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who must have schools in order to understand the Christian religion.
Does it pay? Where is the dividing line between “direct mission work" and philanthropy? What is philanthropy but the life of Christ seeking expression by doing ?
I asked a native teacher, “Do you find anything in the Classics about the deaf? Did Confuicus by word or act leave a guide for his followers in their care for them ?" and his reply was: “No, I suppose he considered them the same as other defectives, -of no use. He left us an example for our treatment of the blind when he invited Yue Kiu-ming to be his guest and himself went out to receive and guide him into the house, but he did not know anything about deaf mutes." “Christ did,” was our reply.
Dr. W. A. P. Martin writes of this work as follow :
“When our Lord was on earth the most striking proof of His divine mission was the restoration of sight and hearing to the blind and the deaf. What He performed by an instantaneous act of power, His followers at the present day accomplish by a slow process, but the results are such as to prove that they too are prompted by the Spirit of God.
“No pagan nation ever originated a systematic method for relieving the deaf, blind, or insane. What Christians have done for all these classes appears to the Chinese as little short of miraculous.
" The recent efforts to attract the attention of the Chinese government to the work being done for the deaf at the Chefoo school have been less successful than we expected, perhaps owing in part to the pre-occupation of the official mind in a time of change. But would not such a change as the creation of a national school for the deaf prove to the world that sentiments of humanity are at last beginning to take a practical shape in China ?
“As long as the insane are caged like wild beasts-as long as the blind are left to live on the superstitions of the people--and as long as the deaf are left to the chance of learning by imitation, like dogs or horses, so long must the civilization of China be branded as wanting in humanity. If the government would take up the enterprise so successfully initiated at Chefoo, that would go far to remove a serious reproach that now rests on the Chinese people.''
It was Col. Charles Denby, late minister to China, who wrote thus : “The heathen religions have no pity for the outcast, the unfortunate, and the diseased classes, and make no provision for them. This alone comes within the merciful sway of the Christian religion.”
Work Among the Blind
BY THE REV. G. A. CLAYTON, HANKOW
completed more than twenty years of work, and it may
therefore be claimed that the system of teaching used in that institution has passed tlie stage of experiment and proved its utility. The system may be described in a few sentences. Forty-four of the Braille signs are used.
Of these, twenty are used for initials, eighteen for finals, five for the tone-marks, and one for the value-mark. This last mark is used to give a second value to thirteen of the initials; thus, when the value-mark is added b reads as bi, p as pi, dj as djw, h as hw, and so on. For example, b-ao is bao, but b-ao-valuemark is biao , h-an is han, but h-an-value-mark is hwan. This looks cumbersome in Roman type, but in reality it is not more cumbersome than the dieresis marks in cominon use among sighted readers and has never presented any difficulty in the work of teaching the system. Without it the necessary number of signs for the writing of Mandarin would be found with difficulty, as there are only sixty-three possible combinations of the six Braille dots, and the use of any sign both as an initial and a final, would cause much confusion.
CURRICULUM. As in other colleges in China the curriculum in force now in the Hankow school has been gradually formed. In the early days of the work the lessons consisted almost entirely of music and singing, with Scripture and hymns. Those were the days of memorising, days in which the school could boast of a pupil who could repeat the whole New Testament, the Book of Psalms and the Union Hymn Book from memory. At present we do far less memorising, and have a curriculum for a six years' course with special subjects for boys with special aptitudes. (In the following curriculum R denotes repetition, E denotes explanation, and W denotes that the book has to be written from dictation before it is studied ; from the second
* This is not the place to dwell at length on the merits or demerits of the “ Hankow” system, but I may be pardoned two remarks. The first is that the Hankow system is not a system which only represents Hankow sounds; in fact it can represent almost every sound in the Standard Mandarin, though the distinctions, e.g., between si and hsi or dzeng and dzheng are not provided for, as they are not needed here. Boys from Honan, Hunan, Kansuh, and other parts of China, have been taught successfully in the Hankow school. The other remark is that such defects as there are in the Hankow system will not be best remedied by ignoring that system and starting afresh, but rather by accepting the Hankow signs as far as they go and adding to them. In this way the Hankow school could at once fall into line with the new institutions without having to rewrite the large amount of literature (e. g., the Bible, Faber's Mark, or the Chinese Classics) which it has already accumulated. An attempt to prepare a Standard System of Chinese Braille which alters the values of the signs we use, would leave us face to face with two unpleasant alternatives : (a) to stand aloof and lose the benefit of the literature which might be created in the Standard Braille, or (b) to adopt the new system and so render unintelligible to all our new boys the whole contents of our library.
i grade onward the boys write each year the section of the Chinese Classics which will be studied the following year. As an incentive to work we allow each boy to take with him, when he leaves the school, all books that he has written.)
Beginners.-Writing and reading Braille signs. Kindergarten-musical drill, action songs, clay-modelling, weaving, etc.
First grade. — John's Trimetrical Classic, WRE. Chinese Trimetrical Classic, WR. Arithmetic-notation. Kindergarten.
Second grade. - Mark, RE. Simple catechism, RE. Shang Lwen, WR. Union Hymnal, 1-99, WR. Arithmetic, 3 rules. Kindergarten. (The second grade boys do kindergarten work less frequently, and chiefly for the sake of leading the younger boys.)
