Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker


There are various opinions as to the amount of learning which
constitutes education, and at some of the government schools - Page 280
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There Are Various Opinions As To The Amount Of Learning Which Constitutes Education, And At Some Of The Government Schools The Native Children Are Crammed With Useless Nonsense, Which, By Raising Them Above Their Natural Position, Totally Unfits Them For Their Proper Sphere.

This is what the government calls education; and the same time and expense thus employed in teaching a few would educate treble the number in plain English.

It is too absurd to hear the arguments in favor of mathematics, geography, etc., etc., for the native children, when a large proportion of our own population in Great Britain can neither read nor write.

The great desideratum in native education is a thorough knowledge of the English tongue, which naturally is the first stone for any superstructure of more extended learning. This brings them within the reach of the missionary, not only in conversation, but it enables them to benefit by books, which are otherwise useless. It lessens the distance between the white man and the black, and an acquaintance with the English language engenders a taste for English habits. The first dawn of civilization commences with a knowledge of our language. The native immediately adopts some English customs and ideas, and drops a corresponding number of his own. In fact, he is a soil fit to work up on, instead of being a barren rock as hitherto, firm in his own ignorance and prejudices.

In the education of the rising native generation lies the hope of ultimate conversion.

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