SIR,-Many of us are tired of the tone of the letters on Catholic education appearing on your correspondence page. Catholic schools, we are told, compare unfavourably with the non-Catholic ones. Children are being taught piety but little else, so it appears.
One wonders what these critics mean by education. Many would seem to imply that it means mere book knowledge and the passing of examinations. Whilst we do not decry the necessity for academic distinction. we do not consider the whole of education to be there.
Surely the aim of the Catholic educator is to develop to the full every aspect of the child's personality and thus produce at the end of the course of studies a dynamic and vital Catholic able to take her place beside her nonCatholic counterpart with no sense of intellectual inferiority and with the added advantage of a firm well-informed faith and convictions based on the certainty of the existence of a moral law. I can see no reason for the persistent assumption that Catholic schools are less competent than others.
The school at which I teach is a fairly small independent grammar school. During the past three years one State Scholarship has been obtained per year. Pupils leave us to go to University to study for degrees or they take up medical studies or they obtain posts where they can put to good use their knowledge of languages. Nearly all the girls spend at least one year in Form VI and all these study one or more subjects at "A" Level, even if they are doing a commercial course.
This school is no isolated example. In fact other Catholic schools with a larger entry have much greater academic distinctions. One could name many Catholic grammar schools where the standard of education is excellent and the results at examinations equally so. Moreover. in the independent schools, these results are obtained at the price of great sacrifices.
In order to reach a high standard of work suitable equipment roust be at hand and qualified teachers must be employed; financially this is a great strain on the independent school. Yet, aware of their responsibility towards the children confided to them. the orders who run these schools willingly make these sacrifices.
Do the critics trouble to think of these things? Do they realise that the products of the vast number of Catholic grammar schools are every bit as good as those of other schools and that on the whole, besides academic distinction, the Catholic school-leaver has more poise and sense of purpose than her non-Catholic counterpart?
S11-2,Having just completed my teacher's training course at Maria Assumpta Training College, London, t was much disturbed by the statement in your issue of October 14 of the number of students present there at the moment.
I do realise that the numbers stated were meant to be basic, but last year Maria Assumpta had a Students' Union 240 strong-80 more than stated.
81 Chudleigh Road, Manchester 8.
SIR,-In answer to your correspondent's 1 e t te r of October 14
The Junior Series, a complete course in doctrine, lessons on the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. work out at about Id per lesson with test. The pupil should manage one or two of these per week according to circumstances. (Miss) M. M. Bate Hon, Org. Secretary, Our Lady's Catechists. Waterfall Cottage,