S112,—In the last century the introduction of free education was opposed by the upper classes as an enlightened poor might prove dangerous to their interests. But they had little to fear, for progress, in the realm of education, instead of enlightening and stimulating the mind, has effected the very reverse. Life in this modern age from birth onwards is ruled and regulated by authority. From vaccination to compulsory education we are always in the throes of rules and regulations. What originality in thought a child may possess is soon discouraged and suppressed in our educational system. The standards of examinations are the inevitable climax of school activities and the teacher's work is to train, encourage or drive all the infinitely varying minds of his pupils to
attain these standards. This can only be achieved by standardising in many respects the minds of the pupils. Whatever else education claims to do, this is, in fact, its greatest achievement. Then the net result of our educational system is an army of adolescents of standardised thinking, trained, not in the business of how to think but in the duty of what to think. And they do not object, for the odds against are too great and, as always, the easiest way appeals the most, To countenance this mental lethargy, in the first place reorganise education. Abolish the absurd " matriculation standard " and everything in this system of education which leads to standardisation. For the mind flourishes on free development and is moulded rather by inward thought and outside influences than by rigidly enforced rules. Then, perhaps we could hope for an army of youth keenly alive to their own responsibilities, genuinely tolerant of other people's views and, above all, determined to think for themselves.
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