Industrial Schools

Industrial Schools In Germany, Great Britain, France, and in the United States, efforts have of late years been made to combine with the general rudimentary education of the common school the teaching of the mechanical arts and of agriculture, and thus to afford the poorer classes the advantages of a literary and industrial education within a smaller limit than formerly, thereby greatly alleviating the wants which are so frequent among them. "In elementary schools for girls, industrial work, to the extent of sewing, shaping, knitting, and netting, has been almost universally introduced, and forms one of the most important and interesting features of female primary education, more especially in Great Britain; but the attempt to connect with these subjects instruction in cooking, washing, and ironing has been tried as yet only to a limited extent, and has been only partially successful. In ragged schools, on the other hand, no department of the schoolwork seems to thrive better, partly because it enters so largely into the scheme of instruction, partly because the children are removed from the control of parents. In England the ragged schools are recognized by the Legislature as 'industrial schools,' and may be defiled as schools in which the pupils are fed and clothed (wholly or partially), as well as taught the elements of an ordinary education, and the practice of some trade. By a statute passed in 1861, children under 14 found vagrant or begging or convicted of petty offences, may be sent by a magistrate to an industrial school that has been certified by the home secretary. Parents also, on paying for board and lodging a small sum, may place they children in industrial schools if they can show that they are unable to control them. The treasury may contribute to the maintenance of these schools on the representation of the home secretary. If a child abscond from the school before he is 15, the justices may send him back, or place him in a reformatory school (q.v.). In 1861 there were in England 23, and in Scotland 16 industrial schools, and the number of pupils attending was respectively 1574 in the former, and 1606 in the latter" (Chambers, s.v.). In Germany, these schools prove even a greater boon to the poorer classes than elsewhere, especially to orphans. By law every child is obliged to attend school until confirmation (about 14 years of age), and the acquirement of some trade enables children of 14 to begin work to advantage, and earn at least their own livelihood if they may not even aid in the support of their parents or other near relatives. It is to be hoped that in the United States the generous spirit of the different Christian societies will especially further this work, and make industrial schools numerous in all our large cities at least. (J. H. W.)

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