Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

In the building instruction is given to about 120 pupils living on the premises, of whom one half devote their time to the study of practical farming, and the other to the manufacture of implements, for which there are workshops (ateliers) close at hand.  There are ten teachers, of whom six rank as professors.  The pupils are nearly all peasants and bourgeois; instruction is gratuitous, and the cost to the State is about 450 francs per head annually.  The admission is by competitive examination, and for twenty vacancies in the agricultural section there were last year sixty applicants, whilst in the mechanical school the number of applications is still greater.

The arrangements for tuition in the interior of the building are quite on a par with the external ones.  There are collections of dried plants, seeds, sections of wood, &c., and a smaller collection of geological and zoological examples.  In one place the history of the plough is illustrated by means of models, beginning with the Egyptian, 2000 years B.C., and going through a long succession; the Greek, 490 B.C., the Roman, the Gallic, the Chinese, the Siamese, the primitive Roumanian (already noticed), with many others of ancient or mediaeval times, and ending with a great variety of improved modern construction.  Models of fruits, various products of hemp, and other vegetable fibres and tissues, and many other objects of interest to tho agriculturist, are to be found there.  The laboratory is good, and the instruction imparted is of a useful and practical kind.  In the ’Ecole des Arts et Metiers,’ the neighbouring workshops, everything is taught that is requisite for conducting the mechanical part of farm labour.  Implements, wine and cheese presses, maize-separating machines, carts, and even tables and chairs for the homestead are made by the students with the aid of excellent machinery.  Nor is theoretical training neglected.  Besides being instructed in chemistry, plans and elevations of stables, granaries, cottages, &c., have to be drawn by the students, and their work is very ably executed.  In fact the parent institution and its branches are exercising a most important influence on the agriculture of the country, and no one who has visited the college of Ferestreu will for a moment feel any doubt as to the great future in store for Roumania.  The only matter of regret is that the funds of the institution do not fully suffice to meet its requirements; but it is to be hoped that these will be more liberally supplied than they have been hitherto by wealthy members of the community, such as the larger landed proprietors, and that dependence will not have to be placed on State aid alone.  It is through the medium of these institutions that the peasant will have to acquire such instruction in improved agricultural methods as shall cause him to discard his old-fashioned notions, and enable him to secure an adequate return for his labour.

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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