§ SIR BERNHARD SAMUELSON (Oxfordshire, Banbury)
asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council, Whether he is aware that efficient rudimentary instruction in the use of tools for working in wood and iron is now given in several elementary schools; and, whether he will direct that such instruction shall be included in the list of specific subjects for which a grant may be earned, as recommended by the Royal Commission on Technical Instruction?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir LYON PLAYFAIR) (Leeds, S.)
In most foreign countries, and in some of the larger towns of the United Kingdom, instruction in the use of tools is given in the higher elementary schools. But the cost of the instruction in the use of tools has hitherto in this country been defrayed out of private sources. It might, perhaps, be possible to draw up 1656 a curriculum or scheme for such instruction, so as to bring it within Article 16 of the Code. Still, such instruction, apart from practical work and practical results, would be comparatively useless; and the existing Inspectors of Elementary Schools are not fitted to examine in such subjects. I am, therefore, disposed to think that instruction in the use of tools, which is, in fact, a part of technical instruction, would belong to the Science and Art Department. A Motion is before the House as to the extent to which the State will aid technical instruction. When the House has expressed its opinion on this subject, I will submit for the decision of Her Majesty's Government the expediency of aiding elementary schools through the Department of Science and Art, because increased Votes would be necessary, owing to the increasing favour which is now shown to this kind of instruction.
§ MR. P. M'DONALD (Sligo, N.)
asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council, Whether he intends including Ireland in his recommendation to the Lords of the Treasury that grants be made in aid of buildings for local Science and Art Schools, in accordance with the Report of Royal Commission on Technical Instruction; and, whether he is aware that an effort is now being made in Dublin to establish there a Central Technical School, but with the difficulty that adequate funds are not available for the purpose?
§ SIR LYON PLAYFAIR
The recommendation of the Royal Commission on Technical Education in regard to aid of buildings for local Science and Art Schools includes Ireland as well as Great Britain, and the attention of the Lords of the Treasury will be directed to both. I am aware that an effort is being made in Dublin to establish a central technical school.