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FREDERICK W. NASH, MANILA, P. I. The general concensus of opinion in regard to the Filipinos is that, with the possible exception of love of home and family, their most hopeful characteristic is the intense desire for education that prevails in all parts of the archipelago. In recognition of this fact, the United States authorities here are inaugurating a system of free public instruction that will be comprehensive and far-reaching in its influence, and one that will prove a most powerful factor in winning the confidence of the people. Thru the machinery of an American public school system, American moral and political ideas can be inculcated into the
00 minds of the growing generation and thereby transmitted to the present one.
The very important work of creating this great machinery and putting it in motion has been entrusted to Fred W.
Residence of Superintendent D. P. Barrows, Manila. Atkinson, Ph.D., a Harvard man who came here from the principalship of the Springfield (Mass ) High School. His appointment was unsolicited by him, and it was entirely nonpolitical. When the question arose as to where to find for this undertaking a man who combined the necessary pedagogical training and experience with the business ability to grapple with the many problems of construction and administration presented in this new field, the Philippine Commission consulted the presidents of the leading colleges in the United States. As a result of their conference, Dr. Atkinson was tendered the position, it being understood that he was the choice of both Presidents Eliot of Harvard and Schurman of Cornell. After an investigation of the proposition, in which he became interested in the Filipinos and their country, Dr. Atkinson accepted the appointment as general superintendent of public instruction for the Philippine Islands, and entered upon the duties of his office September 1, 1900.
Upon the basis of recommendations made by Superintendent Atkinson, the Philippine Commission has enacted laws creating a centralized department of public instruction for these Islands, and under the direction of the general superintendent as its head, there are to be eighteen division superidtendents located at the more important towns of the archipelago, which has been divided into eighteen school divisions, as follows:
The following instructors in the United States have accepted appointments as division superintendents here : Mason S. Stone, Montpelier, Vermont; G. N. Brink, Berkeley, Cal.; Barker Sherman, Medford, Mass.; S. C.
Newsom, Indianapolis, Ind.; M. A. Colton, Yale University; Henry Townsend, Honolulu, H. I.; Jesse D. Burke, San Diego, Cal.; J. N. Deahl, Grafton, W. V.
Prof. E. B. Bryan, of Indiana University, has accepted the principalship of the Manila Normal School, and is expected here soon. Dr. David P. Barrows, city superintendent of schools for Manila, has been at his post since last October, and his work has been
of a nature very acceptable to the General Ballames' School, Vigan. authorities. Of the superintendents
above mentioned, Mason S. Stone, G. N. Brink and Barker Sherman have arrived and been assigned to the divisions of Negros, Pampanga, and Leyte, respectively.
Of the one thousand teachers whose employment in the United States was authorized by Act of the Philippine Commission, seven hundred and eighty-one have been appointed to date. Appointments of both division superintendents and teachers are in the hands of Superintendent Atkinson, who has given the greater part of his time to their selection since the passage of said Act. More than eight thousand teachers' applications from all parts of the United States have been received and passed upon by him. Applications for teacher's positions in the Islands have come from all classes and professions, not a few having been made by lawyers, business men, and machinists, doubtless with a view to securing transportation to this new field. However, many applications have been received from professional teachers vouched for in the highest terms by the educational authorities. A number of this class have signified their willingness to accept the same salaries for work here as they now receive in the United States, and a few have offered to come for less. The leading colleges and normal schools are heartily co-operating with Superintendent Atkinson in the securing of teachers, and many educational officials have given their assistance in this matter. No religious distinction has been made in these appointments, nor has any race line been drawn,- the sole desire being to secure competent and enthusiastic teachers of the highest character.
A School Building, Manila. has been deemed wise, however, to require that all appointees to this work shall be citizens of the United States. The chief requirements for appointment specified by Superintendent Atkinson are: graduation from a college or normal school of good standing, and evidence as to the good character and successful teaching experience of the applicant, to be furnished by school men with whom he is personally acquainted and whose judgment he has confidence; or by educational officials whose character is known to him by repute. A limited appointing authority has been conferred by him upon nearly all the leading colleges and normal schools in the United States and upon many of the state superintendents.
