can do so without any sacrifice of its primary object. The education of the people, conducted on those principles of morality which are common to all the forms of Christianity, is highly valuable as a means of promoting the main end for which government exists; and is on this ground an object well de serving the attention of rulers.
Thomas BABBINGTON MACAULEY. Church and State. Athens, by this discipline and good ordering of youth, did breed up, within the circuit of that one city, within the compass of one hundred years, within the memory of one man's life, so many notable captains in war, for worthiness, wisdom, learning, as scarce to be matchable, no not in the state of Rome, in the compass of those seven hundred years, when it flourished much.
It is certain, that as things now stand, the two great parties into which the community is unhappily split upon this mighty question, are resolved that we should have no system of education at all-no National Plan for Training Teachers, and thereby making the schools that stud the country all over, deserve the name they bear-no national plan for training young children to virtuous habits, and thereby rooting out crimes from the land. And this interdict, under which both parties join in laying their country, is by each pronounced to be necessary for the sacred interests of religion. Of religion! Oh, gracious God! Was ever the name of thy holy ordinances so impiously profaned before? Was ever before, thy best gift to man-his reason—so bewildered by blind bigotry, or savage intolerance, or wild fanaticism ; bewildered so as to curse the very light thou hast caused to shine before his steps; bewildered so as not to perceive that any and every religion must flourish best in the tutored mind, and that by whomsoever instructed in secular things, thy word can better be sown in a soil prepared, than in one abandoned through neglect to the execrable influence of the evil Spirit ?
And shall civilized, shall free, shall Christian rulers, any longer pause, any more hesitate, before they mend their ways, and attempt, though late yet seriously, to discharge the first of their duties? Or shall we, calling ourselves the friends to human improvement balance any longer, upon some party interest, some sectarian punctillo, or even some refined scruple, when the means are within our reach to redeem the time and do that which is most blessed in the sight of God, most beneficial to man? Or shall it be said that between the claims of contending factions in church or in State, the Legislature stands paralyzed, and puts not forth its hand to save the people placed by Providence under its care, lest offense be given to some of the knots of theologians who bewilder its ears with their noise, as they have bewildered their own brains with their controversies? Lawgivers of England! I charge ye, have a care! Be well assured, that the contempt lavished for centuries upon the cabals of Constantinople, where the council disputed on a text, while the enemy, the derider of all their texts, was thundering at the gate, will be as a token of respect compared with the loud shout of universal scorn which all mankind in all ages will send up against you, if you stand still and suffer a far deadlier foe than the Turcoman-suffer the parent of all evil, all falsehood, all hypocrisy, all discharity, all self-seeking—him who covers over with pretexts of conscience the pitfalls that he digs for the souls on which he preys—to stalk about the fold and lay waste its inmatesstand still and make no head against him, upon the vain pretext, to soothe your indolence, that your action is obstructed by religious cabals—upon the far more guilty speculation, that by playing a party game, you can turn the hatred of conflicting professors to your selfish purposes !
Let the soldier be abroad, if he will; he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage abroad, a person less imposing—in the eyes of some insignificant. The SCHOOLMASTER IS ABROAD; and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full uniform array.
Education makes the man ; that alone is the parent of every virtue ; it is the most sacred, the most useful, and, at the same time, the most neg. lected thing in every country.
It is not for the sake of a parish only, nor for the mere local interests, that the law wills that every native of France shall acquire the knowl. edge necessary to social and civilized life, without which human intelligence sinks into stupidity, and often into brutality. It is for the sake of the state also, and for the interests of the public at large. It is because liberty can never be certain and complete, unless among a people sufficiently enlightened to listen on every emergency to the voice of reason.
Universal education is henceforth one of the guarantees of liberty, and social stability. As every principle in our Government is founded on justice and reason, to diffuse education among the people, to develop their understandings, and enlighten their minds, is to strengthen our constitutional government, and secure its stability. M. Guizot.
The education required for the people is that which will give them the full command of every faculty, both of mind and of body; which will call into play their powers of observation and reflection; which will make thinking and reasonable beings of the mere creatures of impulse, preju. dice and passion; that which in a moral sense will give them objects of pursuits and habits of conduct favorable to their own happiness, and to that of the community of which they will form a part; which, by multiplying the means of rational and intellectual enjoyment, will diminish the temptations of vice and sensuality; which, in the social relations of life, and as connected with objects of legislation, will teach them the identity of the individual with the general interest; that which, in the physical sciences—especially those of chemistry and mechanics—will make them masters of the secrets of nature, and give them powers which even now tend to elevate the moderns to a higher rank than that of the demi-gods of antiquity. All this, and more, should be embraced in that scheme of education which would be worthy of a statesman to give, or of a great nation to receive; and the time is near at hand, when the attainment of an object, thus comprehensive in its character, and leading to results, the practical benefits of which it is impossible for even the imagination to exaggerate, will not be considered an Utopian scheme.
