« AnteriorContinuar »
nautical institutes, and the universities. There were 37,900 students attending the Government and private technical schools in 1899–1900. This is exclusive of those pursuing the higher technical and scientifie courses at the universities. Three thousand nine hundred of these pupils were females. There has been a gain in this department of study of 2,867 pupils since 1898–99.
These statistics show that technical instruction is coming more and more into favor and that Italy is sharing in the present universal movement in this direction.
In Italy secondary classical instruction is given in the ginnasis and lycei, the former having a course of five years, which is followed by a course in the latter of two years. The whole completes the preparation for the universities. The curriculum includes for the ginnasii Italian language and literature, Latin, history, geography, and arith metic; and for the lycei the foregoing continued, with German or French, physics, natural history, and philosophy.
In 1900–1901 the attendance at the public Government institutions of this grade was 32,846 at the ginnasii (of whom 1,178 were females) and 13,270 at the lycei (287 females), making a total of 46,116. These figures represent only the State secondary classical schools, and would be greatly increased if the statistics for the private institutions of this class had been available. These statistics, nevertheless, show an increase of nearly 10,000 at the public secondary classical schools of Italy since 1895–96.
The attendance at the 22 universities in 1900–1901 was 23,425. It is interesting to note the attendance at the different faculties, as this indicates the current preferences of the students, which is doubtless largely influenced by the demands of the country. The attendance then was distributed among the various faculties as follows: Jurisprudence, 6,791; medicine and surgery, 6,211; mathematics (pure), 538; applied (engineering), 1,071; physics, 14+; chemistry, 280; natural science, 473; engineering school, 200; letters and philosophy, 1,1+1; pharmacy, 3,528; notaries and solicitors, 806; midwifery, 1,202; veterinary surgery, 580; miscellaneous, 157; total, 23, +25. To this should be added 2,621 students at the superior institutes, which have the programmes of universities, but are private. Altogether the author makes attendance of university grade 26,510 in 1900-1901, an increase of 694 over the previous year. Of this number 168 were female students taking studies of the university grade.
There are certain boarding schools (as we should call them) for girls, called convitti. In these institutions, which are survivals from former times, the young girls, who are under the tuition of nuns, are kept under the strietest surveillance. There are about 1,577 of these convitti, 760 of which are ecclesiastic, 262 partly lay and partly ecelesiastic, and only 555 are subject to governmental, provincial, or communal
control. About 53,000 young ladies attend these institutions annually. Of the 1,380 instructors only 470 were lay, the rest being nuns and priests. There were also 860 convitti for young men, with an attendance of 51,227.
The Italian Government pays attention to the education of its citizens in foreign countries, maintaining 52 royal schools of grades ranging from kindergartens to the liceo (one only of the latter grade) in foreign lands, at an expense of $180,000.
Besides these Government schools it appears that Italians maintain elementary schools in the colonies which are supported by societies which originated them and by private contributions. There are 100 or more such schools. Some colonial schools are of very ancient date, having been established in various cities of the East long ago as a help in the work of evangelization, but they are now established in the South American Republies. They are subsidized by the Government or by the “Societa Nazionale."
It is the prevailing opinion in Italy that classical and university instruction is above the real wants of the country, while agricultural and industrial instruction is not sufficiently patronized and should be encouraged in every way by the Government and Parliainent. Italy is preeminently an agricultural country; her exports are agricultural and her imports industrial, the balance of trade being against her, hence the necessity for increased attention to technical instruction.
A table showing the attendance at the different university faculties in 1893-94 and 1900-1901 shows an increase in law, mathematics, physical, natural, and chemical science, letters and philosophy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and “agrarian " studies, while there was a decrease in attendance in medicine and surgery, and engineering of all kinds.
An interesting institution is mentioned among the literary and other societies of Italy, called the “Dante Alighieri," the object of which is to foster and diffuse the Italian language and culture among
the four or more millions of Italians who are under the sway of nonItalian powers (as in Trieste, Malta, and the Tyrol), or have emigrated to foreign lands; to oppose legitimate resistance to all attempts on the part of foreign states to suppress the Italian language and literature in the colonies or provinces under their dominion, and to establish Italian schools and libraries in the colonies and foreign countries. This society is supported by all classes of Italians, from the King and court to the humblest subject, and has spread all over the Kingdom. It was organized in 1890, and now 60 committees within the Kingdom and 22 out of it are carrying out the patriotic programme of the society.
In an article prepared for this Report (Chapter XVII) by Prof. Alexander Oldrini on the Reform of the University and Higher Education in Italy in the debates before the Italian Parliament between
1883 and 1899, the author points out the vast intellectual influence of the populous Italian universities of the Middle Ages, their importance for intellectual freedom, and their share in producing the renaissance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Italian universities have had a continuous existence for eight hundred years, and their influence in keeping alive letters and civilization in the midst of barbarous surroundings was referred to in the debates upon their proposed reform.
