Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/412

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119
1877.—Colonel R. M. Macdonald.

precious thoughts, their loftiest speculations, their wit, their wisdom, all belong to you, if you choose to lay claim to them.

The culture of which I am speaking is especially incumbent on those among you who intend to adopt the profession of teaching. I fear that the number of such will be small. We hear a great deal of graduates being turned out annually in such multitudes that they are unable to find any kind of suitable employment. As a matter of fact, however, there are, at this moment, several hundreds of educational posts which ought to be filled by graduates, but which are occupied by persons of humbler attainments, because, in the present state of the market, the services of graduates for such posts cannot be secured, and, as education advances, situations of this kind will be numbered by thousands instead of by hundreds. Such employment need not necessarily be in connection with Government. Already in several large towns schools have sprung up under the management of young graduates, who, without any aid from the State, are beginning to find remunerative employment. Unfortunately, however, it is the case in this country, as it is the case in many other coun- tries, that the dignity of the teacher's vocation is not properly appreciated. It is in reality one of the most important of all ofiices one to which it is the interest of the community that the most gifted minds should be attracted, bat the profession is a laborious one, and the prizes are at present few.

It is much to be regretted that the educated natives of this Presidency have, as a sreneral rule, kept entirely aloof from agricultural, manufacturing and commercial pursuits. India is, at present, a poor country, but with intelligence, enterprise and capital, she might become rich. In Europe, America, and the Australian Colonies much of the success which has attended such pursuits has been due to the influence of educated men. Many persons consider that the state of feeling which prevails on this subject here is partly due to the great preponderance which has, until recently, been assigned to literary and mathematical studies in the curriculum of the University, and to the entire absence of the intellectual discipline afforded by the natural and experi- mental sciences. In this respect, however, great changes have been recently made, the ultimate effect of which remains to be seen. Physical Science is no longer the dead letter which it once was. It is now as compulsory as English and Mathematics for the Matriculation and First Arts examinations, and those students who wish to pursue the study of Physical Science up to the