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Drummond / Davies spat, part 5 (final)

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Saturday 7 November 1931, The Sydney Morning Herald

Mr. Drummond's Reply.

Mr. D. H. Drummond, M.L.A., formerly Minister for Education, who returned to Armidale to-day, replied to the criticism of the Minister for Education (Mr. Davies) concerning the establishment of the Teachers’ Training College in the country.

Mr. Drummond said that Mr. Davies was entitled to every sympathy. He was not the first Minister of Education to squirm under Mr. Lang, though not every man had the moral courage of Mr. Mutch to kick against the pricks.

“What is he driving at?” asked Mr. Drummond. “Is he preparing an onslaught on little bush schools, closing them by hundreds, or is he indulging in a little harmless persiflage when he speaks of ‘566 students coming out of the two teachers’ colleges for whom there are no vacancies?’ In 1926, the position was so acute that Mr. Mutch proposed to import 200 teachers from Great Britain, but was blocked by his Labour friends. The position was still acute when I took office in 1927. Between then and 1930, the enrolments increased by about 27,000. This year, according to Mr. Davies, enrolments have Increased by 16,000. These additional enrolments this year have meant an Increase of no fewer than 450 in the staff. Apart from this, in normal years, the annual wastage by resignations, retirements, etc., amounts to, roughly, 500, Thus, allowing for the economic pressure, at least 800 additional teachers have been required.

“The Minister’s strictures on the Armidale college make interesting reading when compared with his modest claims in March, that he really initiated the policy. Speaking at the opening of additions to the Armidale High School, Mr. Davies said: ‘I thought it would be better to establish colleges In country districts-one in the north, one in the south, and one in the west of the State. That was the plan I had in mind when I went out of office.'”

Written by macalba

May 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm

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