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2 and 3. While it is natural that no person would be engaged as an instructor who was not an experienced and practical man, evidenced perhaps by his winning prizes at local and other competitions, only one county, Dorset, appears to insist on a would-be instructor first obtaining a certificate from the County Council in a class at a competition specially organised for those who desire to be teachers in any particular subject.
4. In the majority of cases instruction is given for at least two hours a day, and for six or more days, but some counties give less than this, one especially relying on competitions as most valuable, though indirect, methods of conveying instruction.
5. The number of pupils taken at a time appears as a rule to
6, 7, and 8. The holding of competitions at the end of a
10. In about half the counties making returns, some allowance is made to pupils in respect of their loss of time, usually in the form of special small prizes to those who have attended the classes in a satisfactory manner.
11. This question had reference only to the subject of hedging. In the returns from all counties except one, the pupils are reported as working singly. In the case of that county (Staffordshire) the pupils work in pairs, and inspection of the work done there shows that the system is well worthy of imitation.
12. The answers to this question show, generally, that the instruction given has been of much value, farmers being satisfied with it, and men able, as a result, to obtain work when they would otherwise, presumably, have been without it.
While the above information shows that, in many particulars, counties are working on fairly similar lines, it may yet be of some value to make certain suggestions, both from a consideration of the returns received, and also from actual inspections of work while carried out.
PROCESSES OF AGRICULTURE.
In order that the work may have definite attention paid to it,
Where there is a local agricultural college, this would naturally
As regards teachers, two courses are open. It is possible, in a
The length of instruction given in each subject is one on which
It is usual in giving instruction to get a class of, say, six persons or pupils together at one centre, but this is not essential. ploughing, at any rate, good work is done by the instructor going from farm to farm and remaining with a pupil or two there for a couple of hours at a time. It would be quite possible to extend this system to instruction in other subjects.
As regards hedging, it is not at all a bad plan to let the pupils work in pairs, one preparing the fence and the other laying it and finishing it off. After a certain time, the two should be changed about as regards the work they are doing.
At the end of a course, or a series of courses, in a district, it is most important that there should be a competition, with classes for both young labourers and older ones, and with a class also It might be possible to have one special for young farmers.
competition at a later date, for those 1st and 2nd or even 3rd prize winners who wished to qualify as teachers.
As regards the giving of prizes, the amount necessary should be raised as far as possible locally, through agricultural societies or from private individuals, but to those labourers who have given up time for which they have not been paid by any employer it is well that some remuneration should be given, and this may fitly take the form of scholarships of a low grade payable by the county, provided that the pupil has properly conducted himself in the class.
In the replies to question 1, two counties have mentioned shepherding as having engaged attention. This can hardly be classed as a manual process, but mention was made in the Board's Education Report for 1904-5 of the way in which this instruction is provided in Dorset, and this may be worthy of repetition here. The owners of flocks, who wish so to do, enter them for the sake of their shepherds, who are, during the season, examined in a very thorough and practical manner. The examiner for the year is a local farmer who is associated in this work with the county staff instructor in agriculture. The two visit each flock two or three times during the season, carefully examine its condition, take note of the percentage of lambs reared, put searching, but informal, questions to the shepherd as to his management of the flock in health, and also particularly in disease, and finally examine his pupil. According to the answers of this last, not only are marks awarded to him for the competition in which he takes part, but reward or the reverse is accorded to the shepherd who has him under training. This work has now been in progress for several years, and the good results accruing from it are becoming increasingly apparent, especially in getting the men to manage their flocks in an intelligent and open manner, and not, so far as disease is concerned, by means of secret and mysterious prescriptions handed down to them from past generations.
Ploughing, sheep-shearing, hedging and ditching, thatching, rope and spar-making.
*Thatching, hurdle-making, sheep-shearing, grass. mowing, hedging.
Ploughing, hedging, sheep-shearing, and basketmaking.
Harvesting, setting up sheaves, setting out roots, stacking and thatching, ploughing, hedging and ditching, land draining, milking.
Ploughing, hedging, sheep-shearing.
+Hedging, stacking, under-draining, sheep-shearing. Other subjects provided for in scheme are plough. ing and thatching.
Shearing, hedging, basket-making, fruit-packing.
Drilling, hedging and ditching, ploughing, sheepshearing, stacking, thatching. Sheep-shearing.