E. H. Hickson. “Westminster Revier."
Did I know the name of the legislator, who first conceived and suggested the idea of common schools, I should pay to his memory the highest tribute of reverence and regard. I should feel for him a much higher veneration and respect, than I do for Lycurgus and Solon, the celebrated lawgivers of Sparta and Athens. I should revere him as the greatest benefactor of the human race; because he has been the author of a provision, which, if it should be adopted in every country, would produce a happier and more important influence on the human character, than any institution which the wisdom of man has devised.
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN ZURICH.
TERRITORY-POPULATION-GOVERNMENT. THE CANTON OF ZURICH ranks second in population (266,265 in 1860,) and seventh in territory (659 square miles,) among the Cantons of Switzerland. The religion of a large majority (255,000,) is Protestant, and its government is a representative democracy-every citizen being a voter at the age of twenty. The cantonal legislature consists of two hundred and twelve members, who are elected for ten years, and who choose a smaller council of twenty-five members, (one-third going out every two years,) whose president is the chief magistrate of the Canton. The Canton is represented in the Federal Diet or Congress by thirteen members.
The Canton of Zurich is divided politically into eleven districts, (Bezirke,) subdivided into counties, (Zuenfte,) and the latter subdivided into communes, (Gemeine.) Every county, according to the number of its inhabitants, elects members for the Great Council, which is only complete after the members elect from the counties have elected thirteen more members by their votes. Bankrupts or persons convicted of dishonor. able crimes are disfranchised permanently or for a time. The Great Council, as representative of the people, is intrusted with the legislation. As the supreme authority of the country, it has the power to appoint all officers of the Canton, or to confirm appointments proposed. It elects the administration of the Canton (Regierungarath—Government council,) but only part of the Board of Education. By the free vote of the counties the government of each district is selected, (Bezirks collegium,) which fills all district offices, or has the final approval of all nominations. It appoints for instance the judges of the district, and proposes to the Government council three names for district governor, (the head of the administration in the district,) who is the representative of the Government council in the district.
The subdivision of the Canton in regard to education is as follows:School community or neighborhood, parochial community (school circle,) district, Canton. The members of the school community are all those who are required to contribute for the support of the school, and entitled to its benefits; these select their school board. If a parochial community has several schools and consequently several school communities, the members of the parochial community are not identical with the members of the different school communities, as for instance resident citizens may be members of a school community. The school districts agree with the political districts, the school circles with the parochial communities.
SYSTEN OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
The Public Schools of the Canton are classified as follows:-
a. Elementary school, attended by children from 6–9 years old.
9-12 2. Repetition school, 3. Singing school, attended by pupils beyond the age of 15 years,
who at the same time attend the class for religious instruction. II. SECONDARY SCHOOL, (Superior popular district school,) attended by
pupils of 12-15 years, and connected with the day-school. III. SUPERIOR AND PROFESSIONAL Schools, (Cantonal schools.) 1. The School of the Canton. a. Gymnasium, preparatory for professional studies.
a. Lower gymnasium, for boys of 12–16 years.
6. Higher gymnasium, for boys of 16–19 years.
technical professional studies.
6. Higher school, for boys of 15–18 years.
schools, particularly with the gymnasium-a school of purely liberal studies, as well as a professional school for the statesman,
jurist, physician, theologian and teacher of Superior schools. 3. PROFESSIONAL Schools, joined to the Secondary-school.
a. Seminary for Teachers.
c. Agricultural Institute. The attendance at the day school is obligatory to all children. Scholars who, after passing the day school, do not enter the secondary or the canton school, are required by law to attend the repetition school, in which instruction is given on one day per week, and afterwards the singing school, which demands their attendance for one hour in the week.
Fathers who have given evidence of their ability to instruct in the primary elements of education, are permitted to teach their children at home, instead of sending them to the primary school. Whoever occupies a public teachership, or acquires the certificate of eligibility for such position, is a member of the Board of Teachers of the Canton of Zurich. Those who teach in secondary and primary schools, and have acquired the qualification for secondary or primary instruction, compose the body of public teachers.
All the members of the Board of Teachers are voting members of the