Otago Daily Times

Ed­u­ca­tion for back­ward chil­dren

- Education · Parenting · Family · Greater Auckland · Chinese Ministry of Education · New Zealand · England · Devonport

AUCK­LAND: The sub­ject of back­ward chil­dren was dealt with by the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, the Hon C. J. Parr, at the open­ing of a new school at Devon­port on Satur­day. He said he was in­formed by of­fi­cers of the Depart­ment that nearly 20 per­cent of the pupils in New Zealand schools were be­low nor­mal clas­si­fi­ca­tion stan­dard. Out of ev­ery 100 chil­dren en­rolled in stan­dard III at the end of the year, 24 were over 12 years of age. Un­der nor­mal con­di­tions a child should pass out of stan­dard VI at the age of 13. In stan­dard IV 22 per­cent of

the pupils were older than they should be. Com­par­isons of re­turns in­clined him to the opin­ion that the per­cent­age of back­ward chil­dren was greater in New Zealand than Eng­land. In this Do­min­ion the av­er­age age of a stan­dard VI pupil at the end of the year was nearly 14, which he thought was nearly twelve months more than what should be the nor­mal age. One of the prin­ci­pal rea­sons for this might be a nec­es­sary re­tar­da­tion of pupils in the in­fant divi­sion of the lower stan­dards. “I think we shall have to in­sist upon the reg­u­lar an­nual pro­mo­tion of all nor­mal chil­dren who have been reg­u­lar in at­ten­dance, and upon more rapid pro­mo­tion, es­pe­cially in the prepara­tory divi­sion, of the brighter pupils. The ne­ces­sity for spe­cial aux­il­iary classes for the in­struc­tion of back­ward chil­dren also would ap­pear to be in­di­cated.” Mr Parr re­marked that the classes must be smaller. In order to ob­tain bet­ter re­sults, more and bet­ter teach­ers must be found. “A

teacher with 70 chil­dren can­not give the at­ten­tion to back­ward pupils. If he does, the brighter chil­dren must be prac­ti­cally still for months of the year.”

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