National Geographic : 1905 Jan
EDUCATING TI employ the services of about 3,000 Fil ipino teachers. Instruction is given wholly in English. The only books used are English text, and the teaching approximates American methods. The subjects taught are English language, primary arithmetic, and primary geog raphy, with supplementary reading in Philippine and American history and in elementary human physiology. About 150,000 children are today receiving instruction in these schools. School houses are crowded to the very limits of health and efficiency, and the Filipino teachers are teaching an average of 40 pupils. The probable school population is a million and a half in the christianized provinces. To properly cover the field we need a force of about 1o,ooo Filipino primary teachers and at least four times the amount of school-room space that we at present possess. This would make pos sible the primary instruction of 600,000 Filipino children, and would give to every child in the Christian population of the islands the advantage of four years of primary instruction, to be se cured between the ages of 6 and 14. High schools have been organized in every school division. The system of public instruction in troduced into the islands is thus emi nently practical. The purpose of those who are directing the course of studies is to exalt the dignity of labor. Effort is made to train the eye and the hand as well as the head. In the provincial secondary schools two years' courses in mechanical drawing,wood working, and iron working are prescribed for students in arts and crafts, and give the stu dents a fair knowledge of mechanical drawing, blacksmithing, and tool mak ing. A more advanced course includes architecture, cabinet making, carriage building, wood turning, and pattern HE FILIPINOS 49 making. There are also courses for machinists and steam engineering. Tools and equipment have been se cured for eight different schools with wood-making machinery and for three schools in iron-working outfits. Par ticular attention is given to the care of instruments and tools. Particular attention has been given to normal school work in order to train up a class of native teachers for the public schools of the islands, and this course has been pursued with eagerness by hundreds of natives, but at present there is no institution in the Philippines in which instruction is given in English of a sufficiently advanced character to fit students to enter American colleges. It is therefore proposed to offer in the normal school preparatory courses of an advanced nature adequate for the attainment of this purpose. Another school that will have a pro found influence in the development of the islands is the Nautical school. The coast line of the islands is greater than that of the United States, and as there is at present almost a total lack of rail ways, and the highways being in poor condition for the most part, the waters of the archipelago must continue to be used as a means of transportation. There are at present 103 students in the school, and every member of the last three graduating classes are employed (with one exception) at salaries rang ing from $275 to $60 per month, one being a mate on a Japanese liner. The course of study pursued covers a period of four years and includes English, mathematics, navigation, sea manship, geography, chemistry, and history. The students are from 22 dif ferent provinces, and, owing to their training, their Malay blood, and ac quaintance with the water from child hood, make excellent seamen and are proud of their profession.