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6.-FEES AND ACCOUNTS.
As in other French Government schools, and as in most naval schools in Europe, the pupils in the Borda are required to pay the expenses attending their maintenance during the period of education. The regular fees are 700 francs a year for board (pension), and 1,000 francs for outfit (trousseau). The board is payable quarterly in advance; the outfit in two payments, 800 francs at admission and 200 francs at the beginning of the second school year. The amount for board may be paid either at the treasury in Paris or at the office of the receiver of finances in the departments, and the authorities at the school have no control of it, nor does it even pass through their hands. The other payment is made di. rectly to the treasurer of the school, and is expended by him in the purchase of the articles prescribed by regulation. The weekly allowance of students and the cost of certain personal services of a minor character are also paid from this source. All the required articles are procured by the administrative officer of the school without the intervention of the student; and though he is allowed to keep the clothing brought from home that conforms to the regulations, no deduction is made on this account from the required deposit. So far from this, he is even obliged to give up all the money remaining in his possession after his arrival, which is deposited in the school treasury and credited to him on the books, being expended from time to time to meet any extra expenses that may be incurred for him. Any balance in his favor at the close of the course is turned over to him at the final settlement.
Exemption from the payment of the whole or part of the pension or the trousseau, or both, is granted to persons who are too poor to pay them, upon application. The application must be sent in by the 1st of August to the prefect of the department, by whom it is forwarded to the Ministry of Marine, with an attestation of the municipal council of the place where the applicant resides; a statement giving detailed information in regard to his means of support, the number of children or persons dependent on him, and an extract from the tax-list. The appli. cations, with the other documents, are referred to the council of instruction of the Naval School; and, according to their decision, the whole or some part of the customary charges is remitted. A similar arrangement may be made with reference to the outfit at graduation, which costs 570 francs. The number of pupils receiving assistance (boursiers) in one shape or another is not limited, but it amounts to about one-fourth of the whole number at school.
The accounts of the school with the pupils or their families, and with the general disbursing officer of the Ministry of Finance, are in the charge of the council of administration, and more particularly of the commissariat officer. The charges against pupils are as follows:*
I. Ordinary expenses: 1. Outfit, including clothes, books, instruments, &c. * These charges are all in addition to the pension, which goes directly to the treasury.
2. Personal service of certain kinds, including bootblack, barber, small repairs of
clothiug. 3. The weekly allowance of 1f. 25c (25 cents).
(All the above, except 3, are covered by the indemnity for trousseau, in the case of beneficiaries.)
II. Extraordinary expenses:
III. Optional expenses:
The items chargeable on the accounts of the school against the naval appropriation are for the students' mess and washing, the indemnities for trousseaux, the extra pay of warrant and petty officers, and the small running expenses. All purchases are submitted to one of three boards of inspection. Of all these boards the senior lieutenant is the presiding officer, and the commissary is a member. The third member is the senior medical officer for the inspection of provisions, a professor for books and instruments, and a chief of section for articles of outfit.
The final practice cruise begins immediately after the close of the vacation following the two years' course in the Borda. Though the practice-ship is independent of the captain of the Borda, it may be considered as in some sense a part of the same general establishment. Both are under the direction of the Préfet Maritime, and the captains of both are members of the committee on improvement at the Naval School. The practice-ship is the Flore, a screw-steamer, first class, of 18 guns, and engines of 380 horse-power. The duration of the cruise is about ten months, from the 1st of October to the latter part of July. It is followed by a week of examination, after which the ship remains at Brest for six weeks preparing for another cruise.
The cruising-ground of the Flore is generally among the French West India Islands. The course of instruction includes the theory and practice of steam-engineering, gunnery, seamanship, navigation, hydrography, and landing drill. The students perforin duty in turn as offi. cers of the deck, under supervision, and work the ship. A thorough practical course is given in steam-engineering. The details of the programme are somewhat varied from year to year, but it always includes the subjects mentioned, and generally some others; among them, naval hygiene, taught by the surgeon, and drawing, by a master specially appointed. Last year, instruction was given in gymnastics by an ensign.
On passing the examination, the graduates of the Flore become aspirarts of the first class, or midshipmen, and they are shortly after sent to sea in cruising.ships. They remain in this grade two years, making a total of five years from their admission to the service to their promotion to the grade of ensign.
THE ENGINEERS' SCHOOL (Ecole d'application du Ginie Maritime).
The School of Engineers (constructors) at Cherbourg is simple in its organization, as would be expected from the small number both of students and professors. The classes are two in number, and are composed of from three to six members, averaging about four. The school is under the general supervision of the Préfet Maritime, and is inspected from time to time by the inspector-general of the corps of engineers. At its head is a constructing engineer as director. Changes in organization are considered by the committee on improvements (Conseil de Perfectionnement), composed of a vice-admiral as president, the inspector-general of engi neers, the director and subdirector of the school, a director of naval construction or other superior officer of engineers, and a captain. The committee, with the exception of the subdirector, acts also as a board of examiners, and conducts the final examinations of each class.