Third grade.—Luke, RE. Matson's Old Testament History, 1-36, WE. Shang Lwen, E. Hsia Lwen. WR. Union Hymnal, 100-212, WR. Arithmetic to problems. Sparham's Geography, 1-52, WE.
Fourth grade - John, RE. Matson's Old Testament History, 37-78, WE. Hsia Lwen, E. Shang Meng, WR. Letter-writing. Union Hymnal, 213-330, WR. Arithmetic, weights and measures, Sparham's Geography, 53-108, WE.
Fifth grade. -Acts, Pauline Epistles, Psalms 1-72, all E with R of selections. Shang Meng, E. Da Hsio and Djung Meng, WR. Chinese History, Arithmetic, decimals.
Sixth grade.- Matthew, Hebrews-Revelation, Psalms 73-150, all E with R of selections. Da Hsio and Djung Meng, E. Hsia Meng and Djung Yung, WR. Chinese History. Arithmetic, review.
Seventh grade.—This has never been used by a class. It completes the E of the Classics and continues E of Old Testament, but boys in this grade are usually pupil teachers.
Music is taught to all who are teachable, and singing is taught in every grade. Boys who are competent are admitted to the School Band.
STAFF. The staff of an institution like this of course differs very much from that of an ordinary school. Biblical subjects are taught by the headmaster from grade 3 upwards, as the chief emphasis of our work is, of course, laid on these, as many of our boys are destined to be Bible readers. The amount of time given to these themes in the curriculum would be out of all proportion in a school from which boys go forth to business life. The Chinese Classics are at present taught by a sighted master, who acts as secretary to the boys; kindergarten by the headmaster's wife and the matron, and all other subjects (including music and singing) by blind Chinese. Far more time has, of course, to be given to the oversight of the clothing and dressing of the boys than in a school for sighted lads. And for the most part the lads require far more individual attention in their studies. The number of subjects that can be studied in any one term is regulated not so much by the boy's capabilities as by the question how much he can write from dictation in preparation for study. For instance, in a class that is taking a new subject no teaching is done till the boys have had at least a week's start at writing out the text-book that they are to use.
With regard to the salaries of the blind teachers, it was for some time argued that as they had obtained all their scholarship through the teaching given in the school, they ought to serve for a merely nominal allowance. The outcome of this was a readiness on the part of the boys to accept situations in other missions as musicians rather than to teach in the school. But now that the policy has been altered and the blind teachers receive exactly the same allowances as sighted teachers of the same standing, there is no difficulty in retaining the best boys for any vacant positions there are ou the school staff.
When this institution was founded by the late Rev. David Hill, it was definitely intended to be an industrial school, in which every boy should learn a trade and be fitted to go out and earn his own support. To this end many different trades have been tried, such as mat making, making coolie baskets, weaving string hammocks, caning chairs, weaving the silk cord which the Chinese use at the end of their queues, and so on. But in no case has the experiment proved a success. Boys could learn to do any one of these things, but they did them so slowly that Chinese employers would not engage them. And besides, no blind boy can do any of these things without assistance. If he makes coolie baskets, he must have his bamboo split for him ; if he weave silk cord, he must have his reels filled for him. And so it has come to pass that after twenty years the industrial department has become a shop where all kinds of wicker and basket work are executed, but in which there are employed three sighted and three blind workmen and into which it is unlikely that we shall introduce any other blind boys. This department does not cost the school anything, but it has never yielded a profit to the school, siinply because of the existence in Hankow of so many Cantonese basket workers. We work our men from 7 a. in. to 5 p.m. with regular hours for meals and Sundays free, and we give them good food and adequate sleeping accommodation, so that our running expenses are heavy. The Cantonese work their men from dayliglit till long after dark seven days a week at starvation wages, so that they will always undertake to reproduce our work at less than the lowest prices at which we can afford to sell the goods. A limited number of the European residents always give us their orders because they believe in our work, but we fail to secure such a share of the work that is given out in the Concessions as to make our shop
It must not, however, be imagined that the school has become an orphanage, where the scholars remain indefinitely. As the days have passed and the standard of education has been raised, it has become clear to us that our proper course is to train the boys, not as workmen, but as teachers of the blind, as preachers, as Bible readers, or as inusicians.
As this policy has been followed, our field of usefulness has steadily widened. In the men's hospitals in the Wesleyan Mission we have found work for Bible readers, in the Baptist Mission, the Presbyterian Mission, the Church Mission, and the Wesleyan Mission we have found situations for musicians, and one boy is engaged as a colporteur. So steady is the demand for the services of our lads that of the class of seven which will “graduate” (! ! !) at the end of this year, four are already engaged to go to four different mission centres and two will probably be used as assistants in our own school. It therefore seems clear from the twenty years' experience of this institution that other such schools should, from their foundation, aim to develop the scholastic, rather than the industrial, side of the work.
But as soon as that remark is made, the question arises, “How are boys suitable for this scholastic training to be secured ?” The reply must be the lesson of experience. If the age limit for entrance be fixed-save in special cases-at eight years of age, there will be little trouble in shaping the future of the boys, if the work be undertaken in a spirit of faith and love and hope. The boys who have been admitted to this school may be classed in four groups : (a) The children