It is expected that more than five hundred teachers will be ready for transportation to Manila in July, and the Philippine Commission bas cabled the Secretary of War requesting that two army transports be assigned to this service. The War Department has been very liberal in its treatment of American teachers up to the present. Commissary privileges have been
granted them here, and it is expected that free medical attendance will also be furnished
Since the passage of the Act authorizing their purchase, text-books and school supplies to the cost of $175,000 oo have been bought by the general superintendent, and a quantity thereof has been distributed to the schools thruout the archipelago. The Baldwin Primer and Carnefix Chart have proved general favorites for primary English instruction, their bright colored illustrations winning the interest and attention of the Filipino children.
It is Superintendent Atkinson's policy to make the English language the basis of all public instruction at the earliest practicable moment, and it has already been introduced as such. This seems the part of wisdom, siuce
only a very small portion of the population speaks Spanish, and the remainder is divided as to language into a dozen different Malay dialects, each unintelligible to the other. Superintendent Atkinson announces to the Filipinos that the American superintendents and teachers are being brought from the United States for the purpose of creating and putting into operation a school system for these Islands, and that they are coming to teach the Filipino teachers our methods. He tells them that po Filipino teacher will be discharged from any position he may now hold, except for in. competency or immorality, and that as soon as they prove themselves capable to take charge of their own schools, the United States authorities will turn the
administration thereof over to the FiliSchool Teacher of the pure Tagalo Type. pinos. That such a policy is a wise one under the circumstances has been demonstrated in the matter of the American judges whose arrival here to take charge of the courts without explanation to the natives or statement of a definite policy caused a storm of protest and open talk of another revolution by the many disgruntled Filipino judges who expected to lose their positions.
Instead of being a menace to his livelihood, the department of public instruction holds out promise of better things to every native teacher. Under the Spanish regime his profession was looked down upon and underpaid. Many teachers received only three or four pesos a month for their work and had to depend almost entirely on fees from their pupils. The fee system has been abolished and the salaries of school teachers put upon a living basis. They are offered every opportunity for improvement and encouraged to look forward to the time when their own efforts sball make them capable to administer the schools of their country. The instruction given six hun
dred bright Filipino teachers in the preliminary term of the Manila Normal School, under the supervision of City Superintendent Barrows, has been a revelation to them, and they will go back to their respective schools thruout the Islands with new ideas and a greater interest in their work which now, for the first time, promises them honorable and lucrative employment and opportunity for advancement to positions of importance and trust.
It is the policy of the department of public instruction to interest these people in their country, and to create local pride in their schools and towns. In the past, each Filipino family has looked after its own domicile, but
Igorote School Boys. there seems to have been an utter absence of any spirit to beautify or improve common property.
Superintendent Atkinson accompanied the Philippine Commission on its recent tour of the southern Islands and conferred in regard to educational matters with delegates from the various provinces. In a report thereon which will go to the Millitary Governor within a few days, he has said:
The greatest present need is that of adequate and suitable school buildings. As soon as practicable, all rooms, buildings, or parts of buildings, rented or assigned for school purposes, should be used exclusively for school purposes, and no teacher or member of a teacher's family should be permitted to dwell therein. All school buildings occupied by soldiers, or in any way used; for military purposes, should be turned over to the school authorities at the earliest
practicable moment. Nearly all the buildings that have been used for military purposes are in a poor condition, and it will be necessary for the municipalities to spend money for their alteration and repair.
The educatior of girls has not been thought as important as that of boys. Wherever a school for boys is established, it will be the policy of this department to establish one for girls, either in a building near the boys, or under the same roof as the boys' school. but completely separate, with its own entrances and playground.
Great interest has been manifested everywhere in the evening schools. Special funds should be appropriated for the maintenance of these schools which afford opportunity for acquiring the English language to many adults who would not be able to attend day schools. It is planned to establish one high school at the capital of each province in 1902 and to conduct teachers' institutes in all the provinces at an early date.
Under the general supervision of the division
superintendents, assisted by resident and American Captain and Lieutenant of Igorote
teachers, an attempt will soon be made to compile School at Angaqui.
school census. In the conferences held by the general superintendent on the trip with the commission, the delegates from the various provinces advocated a compulsory school law. Such a law will soon be possible in Negros, and, gradually, in other portions of the archipelago.