§ MR. C. DALRYMPLE
asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether there has been any, and, if so what, decrease in the number of evening schools, particularly in country districts, owing to the regulations of last year in regard to Government Grants; and, whether he is prepared to maintain the regulation requiring a minimum number of eighty meetings after the present year, and fifty attendances of scholars, when in numerous places where such schools are of the greatest value it has been found difficult or impossible to secure the forty attendances now required?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, in reply, that a decreased number of evening schools had applied for the grant, but the amount of the decrease could not be stated until the number of schools which had availed themselves of the regulation of the Code enabling them to apply to the Inspectors for examination was known. He had no reason to suppose that the decrease had been chiefly in the rural districts. The reason why the regulation referred to by the hon. Member was issued was, that a great 1217 number of evening schools, although they might be doing good socially, were of little advantage educationally, on account of the very small number of attendances. Until a month or two had elapsed the Department could not decide whether to continue the present number of attendances or to reduce it to 60 and 40. When nearer the 30th of April, the end of the school year, he should be glad to give a more definite answer.