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cation had come to China to stay and to exercise its influence over the life of the nation as well as that of the people.
In order to appreciate fully the effect of the revolution upon the educational system of China, it is necessary to examine first the status of education at the dawn of the revolution. According to the third annual report of the ministry of education, published in 1911, there were in China during 1910, 52,650 schools of different types, including normal, vocational and technical schools, with a student body numbering 1,625,534, a teaching corps numbering 89,766, and a corps of administrative officers numbering 95,800. Aside from the schools there also existed during that year 69 boards of education, 722 local, provincial, and national educational associations, 1558 educational exhorting societies, and 3867 public lecture halls. The total income for educational purposes during that year was Taels 23,331,171, and the expenditure for the same year was Taels 24,444,309. The educational property possessed by the government was valued at Taels 70,367,882.
Some idea as to the quality of the work done in the schools of that period may be gained from many of the educational exhibits that were given in different parts of the country. At the Nanking Industrial Exhibition held in 1910, more than 34,000 pieces of articles, including apparatus, textbooks, charts, drawings, hand-writings, etc., all products of schools, were collected and exhibited, and the list of prizes awarded to the articles at the exhibition shows that no less than 966 prizes, which is about half of the total number of prizes given out, were awarded to articles in the educational exhibit. Much highly favorable comment was also received from educators of the west who visited the exhibit. A similar but smaller collection of educational articles was sent to the exhibition not long ago held in Italy, and there again many prizes were received owing to the high standard reached both in skill and in thought content.
The status of education before the revolution is perhaps best seen in the influence which modern education had exerted upon the intellectual or thought life of the people. It is the opinion of many who are in a position to judge that
the schools and colleges of China contributed a great share to the revolutionary movement. Education evidently had created in the life of the students, both young and old, an intense dissatisfaction with things as they were and an earnest desire to better the condition of their country both socially and politically. Indeed, it has been repeatedly declared by Sun Yat-sen and others prominent in the revolutionary cause, that education was the chief factor in the successful overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the republic.
The revolution naturally caused a temporary cessation of educational activity. Much or all of the funds intended for the maintenance of educational institutions had to be used for the support of the armies. In consequence, the activities of a large number of schools and colleges were either suspended or seriously crippled, especially those situated near the centers of disturbance such as Chentu, Hankow, Wuchang, Nanking, Canton, and Peking. During the days of storm and stress, many of the school buildings were used as soldiers' quarters, and in not a few cases the entire schools were destroyed, with their books and apparatus looted and scattered. A large number of students volunteered for service in the field, either by forming themselves into new regiments, or by joining the regular army. Some of them even became influential leaders of the revolution. An equally large number of students organized associations for securing contributions of money toward the war fund. It was reported that the students of one college in south China alone in one campaign collected more than $40,000 toward the maintenance of the republican army. Still others volunteered to give lectures in public with a view to supply the people with the facts of the revolution and to instruct them in the principles of a republic, as well as the duties of their new citizenship. Thus during the short revolutionary period the cause of education received a hard blow from which it has not yet fully recovered.
As soon as the provisional government was established in Nanking, the matter of education received its serious attention. Tsai Yuan-pei, for five years a student in the
University of Leipsic, and a man recognized as one who had much ability and experience in educational affairs, was appointed as the first minister of education. While the Shanghai Peace Conference was still in session and the ultimate fate of the country was still weighing in the balance, the new minister of education issued a circular to the republican governors urging them the importance of the resumption of educational work. He outlined a set of temporary regulations for the guidance of the educators of the nation, the most important of which stipulate: (1) In the first grade of elementary education boys and girls are to be allowed to attend the same schools. (2) Classical studies are to be abrogated in elementary education. (3) Elementary handicraft departments shall have especial attention. This same Tsai Yuan-pei later became the minister of education on the first cabinet of Yuan Shih-kai after the latter was elected provisional president of the new republic; but as a consequence of the resignation of Premier Tang Shao-yi, he was soon obliged to resign from his office. The vacancy left by him was filled by Fan Yuan Lien, who was then serving as vice-minister of education. Fan is a native of Hunan and a returned student from Japan. He was known as a man who was most familiar with the work of the ministry of education, having served the ministry under the Manchu dynasty in the capacity of a secretary. He was therefore not ill prepared to perform the task which fell upon him, namely, to reorganize the educational system of the country.
