Punch,  59 (1870), 252.

School Boards



Letter, Spoof; Exam Paper, Spoof


Education, Industry, Telegraphy, Language, Physical Geography, Mathematics, Class

    The author reflects on the recent school board elections and asks 'what guarantee the Ratepayers have that those they select to be Guardians of the ignorant and untaught, are themselves fairly acquainted with the ordinary branches of knowledge'. Worries that the candidates for seats on school boards are inadequately qualified and adds that he suspects that 'ignorance rages amongst the middle and higher as well as the lower classes'. Admits that he cannot do anything about the boards that have already been elected but hopes that in future William E Forster will insist that board members are appointed after giving satisfactory answers to 'a few easy, simple questions'. Presents a 'specimen paper' and expresses his interest in hearing from Mr Punch or Forster (Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education) whether the answers support his contention regarding the knowledge of those implementing Forster's Education Act. The questions include giving the date of birth of Isaac Newton, providing a short account of various manufacturing processes, explaining the operation of the electric telegraph, defining various scientific terms, and locating the position of a number of geographical and engineering features.

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