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[p. 138]

The Board recommend the Primary Schools to your particular attention. They are deeply impressed with the importance of thorough elementary instruction in early childhood. Wherever this has been neglected and children have gone into the large, Master's Schools, but ill grounded in the rudiments of education, they have been under great disadvantages which have seldom or never been overcome in after life. Great care therefore is necessary in selecting competent and faithful teachers for the Primary Schools, where the foundation of all good learning is laid and habits of study commonly determined. In order to accomplish these objects the better, the Committee recommend that these Schools should in future be kept nine months in the year instead of six. While they express their satisfaction with the good they have done the past year, they are of opinion that a longer duration would make them proportionately more useful.

The two Grammar Schools appear, at least, as well as in any previous year, in many respects better, although nearly forty of the best scholars have been removed from them to the High School. The very encouraging condition of these Schools, notwithstanding the above temporary disadvantage, may be attributed in a great measure to the following causes.

1. We have had able teachers who were deeply interested in the improvement of the schools under their care, and the pupils themselves have been undoubtedly excited to greater diligence by the hope of qualifying themselves for the higher School.

2. The scholars being more nearly on an equality in age and advancement than they formerly were, it is easier to maintain good order among them by applying methods of government adapted to their years and standing.

3. The limited number of their Studies allows the Masters more time to give them thorough instruction;

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