Immediately after Solferino no problem appeared more important or meritorious to Italian statesmen than that of public education, owing to the degraded condition of the masses, the result of centuries of denationalization and ignorance. A general law, known as the Casati law, was accordingly passed in 1859, which has been called the educational code of modern Italy. Soon after, in 1862, began the series of debates and parliamentary reports, lasting thirty-five years, on university and higher education, which culminated in the Baccelli bill of 1898. The participators in the debates seem to have shown with remarkable unanimity their desire to infuse modern ideas and methods into Italian higher education, and place the universities abreast of those of the best of Europe, and make them leaders of the freed nation in the path of progress. The full results of these efforts were not made possible until after the unification of Italy in 1870. There was, however, less unanimity as to the means of accomplishing this result. The advocates of reform finally became divided into two parties, those in favor of freeing the universities from all state control and making them autonomous, and those who believed it necessary to retain them under government control, at least temporarily. Some wished to reduce the number of institutions, while others maintained that their usefulness as centers of influence would be impaired by any reduction. In discussions on the curriculum and freedom of teaching and studying, academic liberty-once the glory of the old Italian universities, as now of the German-was insisted on; enlargement of the scientific and technical courses and other modernizing improvements were debated and advocated with full information of the methods of the modern university. Among other matters, it is interesting and significant to note that Dr. Baccelli recommended earnestly self-government and self-discipline of the students. This practice would give the student corps, he argued, the sense of responsibility which free men take upon themselves when freedom is the basis of their action. The following is a summary of some of the articles of the education bill of 1898:
The Baccelli bill provides in Article I for the autonomy of the Royal universities and institutes of superior education under the supervision of the Government.
Article IV provides for the government of the institutions by a committee composed of the rector and representatives of the faculties
and a representative of the Government. Estimates to be approved by the minister of public instruction. Persons or corporations contributing to the resources of the institutions to the extent of one-tenth of the Government allowance shall be entitled to representation on the executive committee.
Article V. Faculties of universities and schools of higher education have the right to propose to the minister the appointment of professors.
Article VI provides for conferring diplomas by the universities and granting professional licenses thereupon by the Government.
Article VII provides for equalizing the programmes of private and Gorernment instruction, authorizes independent (private) teachers to sit on examining boards, and declares that independent professors are to be preferred to Government professors in competition for university chairs.
Article IX provides for the abolishing of faculties when insufficiently attended.
Article X provides that all independent universities offering the scientific guaranties required by law shall be entitled, by royal decree, to the same rights as the State universities.
Illiteracy of the voting population (Chap. XVIII, pp. 789–918).A study of the illiteracy of male persons of voting age (that is, 21 years and upward), based on the returns of the Federal census of 1900, was made recently for the bureau of investigation of the Southern Education Board; the results arrived at, as well as the material itself, will be found useful for reference, particularly in discussions relating to the right of suffrage, and I have therefore included them in Chapter XVIII.
Marked progress has been made in the reduction of illiteracy in the last three decades. From 1870 to 1900 the illiteracy of white males of voting age was reduced from 9 to 6.6 per cent, and of negro males of the same age from 83.5 to 47.4 per cent, the percentage in the latter case not being much more than one-half of what it was in 1870. As the bulk of the negro population is found in the South, the decrease testifies to the effectiveness of the public school systems of the Southern States, but not in the degree in which it would, however, if the older negroes who were beyond the school age in 1870 had been eliminated.
Among the white voting population (whose average illiteracy is 6.6 per cent) the foreign born are most illiterate, their percentage being 11.5; the native born of native parents have 5.9 per cent, and the native born of foreign parents only 2 per cent. This small illiteracy of the sons of immigrants is general, being observable in every one of the five geographical divisions as a whole, though in each of the five New England States taken separately the sons of natives have by far the smallest illiteracy. These results are similar to those of the census of 1890.
In Chapter XIX (pp. 819-836) the customary list of foreign higher seats of learning is given with a number of new institutions inserted. Perhaps the most noteworthy fact presented in this list is that in attendance the university of Berlin has overtaken that of Paris. It enrolled in 1902 13,070 students, while Paris enrolled 12,171. In the list of polytecnica Berlin is also the first, with 4,811 students; so also in the list of agricultural and veterinary colleges Berlin is at the head, with 684 and 483 students, respectively. But in art schools Paris leads all other countries, having an attendance of 2,000.
Commercial schools in Switzerland.--Chapter XX (pp. 837–855) contains an account of the commercial schools of Switzerland, in which the history of business education in that country is traced to its beginning in the Middle Ages. It is not at all astonishing to observe similarity in the growth in all educational agencies throughout central Europe, the nations not being so sharply differentiated formerly as they are now. The present status of commercial education in Switzerland appears to be very satisfactory. That Republic had in 1900 27 public commercial secondary schools, with 1,800 students and 300 students of special branches. Some of these schools are of a high order; for instance, those of Zurich, Bellinzona, St. Gall, and Geneva. There are also 59 elementary commercial (evening) schools, with 5,244 students. While all these schools receive annual appropriations from the federal treasury, some are chiefly supported by the State (cantonal) governments, and a number are private institutions receiving subsidies. A characteristic feature of all these institutions is that they have in their courses of study certain so-called culture studies; that is to say, that they insist upon a general education preceding or accompanying the specific commercial training. The Swiss authorities make the subsidies they grant dependent in part upon this condition, cognizant of the truth that specialization always implies limitation; hence the Swiss authorities bestow much attention upon linguistic study in their schools.
Chapter XXI (pp. 857-885) contains consular reports which are printed here by courtesy of the State Department. Among these statements there are two on commercial eduction in Germany, one on a commercial school in transcaucasian Russia, and several referring to special schools, such as the weaving school at Glauchau, Germany, and the industrial school at Tourcoing, France.
TIenry Barnard.—Chapter XXII (pp. 887–926) passes in review the distinguished services rendered by Henry Barnard to the cause of public instruction in this country, services which, by reason both of their character and their far-reaching influence, have a truly national importance. The record covers an extended period, beginning with the initial effort of Dr. Barnard in behalf of educational reform in Connecticut and continuing without interruption up to his death,