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system of Christian education; and secured the appointment of joint committees at various strategic centers on the standardizing and coördinating of primary and middle schools, and on coöperation in the development of colleges, technical schools and universities.
The secretary, Dr. T. H. P. Sayler, has visited Egypt and Syria in the interests of the work of the Committee on Christian Education, and both chairman and secretary have attended meetings of the European Section of the Committee.
The American Section of the Committee on Christian Education has opened an office in New York, in charge of a statistician who, under the direction of a committee of three, is gathering, tabulating, and digesting comprehensive and detailed information concerning education in China and other lands, at home and abroad. The Committee includes a number of experts who generously give of their time as required to considering the problems which emerge and demand solution. As our card catalogues, charts and diagrams become more complete, we hope to be able to place at the service of any educational organization in the field or missionary board at home practical suggestions based upon a thoroughly scientific consideration of any problem it may submit.
The Educational Association of China, the object of which, as defined by Article II of its Constitution, is “The promotion of educational interests in China and the fraternal coöperation of all engaged in teaching,”was organized by the General Missionary Conference held in Shanghai, May, 1890, and is actively engaged in prosecuting the work for which it was created.
Dr. Frank D. Gamewell, for many years a professor in the Peking University, whose reliance upon God, unconquerable devotion, persistent activity, and constructive ability, planned, directed the construction and maintained the orderly and successful defense of the Compound in Peking, where missionaries, native Christians, and members of the various legations were besieged during the anti-foreign Boxer insurrection till the armies of the nations raised the siege, was called in 1908 to supervise the educational work of
the Methodist Episcopal Church in China, and further its organization into a consistent system.
After detailed visitation of national and Christian schools throughout the empire; careful comparative study of the various curricula, existing conditions and problems involved; frequent consultations with educators, conference and local boards, educational associations, and recognized leaders from the home lands, he prepared an elaborate report, accompanied by charts, diagrams, and a well digested statement and display of the facts, together with specific recommendations which were laid before the Central Conference of China of the Methodist Episcopal Church, December, 1911. This report was adopted with practical unanimity, and embodies the educational policy of that branch of the Christian church in China for all its five Conferences. These Conferences are represented by 557 schools of various grades, 894 instructors, 15,823 students, not including its representatives in the great Interdenominational institutions. This policy provides for:
1. A General Board of Education, elected by the General Conference for all the educational work of the Methodist Episcopal Church in China.
This Board shall have authority in all matters pertaining to the standardization and articulation of curricula, and in the coördination of education with the other work of missions, and in the general advancement of education interests.
2. A Conference Board of Education, there are five of these, to have:
General supervision of all educational work within its bounds, and special supervision of the high schools and intermediate schools: to decide their location, determine the qualification of their teachers and set examinations.
3. A District Board of Education, elected by the Conferences of the District, to have supervision of the day schools within its bounds. Its duties shall be:
To decide where schools shall be located; to provide well lighted and sanitary buildings, properly equipped; to examine and engage teachers; to set uniform examinations.
Dr. Gamewell is continued as general educational superintendent for the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church in China, and the Educational Association of China has invited him to become superintendent of the Christian educational work of the entire republic, which position he has accepted.
I have referred to these three agencies working for coördination and coöperation in the Christian educational work of China. One interdenominational, the Committee on Christian Education in the Mission Field, created by the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh. One national, the Educational Association of China, and one denominational. There are many others, interdenominational, denominational, and geographical, too numerous to mention at this time, such as: The General Education Committee of China, appointed by the Centennial Conference held at Shanghai, 1907; various educational associations for two, three or four provinces, or a considerable area, larger than one province; and there is scarcely a province without a similar association working for similar results; while other associations are studying the problems, and furthering the interests of united effort in smaller areas about important centers. The three organizations referred to somewhat in detail are typical and reveal the trend which others only accentuate.
The churches in the home lands are showing a similar synthetic spirit.
The Presbyterian Church in the United States in its General Assembly, 1900, approved a report of its Standing Committee on Foreign Missions, in which along other things, the statement is made:
The object of the foreign missionary enterprise is not to perpetuate on mission fields the denominational distinctions of Christendom, but to build up on Scriptural lines and according to Scriptural methods and principles the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The American Baptist Foreign Mission Society has adopted the following principle as the policy of its operations abroad:
That to the utmost practical extent there should be coöperation with other Christian bodies working in the same fields. Such coöperation is of special importance in the department of higher education, where students are relatively few and education expensive.
The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions has repeatedly committed itself to any and every practical plan of coöperation which was within the limits of its financial resources, believing that its work in Asia and Africa is not to build up a church according to any set model, but that it is to coöperate with other Christian workers in the establishment of the living Church of Jesus Christ as the center of power and life and redemption for all men.
Other missionary and denominational assemblies have repeatedly expressed themselves as in favor of the closest coöperation with other societies and communions in promoting the cause of foreign missions.
There has never been a period since the beginning of modern missions when denominational differences were so minimized and the great fundamental truths of our blessed religion were so universally emphasized.
The consensus of judgment as held by many of the leading Christian educators, representative missionaries, and strongest mission boards, points towards several well defined conclusions. Among these, the following seem to be included:
The education of the Chinese is not the problem of the mission boards; the education of the Chinese is China's problem.
The problem of the Christian Church is:
1. To furnish China with a thoroughly standardized and coördinated system of Christian education, emphasizing quality rather than quantity.
a. To provide educated leadership in the various professions and vocations of life, such as preachers, teachers, doctors, statesmen, engineers, manufacturers, merchants, financiers, and the like.
b. To provide an intelligent and reasonably educated membership and dependable citizenship which shall be able to appreciate the teachings of God's Word, support the aggressive agencies of Christianity, and constructively influence their community life.
c. To serve as a challenge and corrective to the national schools of similar grade.
d. To furnish the republic an example of education at its best, which undoubtedly would be largely imitated.
This is necessary that China may be enabled and induced to provide for the proper education of the Chinese.
2. Such a system will require:
a. Schools ranging all the way from the kindergarten to the university.
b. That each school shall be true to its grade name, with its courses of study and work carefully adjusted to the other schools of the system, the ability of the young people who attend, and the preparation needful to make the most out of their probable environment.
c. Teachers specially prepared, of tried efficiency, carefully adjusted, and adequately supported, with special and comprehensive revision for training native teachers, and supplying them with thorough supervision.
3. As necessary to the development and maintenance of such a system of Christian education, it seems necessary that:
a. The primary schools should be denominational, the middle schools usually so, and the colleges not infrequently so.
b. Usually the colleges, and possibly in almost every case the universities, should be interdenominational.
c. The Christian schools of higher grade should not be unduly multiplied, nor near enough to compete with each other; say four, five, or six Christian universities located at the great strategic centers would be as many as should be attempted; each central to a large constituency, supplemented by a sufficient number of strong denominational or interdenominational colleges to supply it with thoroughly prepared students for its technical schools and graduate work.
d. Each college should have its preparatory schools closely affiliated, of adequate number and quality to supply it with thoroughly prepared students, and each of the preparatory schools should be similarly related to a number of primary schools.
If, out of every two hundred who enter our primary schools, in the United States, only one on the average graduates from a first-class college, we may not expect a much larger proportion, for some time at least, in China, and it will require a