Mauritius Times 60 Years Ago — (MT- Friday 4th March 1955)
The extraordinary issue of the Government Gazette of the 14th February last contains a list of Government and Aided Primary and Secondary school teachers.
The list is divided in two sections. In section A are listed school masters holding the Teachers Certificate and the Teachers Training College Certificate. In section B are listed school masters holding university degrees, and secondary schools’ certificate. Section B also contains a list of 443 school masters whose qualification is mentioned Experience.
In fact these ‘School Masters’ are 3rd grade teachers of whom seventy (70) teach Indian languages and the other three hundred and seventy three (373) School Masters are employed in the normal secular instruction. Educationists will find it hard to understand how teachers holding only a Sixth Standard certificate can be employed as “School masters” after having followed a short course of three to six months. No doubt there are among them some who have read up to Matriculation Standard but have failed to secure a certificate. They are exceptions.
While addressing a meeting of teachers on 18th January 1955, Prof B. A. Fletcher, Director of the University of Bristol Institute of Education, said: “The teacher’s mind is the glass through which children get their intellectual view of the world. It is the quality of mind of the teacher which in the long run matters most in education. If the quality of the teacher’s mind is commonplace, the minds of his pupils will be commonplace; if his mind is sensitive and creative, some impress of these things will be made on even the most unresponsive pupil.”
Such a scientific aspect of the matter deserves the consideration of our Education authorities. Government should make it a point to employ teachers having a good intellectual standard.
It is for the first time in the annals of the Teachers Training College that all men recruits for the long course – are holders of Cambridge School Certificate or its equivalent. While congratulating the new Director of Education for this new departure, we cannot help from pointing out that many women recruits for the short course, as we are informed, have no qualifications. These ladies will be posted as “School Mistresses” after a training of three to six months. The authorities hold that women candidates with secondary school certificate are scarce, yet they are recruiting women in a higher proportion. If there is sufficient number of men candidates, why should the authorities pursue their “feminizing” policy at the expense of efficiency?
We hope the Director of Education will consider the establishment of the ex-Teachers Examination. Instead of recruiting Sixth Standard certificate holders, recruitment will at that time be made from among the best candidates holding a Teachers Certificate who may then follow a short course.
(MT- Friday 4th March 1955)
Mr J. R. Delaitre
Young and promising Mr J. R. Delaitre, after passing his exams at the Royal College, chose the path of service and struggle instead of joining Govt. and lead an easy life.
Still attending college he was a regular contributor to Advance under the pen name of J. Airday (JRD) in the field of sports in general.
He is a full time journalist since 3 years and takes a very keen interest in the local Youth Movement. Last year he was the leader of the Youth Delegation that visited Madagascar where he made a very good impression. This year he is the President of the Mauritius Youth Council where he has won the confidence and admiration of the Mauritian Youth.
Though still young he has acquired a good experience in public affairs, which, together with his enthusiasm, devotion and broad mindedness, will, we hope, make of him a brilliant public man.
We trust that the electorate of the Quatre Bornes Town Council will give him an opportunity to serve by voting for him in the by-election that will be held next Sunday.
(MT- Friday 4th March 1955)
Au “Capuchon de la Plume”
Non Monsieur, la religion n’est pas une balle ronde avec laquelle on peut jouer comme l’on veut. C’est ce qu’a voulu faire Henri VIII, et vous, vous appelez ça « avoir du cran » !
Puisque vous me référez à La Vie Catholique, vous devez y avoir lu la réponse du Rev. Père Dethise à Mr Ibbotson. Vous devrez sûrement avoir lu dans cette même Vie Catholique les articles qui y paraissent presque toutes les semaines concernant le communisme. Pouvez-vous les réfuter ? Peter Ibbotson le pourra-t-il ?
Peut-être connaissez-vous mieux que moi l’histoire des religions. Mais je connais suffisamment l’histoire de la mienne pour prouver qu’elle est la vraie.
Je suis fier de pouvoir vous le dire. Prenez cela pour de l’orgueil si vous le voulez…
P.S. – Je n’ai pas l’intention de continuer à disserter avec vous, Monsieur. Les discussions dans ce domaine ne servent à rien sinon à aggraver certaines discordes.
(MT – Friday 25th February 1955)