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Dr. Edkins' series of 16 vols. of Scientific Primers in Chinese, published by the Imperial Maritime Customs press, ought to be better known and more widely used in our mission schools. They are all scholarly translations of standard English works, and are orem or less suitable as school books. At any rate a set of these most useful and beautifully printed treatises ought to be found in every mission school or college library. The price is only Taels 4 for the 16 volumes, which are also sold separately. They can be obtained from the Mission Press or the Chinese Scientific Book Depôt, Shanghai.
Rev. Dr. W. A. P. Martin's Mathematical Physics in Chinese, after a series of unavoidable delays, is now nearly through the T'ung-wen College press in Peking, and may be expected during the coming spring. This work will prove of great value to those few schools and colleges where the higher branches of mathematics and physics are taught. Dr. Martin's second series of Haulin Papers in English, which is now being printed at Tientsin, will be an important accession to our limited knowledge on such subjects.
The Rev. M. C. Wilcox, of Foochow, has the intention of preparing a history of the United States of America in Chinese. His previous courses of study have fitted him in an eminent degree for the task which, it is hoped, will be accomplished during the present year. Such a book, in good style and up to date, is needed for school and general use.
At the triennial meeting of the Educational Association of China it was resolved that "a descriptive catalogue of all the literature published or adopted by the Association, containing the name of the original work, its style, whether in Mandarin or Wên-li and its price," should be compiled and form part of the Records of the Meeting. Owing to the absence of the general editor from China this catalogue could not be drawn up and published with the Records. The deficiency will be rectified shortly. The list of works is much enquired for.
Professor Russell, of the T'ung-wen College, Peking, expects to issue his translation of Loomis' Astronomy early in the spring.
The general demand for a new edition of Chapin's Geography will be satisfied, it is hoped, within a few weeks.
A vocabulary of terms in English and Chinese to accompany Rev. G. S. Owen's translation of a Treatise on Geology, is now in the printer's hands. The treatise was printed by the School and Textbook Series Committee ten or more years ago. This vocabulary is "better late than never"!
Paragraphs, however brief, on subjects of general interest connected with education in China, will always be gladly received by either of the editors of the Educational Department.
A compendious treatise on Zoology, by Mrs. A. P. Parker, of Soochow, with good illustrations reproduced from the original pictures, by photo-lithography, is now completed, with the exception of a few pages. It will be an important addition to our list of school books in Chinese.
Pecuniary Aid to Pupils.
BY REV. SAMUEL COULING.
[English Baptist Mission.]
N England this year Winchester school celebrated its 500th anniversary. The last surplus of the English budget was used to provide free education. A bishop founding a school a hundred years before the discovery of the New World so stable that it remains after 500 years, yet so capable of adjustment to the changing possibilities of education through the centuries that it still stands in the front rank of public schools; on the other hand a great state using its surplus wealth to educate the children of the lower and middle classes; these are facts which might even appeal to the imagination of a Chinaman, and which show us, in a striking way, how much has still to be done for true education in China.
It is of course understood that in a paper like this we mean by education, that education which is recognised in all civilised countries as such; that which China, in spite of her literature and philosophy, has hardly begun to acquire, though she is beginning to recognise the need of it; that education which in China we call Western education. In such a paper it must also be taken for granted that we treat of such education, given under Christian influences, in mission schools. or elsewhere,-Western in method, Christian in character.
With regard to pecuniary aid it may be said in general that pecuniary aid always is given for educational purposes in all lands. Very few people pay the entire cost of their own education. In the village dame-schools, where some of us made our first acquaintance with the A B C, the fees did perhaps cover all the expenses of the institution, but in after-life it was not so. Edinburgh University has a holiday right in the middle of its winter session; it marks the date when in olden times the students' stock of meal would be running low and a day was necessary to go home and fetch more
Few go home on "meal-day" now perhaps, but neither in those poor days nor in these rich ones did the student pay all the cost of his education. The class fees fall short of the professors' salaries by some £15,000, while the fees for matriculation and graduation also fall short of the general expenses by £8000. And so it is with other universities, with our theological colleges and our primary schools. Pecuniary aid is given to the pupil in the form of parliamentary grants or endowments by the 'pious founder' and good men who came after him, or in other cases the current subscriptions of those interested in a particular institution provide an education for the student, which his fees alone would never buy.
So it must be in China; few comparatively speaking will be able to pay entirely for a good education; the only question is, where is the pecuniary aid to come from? It might come from the State, but it will not. The State or its statesmen may provide a few solitary institutions like T'ung-wên-kuan, but we shall wait long to see the State provide sound education for the common people, and longer before it provides a Christian education. The aid may come from accumulated endowments by wealthy natives, but not yet. The rich or learned, who will care for the intellectual welfare of the masses or of the later generations, are not yet born again. Such matters take time, and the spiritual ancestry of the Chinese in their native land is short. In fact we foreigners are the spiritual fathers to the native Christians, and in the present state of things it is the duty of the Church in America and England to supply the lack of such men as will no doubt arise in the Church later on and provide for its educational needs.
