Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/217

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University of Bombay.
have thus united themselves once more to the general movement of thought and here is a blessing to the country which furnishes a bright and an encouraging example to us, who are interested in this University and in the kindred institutions. The character of the men who go from the University is such that every business and even profession in which they enter becomes benefited by it. The very residence at a University is in itself a moral lesson, for nothing that we know influences the minds of young men more than the place in which their education is carried on and the associations by which they are surrounded at that impressionable period of their life. You will pardon me for occupying your time, but I should like to say a few words on that interesting resolution of the Government of India which we have all been reading within the last few days, and with the purpose of which we must all sympathise. Moral training in schools. The Government of India in that resolution insist on greater efforts being made towards moral training in schools and colleges. Now, moral training, in so far as it relates to the mere mechanical obedience to rules, can very well be put into formulas, and can very well be enforced in schools; and I do think that that part of the resolution of the Government of India, which directs or recommends that the teachers should spend some time in normal schools before they enter on the practice of their profession, is a thing most desirable in itself and which all our experience must confirm. But if it is to be supposed that the boys whose names are set down most regularly in the attendance book, and who have never had a bad mark for committing any little peccadillo in schools, will turn out men of the most noble and promising character, I think our experience will teach us that that is not a thing which can be altogether relied upon. Our hopes and fears founded on mere regularity of behaviour before the character is definitely formed are often fallacious. I think most of us know that there are many men who in their mature years lead the most active and energetic and also the noblest lives, to which activity and energy are essential; these very men have passed a most turbulent and boisterous youth; and, therefore, although these good and bad conduct registers may be all very well in themselves, and though the good boys may be patted on their back by their masters, I trust no one will suppose that the boys who have failed to attain to these distinguished honours are to be esteemed hopeless members of society, or not destined to be so distinguished as the others. When we come to the later stages of the educational progress, something more is necessary than this laying down of rules. How are we to understand these formulas?