Mauritius Times 60 Years Ago – NEWS and VIEWS

Catholics and Racial Discrimination

Qualifying Mr P. Ibbotson as “l’Incomparable Jobard” in his editorial of the 10th of Oct, NMU writes: “Il a découvert que la religion Catholique interdit la discrimination raciale. Quelle révélation sensationnelle ! Personne n’aurait pensé à cela… »

Has NMU forgotten the discrimination made by some Catholics only a few months ago, against a priest of brown complexion in a Church of Mauritius?

A similar case occurred in New Orleans a few days back. Some people who call themselves Catholic have prevented a dark skinned priest from celebrating the mass in the mission Church of St Cecilia.

• Racial Discrimination in the MTC

In the same editorial “L’Incomparable Jobard,” NMU informs Mr P. Ibbotson of one of his discoveries in these terms: “Eh bien! Qu’il sache, s’il l’ignorait, que les Statuts de la Société qui édite Advance, interdisent à tout non indien de faire partie de son Comite d’administration. »

As if « la Société qui édite Le Cernéen » had accepted or would ever accept « un indien de faire partie de son comité d’administration ! »

Furthermore, we have not yet forgotten what Mr Vaulban de Chambery, of Mr Malim’s fame, said to Mrs Malim on the racial superiority of members of the Mauritius Turf Club.

The following is quoted from page 68 of that book: “Mr Vaulban shuddered. ‘No,’ he said, almost huskily. ‘There are no Indian members of the Turf Club. Not yet. And while a drop of White blood remains in our island, there will never be an Indian member of the Turf Club. Never!”

• A Just Alarm of the Ed Dept

In a circular, the Director of Education has drawn the attention of the members of the Legislative Council to the very low standard of secondary education in Mauritius. We congratulate him for this move which will no doubt set the public thinking.

Mr Snell writes:

“The names of successful candidates have now appeared in the press, but what does not appear is the degree of failure. I have therefore analysed carefully the results from which emerge the following facts which, I am sure will interest you:

1. Out of 698 candidates who entered for this examination, 619 candidates presented themselves, and of these 217 failed in every subject they presented.

2. 79 candidates absented themselves from the complete examinations.

3. The 619 candidates presented between them 2,713 subjects, they were successful in 871 of those subjects which equal to 31%.

4. The number of those candidates who passed in French only was 346.

5. If those passes in French are concluded, the degree of success amongst all the candidates is 32%.

6. 576 candidates presented English Language, and of these 49, i.e. 8% passed.

7. 400 candidates sat for a full certificate (in English, another language, Mathematics, and two other subjects) and only 12 (i.e. 3%) were successful.”

• The Decadence of Secondary Education

The total number of passes of all communities in the GCE examination held in June 1955 is 382. Classified according to communities the figures are as follows:

Hindus:

– 201 passes in 1 or more subjects only; 4 have passed in 5 or more subjects: 2%

– 165 have passed in French only: 82.1%

– 14 have passed in Eng. Language: 7%

Muslims:

– 83 passed in 1 or more subjects only; 5 have passed in 5 or more subjects: 6.1%

– 65 have passed in French only: 78.4%

– 8 have passed in Eng. Language: 9.7%

Christians:

– 77 passed in 1 or more subjects only, 6 have passed in 5 or more subjects: 7.8%

– 72 in French only: 94%

– 19 in English Language: 24.7%

Chinese:

– 21 passed in 1 or more subjects; only 1 has passed in more than 5 subjects: 4.8%

– 15 in French only: 71.5%

– 6 in English Language: 28.6%

The figures do once more throw light on the shocking standard of Secondary Education in this colony. The lot of the Hindu candidates is the more alarming. The parents should realise that sending their son to “Colleges” is not sufficient. They should control the studies of their children; they should also be sure that the “Colleges” their children are attending are well managed. Hard earned money should not be squandered. They should not let unscrupulous teachers play with the destiny of their children.

In the face of such flagrant result, is there not a case for the supervision of “Colleges” which are growing like mushrooms in Mauritius? What do our legislators and educationists think?

In Council

The amendment made by the Hon Dr Millien on the motion of Hon Bissoondoyal was rejected by the Council. The amendment was made with the view to extending the Royal Commission of Enquiry to the Parquet and the higher sphere of the administration of the Colony.

The debate on Mr Bissoondoyal’s motion asking for a Royal Commission to enquire into the work of the Police Department continues.

At the last sitting of the Council, the Hon the Colonial Secretary refuted the accusation levelled against the Police Department and blamed Mr Bissoondoyal for having made groundless allegations against the Police.

• Religious Subvention Committee extends delay

The Commission appointed to examine the possibility of subsidizing religions which are not being subsidized at present, had invited the public to send representations, memoranda or petitions by the 3rd of October at latest.

Upon the requests of persons belonging to various religions, the Commission has extended the delay to and including the 25th of October, 1955.

Interested parties must avail themselves of this opportunity.

• A white man’s business

The 1954 sugar crop amounted to 498,560 metric tons. Compulsory duties levied on exported sugar at the rate of 19 cents per 100 kgs amounted to Rs 947,264. The sum of money is spent for the running of Sugar Industry Research Institute which is a non-governmental organisation.

Now, about 40% of the sugarcanes are produced by small planters who mostly are Indo-Mauritians. Out of the abovementioned sum of money they have contributed about Rs 378,900.

Why then the Institute is almost a white man’s show?

The contribution has now been increased from 10 cents to 12.5 cents per 50 kgs of sugar exported from the island.

• Believe it or not

A witch-doctor of Camp Diable was caught red-handed at the bank of a river while he was practicing his science of invoking spirits.

He had already sacrificed a hen and a goat. Close to him was his client, a woman, who wanted the doctor to cast a spell upon her rival.

Witchcraft at Camp Diable, any wonder?

* Published in print edition on 24 June 2016

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