Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/454

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114

THE BRITISH EMPIRE: — CEYLON

The principal towns, with population according to the census of 1891 are :— Colombo, 127,836 ; Kandy, 20,558 ; Galle, 33,590; Trincomalee, 11,948 ; Jaflfna, 43,179. Religion and Instruction. The principal religious creeds were returned as follows at the census of 1891 :— Buddhists, 1,877,043; Hindoos, 615,932 ; Mohammedans, 211,995; Christians, 302,127. The religion of the great majority of the inhabitants is Buddhism, which was introduced in the third century before Christ by Mahinda, a Buddhist missionary of royal parentage, and soon became the established religion of the Island, replacing the Brahminical religion introduced by earlier streams of Indian colonists. The Buddhism prevalent in Ceylon (unlike the Northern Buddhism of Tibet, China and Japan) is, in its philosophy, materialistic and atheistic, and in popular usage has a large admixture of the doctrines and practices of popular Hinduism (due no doubt to the influence of the reigning dynasty which for many centuries was South Indian), and of the aboriginal wild tribes. Education has made considerable strides in Ceylon since it was or- ganised under a separate Government department with a director of public instruction and a staff of inspectors, as will be seen from the following table : —

— Expenditure by Government Government Schools Grant in Aid Schools Unaided Schools No. of Schools Scholars No. of Schools Scholars No. of Schools Scholars 1895 1896 1897 Rs. 632,819 Rs. 668,274 Rs. 716,767 477 474 474 44,252 44,538 45,113 1,096 1 130 1,172 90,229 94,400 102,485 2,242 2,268 2,331 35,353 36,720 36,908

There were thus in 1897, 184,506 scholars receiving regular instruction, or a proportion of a little more than 1 in 16 of the population according to the census of 1891. The Government expenditure is now chiefly devoted towards vernacular education, which is unable to support itself, while English education has obtained such a hold upon the people that it is becoming gradually jijlf-supporting. The only Government high English school is now the Royal College ; but other high English schools receive grants in aid. The Government also gives a scholarship of 150/. a year for four years to enable promising Ltudents to proceed to an English university. The Cambridge local examinations, and the examinations of the London University are held annually in Ceylon by arrangement. The technical college, established in 1893, was re-organised in 1897, and is prosperous. The branches taught include civil engineering, telegraphy and electrical engineering, surveying and levelling, and mechanical engineering ; there are over 100 students. There is an agi-icultural school, a school of forestiy, recently established, and a Govern- ment dairy farm, originally intended for the supply of milk to hospitals and prisons, and now (1898) possessing over 160 head of cattle bred from Sindh stock ]uocured through the Bombay Government. There are also twenty-five industrial schools and orphanages.