Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/450

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positions so great that in many of the lower schools it is almost a case of the blind leading the blind. This, too, is gradually righting itself as the number of graduates of the new system increase. A third disadvantage is the coordinate of the second; the students entering a school are seldom properly prepared to undertake the work prescribed for them. These early defects of adjustment will gradually be outgrown—rapidly outgrown when the control of educational affairs comes into the hands of really competent officials. The hampering effect of these officials is well seen in the case of the Imperial University of Peking (which must not be confused with Peking University, an American Methodist institution). This has, in some sense, been the outgrowth of the Tung-wên-Kuan, established under the scholarly Dr. W. A. P. Martin many years ago. Like an unsuccessful corporation, it has gone through a series of reorganizations and at last seems firmly established with a large staff of foreign and Chinese professors and, with modern buildings in course of erection, should do effective work.

A marked feature of the situation is that the most effective educational work is now being done by schools that are not a regular part of the system and have, therefore, to some degree at least, escaped official control. The number of such institutions is remarkably great, some of them having been in existence before 1902, and others having sprung up to meet real or fancied special needs since that time. Of these easily the first is the Imperial Pei-Yang University at Tientsin, which was founded by Dr. Charles D. Tenney (who had been tutor to the family of H. E. Li Hung-chang) before 1900 and was reorganized by him in 1902, after its destruction in the Boxer outbreak. This remarkably able man, who is now Chinese Secretary to the American Legation in Peking, also organized the school system of the entire province of Chihli, and it is to his effective work that the great growth of modern education in Chihli shown in the preceding table is largely due. The effective work of the Pei-Yang University has been due to its having been almost free from official control during development, at first under the administration of Dr. Tenney and later under Wang Shoh-lien, an equally able Chinese, who, though educated in England for the naval service, has done the most effective work of any Chinese in the development of the new system. When the national and provincial boards of education are composed of men of this calibre, educational progress will be rapid. Graduation from this institution is recognized by American universities as equivalent to attaining the B.S. degree; it thus enjoys the unique distinction of being the only Chinese institution of learning whose degree (Chin-shih) is recognized abroad. It should be added here that this, and all other schools, can not grant a degree per se; the school devotes itself to the work of instruction; degrees are granted upon examination by an official board created for the purpose. This school is now practically a part of the regular system.