Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Truth and Beyak 3

As educational institutions, the residential schools were failures, and regularly judged as such. In 1923, former Regina industrial school principal R. B. Heron delivered a paper to a meeting of the Regina Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church that was highly critical of the residential school system. He said that parents generally were anxious to have their children educated, but they complained that their children “are not kept regularly in the class-room; that they are kept out at work that produces revenue for the School; that when they return to the Reserves they have not enough education to enable them to transact ordinary business—scarcely enough to enable them to write a legible letter.” The schools’ success rate did not improve. From 1940–41 to 1959–60, 41.3% of each year’s residential school Grade One enrolment was not promoted to Grade Two. Just over half of those who were in Grade Two would get to Grade Six.
(The third in a series of quotations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report Summary, prompted by the need for some truth in response to Senator Lynn Beyak's beliefs about residential schools,)
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