Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 63:  Statistica din Romania, Ministeriu de Interne, Bucuresci, 1881 (State Printing Office); and Gotha Almanack, 1882.  It may be interesting to compare the outlay in Roumania with that of Great Britain.  Last year our State expenditure was 2,683,958_l._ against about 110,000_l._ in Roumania, for primary instruction only. (See Statistica, pp. 13 and 22:  the amount in lei or francs is 3,650,698.) The population of the United Kingdom is about seven times that of Roumania, and the average attendance of children in 1880 was 3,155,534.  This gives about 17_s._ per head for State aid, without reference to school rates, which brings the total cost for each child in Great Britain to 2_l._ 2_s._ In Roumania it is 1_l._ 8_s._ as above.]

[Footnote 64:  Oeuvres completes, vol. vi.]

[Footnote 65:  Pp. 103 et seq.]

[Footnote 66:  We heard similar complaints in Transylvania.]


The ‘Asyle Helene’ at Bucarest, although it is nominally a foundling institution, really presents many educational advantages which are only to be found in the ladies’ colleges of England and the United States.  A large proportion of the scholars are foundlings or orphans; but many pay for their instruction, and some of the girls are the daughters of parents of acknowledged position in society.  The school was originally what it still professes to be, an asylum for foundlings, which was conducted in a private house belonging to Dr. Davila, who is still the active spirit in the institution.  At that time only forty children were educated in it.  In 1862 the Princess Elene Cuza, a lady of great virtue and benevolence, placed herself at the head of the institution, and in 1869 the present building was erected.  If the Agricultural College with its grounds is to be admired, much more so is the Asyle Helene.  It is a palatial building which stands upon an eminence, is surrounded by beautiful plantations, and approached by fine avenues, whilst its educational arrangements are as excellent as the institution is beneficent.  The Queen is its patroness, and she takes great interest in its success.  It accommodates 230 girls from nine to nineteen years of age, most if not all of whom live in the institution, and twenty little children who are educated on the ‘Froebel system.’  The pupils attend four primary classes, and then proceed either to the five higher girls’ classes, or to a technical school (atelier), also in the same building, whilst a good many are trained as teachers.  The ordinary course of instruction lasts five years, to which one year is added for the last-named class of scholars.  The subjects taught in the four primary classes are Roumanian language and history, writing, arithmetic, drawing, music, the elements of physical science, sewing, and embroidery, whilst the instruction advances further and further until in the fifth girls’

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