Happily the missionary societies generally recognise this to some extent, and nearly all spend some money in education, but still they fail to see how great their opportunity is. There was a time in the early history of the Church when the teachers' chairs were all in the possession of the Christians. That time should be repeated in the history of the Chinese Church, and when the people as a whole awake to the value of the new learning they should find it in the hands of the Christians. The Church cannot afford to go without both the prestige of being in the van and the power that that position will give when China awakens. But this will require a speedy and much more liberal application of money for educational work.
It is of the first importance to consider the effect of such pecuniary aid, both on the Church and on the individual. The effect will be a mixture of good and ill as in most courses that we adopt for doing good. What we have to ask is whether the good is greater than the ill; what we have to do is to minimise the ill-effects and preserve the good.
In supporting or helping the child we to some extent relieve the parent. Our object is not to benefit the parent, but the parent revels in being benefitted and cares little about our object. We are likely thus to encourage covetousness, greed and hypocrisy. This evil is not wholly avoidable, but it is our duty to educate the parent as well as the child, though not as important a duty, and we must therefore insist on seeing some progress made in the direction of self-support in our schools. There was a stage when it may have been justifiable to pay children to come to a Christian school; the second stage is when they pay nothing for their education and get nothing but education, but we must aim at bringing them to the third stage, when they will be willing to pay for what they learn. If I may illustrate from our own school* we require from the parent of each scholar a minimum subscription of 5000 to 6000 real cash ($5 or $6), because this is just about what it costs in this district to feed a boy living at home. Of course it costs us a great deal more to keep the boy in school, but it satisfies us if the parents do not save by letting their children live on foreign money. If a family really cannot pay this sum the boy is most likely not worth educating from a Church point of view; if they will not, then we try to teach them their duty, and at any rate there are plenty more that will. On the other hand, when parents are better off, we require $10 or $12 per annum, and as this is much more than would be required for their food, if living at home, we consider they are paying something for their education also, and are thus approaching the position of the scholar in Western lands; while none the less the bulk of the expense falls on the missionary society, just as it does on the government, the endowment fund or the outside subscriber in the West. In this way we try to educate the parent at the same time with the child.
So much for the effect of this pecuniary aid on the parent and the Church. As to its effect on the scholar it is much less likely to be harmful. In all times and countries it has been accepted that there is no disgrace in receiving help for education. Many a theological student in England pays nothing for his food throughout his course, and is not ashamed. But besides this, the natural boy is notoriously without care as to where his food comes from; let there only be enough. Dr. Arnold said that boys were altogether devoid of gratitude in receiving benefits; it may also be said they receive them without shame; they take all things for granted. Thus a boy may be educated, fed and even clothed by the mission without getting much harm from it; the harm would go to the parents.
At the same time we cannot be content with doing no harm. The scholar is with us for years; it is strange if we cannot awaken * English Baptist Mission, Shantung.
in him that sense of independence which we look for in vain in his father. He may learn that while there is no disgrace in poverty and none in receiving education free, there is disgrace in allowing others to provide what could be and ought to be provided by oneself, and every boy who receives foreign aid during a course of any length should leave school not ashamed that he had received charity, but with a distinct feeling that he was under an honourable obligation. I myself send an annual subscription-a very modest one to the college where I studied, not in repayment but in acknowledgment. My elder scholars know a fact like this, and I hope that years hence many of them will do the same in affectionate remembrance of their Alma Mater. It would be interesting and instructive to know to what extent the early established schools can show instances of 'old boys' sending gifts in acknowledgment of the education they received.
There is one way in which poor students all over the world receive help and honour at the same time by scholarships, bursaries, etc. The time hardly seems come as yet for any large extension of this plan in China, partly because such scholarships ought to be founded by native liberality rather than by foreign, partly because in so many schools a boy gets as much without a scholarship as he could get with one.
As to the question whether our help should be confined to the household of faith or not there are at least three good reasons why it should: 1st. Because of the prestige and power thus given to the Church in its future wars with hostile heathendom. 2nd. Because other things being equal a Christian or a lad of Christian stock should be a fitter recipient of mental and moral training; the truth should make him more capable of receiving, assimilating and using all truth. 3rd. Because to educate the Church is as much as we can do, and if it has the first claim upon us, as no doubt it has, we can hardly do much besides.
There is now a Church in China, a constantly growing one; its members are called of God, elect, precious; all things are theirs; we should be zealous to minister to them, to give them of their own, to bring to them that enlightenment of mind, that knowledge of God's creation, that power of intellect which derive from what we call education; God, as we see in the circumstances of the case, has called us to give as clearly as them to receive; let it be done with all liberality and goodwill, taking care on the one hand not to cause the weak to stumble by exciting their cupidity, on the other hand not forgeting with all our giving to give understanding, so training the moral sense of the young that the next generation will be manly, generous, independent, instead of servile, self-seeking and mean.