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APPENDIX D. —PROGRESS OF THE SMYRNA SCHOOLS, 53
of ophthalmia, the illness of two teachers, and the outbreak of a disastrous conflagration on the 18th of July. These several occurrences threw an overwhelming amount of labour upon the Director, who, besides, had to attend to the refugees from Russia and Egypt, as well as to the arrangement of the new School-house. .Now, after the restoration of a normal state of things, the work goes on with renewed energy and additional application in order to make up for lost time. The School is divided into six classes, comprising respectively 15, 30, 22, 39, 40 and 75 pupils. Amongst those admitted are three Armenians and six Moslem children, viz., the sons of his Excellency the Governor-General, also of Mustapha Effendi, Representative at Smyrna of the Sheriff of Mecca, and of Emin Pasha, Commander of the Gendarmes of the Province. The ages of the pupils vary from 6 to 17. Each pupil on entering must be able to read Hebrew.
2. Instruction.—Except in the lowest two classes, where Judeo-Spanish is spoken, French forms the medium of instruction. Through the same dialect, which is used throughout Turkey (except in Syria, where Arabic is the vernacular), Hebrew is taught.
Sixteen pupils who learn English have made rapid progress under the direction of M. Missir, who instructs them in grammar, translation, and composition. Through the kindness of the Proprietors of the Jewish Chronicle a prize has been accorded to the best student of this language. His name is Solomon Astrugo, an orphan, 15 years old, who excels also in other branches of his studies.
Hebrew is taught on an improved modern method. The children learn to read Rashi and other commentaries. During the past year the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Job have been translated. Three native Rabbis are charged with this instruction, and the Director takes the first class through a course of Hebrew grammar and analysis.
The Turkish language is taught in the four upper classes, Greek in the 1st and 2nd classes only. The other subjects comprise arithmetic, geography, sacred and universal history, French literature, natural history, natural philosophy, linear-drawing and bookkeeping. The Committee have established a small museum of natural science, and the instruments have been purchased by means of a weekly collection organised by the pupils. In this way about 400 francs were collected within the last two years. The Eastern children are of quick comprehension, but in many cases they soon forget what they have acquired. A proper system of instruction appealing to the reflective powers will gradually obviate any of the present
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