The personnel of the school consists of the director, two constructing engineers of lower rank, and two civil professors, one of them for instruction in English, the other in freehand drawing. This is the whole teaching staff. The director has personal charge of one course of lectures. The English professor gives three lessons a week, of an hour and a half each, and the professor of drawing two lessons a week, of two hours each. The remaining courses are conducted by the engineer professors. The latter are appointed for five years, but may be retained at the school three years longer, upon the recommendation of the director. The engineer next in rank to the commanding officer is called the subdirector, and has the charge of carrying out the interior discipline of the school; but owing to the small number of pupils, the discipline is of the simplest character. A clerk and draughtsman complete the personnel of the establishment.
The cost of the school is insignificant, especially in comparison with the important object it fulfils—the professional education of a corps of accomplished naval constructors. A thorough preparatory training in physics and mathematics is given to the pupils in their course at the Polytechnic; all that remains to be done is to give the principles already learned the fullest and widest application of which the profession admits. The material wants of the school are largely supplied by the ordinary resources of the arsenal and dockyard at Cherbourg; and the teaching staff, as has been stated, contains a minimum of special teachers employed for this purpose alone. A small appropriation is made yearly, upon estimates offered by the Conseil de Perfectionnement, for the purchase of books and scientific journals for the library, and for lithographing and stationery. The expenditure of this sum is in the hands of the director, and is regularly accounted for by him. A full collection of models, plans, documents, and drawings is supplied by the department of naval construction; and beyond the small appropriation referred to, the school, as such, is not a source of expense to the government.
The course of instruction covers two years. The session begins in the month of November, immediately after the close of the final examinations; the exact date being fixed each year by the director. The course comprises theoretical instruction in lectures, for seven or eight months, and studies in the dockyard at Cherbourg (first year), and in the national engine-works at Indret (second year). The courses are finished on the 30th of June. The following subjects are included in the courses:
Ship and engine drawing. As the profession of naval construction is a favorite branch among the higher graduates of the Polytechnic-coming usually after mines, and roads and bridges—the pupils are selected men, and distinguished in a high degree by earnestness, intelligence, and thorough scientific attainments, as far as they have gone. They enter the school of application at the age of twenty or twenty-one, an age which is most favorable for professional study. Besides the incalculable advantage of a sound preliminary training, they begin their professional course with a feeling of elation and encouragement derived from having already successfully tested their powers. Their number is large enough to keep up a generous emulation, while at the same time their instructors are able to give the closest attention to the wants of individuals; and hence they get all the benefits, with none of the disadvantages, of private tuition. While the system of instruction, by lectures and interrogations, is similar to that in other French institutions, the interrogations are much more frequent and personal, and each professor is his own répétiteur. The professional courses are marked by great originality of treatment, and text-books serve only a subsidiary purpose. At frequent intervals examinations (interrogations générales) are held, which have a certain weight in the final classification, though their object is as much that of giving a summary review as of testing knowledge. The hours of instruction are from half-past eight to half-past ten in the morning, and from twelve to five in the afternoon; and attendance is always required.
Practical instruction, or rather illustrative instruction, is given during the session, in visits to the arsenal and workshops, and to vessels making short trial trips. The real practice, however, is given during the summer. On the 1st of July the students are sent either to one of the naval ports or to Indret. Here they are attached to the different branches of work in the department of naval construction, and go through a regii. lar course in the yard or the machine-shop. At Indret their attention is directed exclusively to the fabrication of engines, and all that is accessory to this branch of the profession. The authorities are directed to afford the students every facility, and to see that they pursue their work with assiduity. The director of the school makes tours of inspection during the summer to assure himself that the students are properly occupied; and the engineer professors are charged in turn with the direct supervision of their pupils, at the station to which they have been sent. This has the additional effect of giving the instructors an oppor. tunity of refreshing and broadening their professional knowledge, and of keeping them familiar with the latest developments of professional science; and it enables them to obtain easily the draughts and other documents necessary for supplementing and revising their lectures.
Before he leaves the school in July each student receives from the director detailed instructions to serve him as a guide during his summer work. Copies of these instructions are also sent to the chief of service at the station where the student is to work. He is required to keep a journal containing full descriptions of the work performed, and of kindred matters coming under his observation, accompanied by draughts and sketches. These are examined by the construction officer under whose orders the student is placed, and finally handed in to the director of the school. On his return the whole of the student's work is examined and marked.
Second-year students return to Cherbourg on the 20th of September; and first-year students on the 10th of October, the intervening twenty days being passed by the latter in vacation. The time from the reopen. ing of the school is passed in preparation for the final examinations, which begin on November 3. During this period the upper class has also a special course in ship and engine design.
Marks are given by the board of examiners at the annual examina. tions. The final mark of the student in each branch is determined by combining the mark of the board with that obtained in the school work during the course; the former having double weight. Each branch has its coefficient, which is combined in the usual way with the mark given in the subject; and the sum of the products, together with a mark for