One of the first tasks in the reconstruction of the educational system has been the reorganization of the central administrative organ, namely, the ministry of education in Peking. The ministry as now reconstructed differs from the one in existence before the revolution in that it is less complex and less highly centralized. The ministry has at its head the minister of education, who has general charge of all matters relating to education and to the general supervision of all the schools of the country, together with all public buildings under the immediate control of the ministry. The minister is assisted by many officers. Aside from those
officers that are common in all ministries, there are provided 16 inspectors and 10 experts in art and science (2 chief and 8 regular experts). The inspectors are appointed by the president of the republic at the nomination of the minister, and the experts are appointed by the minister himself. The work of the ministry is apportioned to one general council and three bureaus, instead of five bureaus as was the case before the revolution. The general council has special charge of all matters relating to schools under the direct control of the ministry, teachers in public schools, educational associations, investigations and compilations, school hygiene, repair and building of school library, school museum, and educational exhibits. The three bureaus are as follows: (1) general education: (2) technical or professional education; and (3) social education. The bureau of general education is in charge of all matters relating to normal school, middle school, primary school, kindergarten, and schools for all forms of defectives, including the deaf and the blind. It is also in charge of matters relating to children's attendance at school and the selection and certification of teachers. The bureau of technical or professional education has charge of all affairs relating to university and college, higher technical school, the sending of students abroad, the national observatory and the preparation of the governmental almanac, the society of doctors of philosophy, the association for the unification of the mother tongue, the association of examiners of medical doctors and pharmacists. In addition, this bureau has control of all matters relating to societies of arts and science and the conferring of degrees. The bureau of social education is in charge of all affairs relating to correction of public ceremonies, museums, libraries, zoological and botanical gardens, fine arts museums and exhibits, music, literature and the stage, the investigation and collection of relics, popular education and public lecture bureaus, public and circulating libraries, and last of all the compilation, the investigation, and the planning of popular education.
With the reorganization of the ministry there has taken place a change in the educational system itself. In the
course of a few months the ministry drew up one after another four different schemes. The final one which was submitted to the Central Educational Conference for discussion, provides the following: Primary elementary school, four years, ages 6-9; higher elementary school, three years, ages 10-12; middle school, four years, ages 14-16; college preparatory, three years, ages 17-19; and college proper, three or four years, according to the nature of the course, ages 20-22 or 23. It also provides two types of normal schools, the normal school with a course of four years, and one year of preparatory course, ages 13-17; and the higher normal having a course of three years and one year of preparatory course, ages 17-20. Two kinds of industrial schools are also specified, each having a course of three years, ages 10-12 and 13-15. Of the technical schools there are provided one preparatory course of one year, age 17, and the technical course proper lasting three or four years according to the nature of the course, ages 18-20 or 21. The scheme given received the endorsement of the Central Educational Association with the exception of the college preparatory course which the conference urged to have shortened from three years to one year. For one reason or another this recommendation of the conference was not accepted and the plan as given above has since been officially made the new educational scheme for the republic. It is to be noticed here that according to this new plan the length of time required to go through this entire educational system from primary school up through the university will be shortened to fifteen or sixteen years from that of twentythree years which was the period required under the system existing before the revolution.
The next step of importance taken by the ministry was the promulgation of the aim of education, which shows a fundamental change from the one upheld for centuries by the old conception, which was to make royal subjects of those who go to school and to inculcate in them ideas of loyalty to the emperor, honor for Confucius, high estimation for the warlike, and respect for that which is practical. Education is now to be conceived as a means of cultivating virtuous