female education Essay

279 WordsApr 2, 20092 Pages
To return to primary schools, it should be understood that until 1889, when French was officially introduced in the first girls’ school in Salonika, the language of teaching was Italian. Pupils with no prior knowledge of French learnt the spoken and written language, together with handwriting, arithmetic, mythology and history, cosmography and Judeo-Spanish; then, a little later, the basics of Hebrew, and finally drawing and singing. Pupils with a prior knowledge of French studied it from the second year on. Until then, apart from the study of Turkish, the program was identical with that of the boys, indeed to the point where it attracted the criticism of the Central Committee. Precise instructions were handed down to the head teacher. The Committee asked that the time allocated to science education be reduced from five hours to two in the upper classes. In keeping with the spirit of the age, which distinguished between the social roles of the sexes, the secretary wrote that girls needed only a very basic grounding in this field. Apart from this, the female curriculum differed from the boys’ in including sewing and embroidery lessons and, later, classes in the education of women and children, in decoration and in ironing—all areas of knowledge which, according to the views of the time, were “necessary for girls destined for motherhood.” However, from 1879, dressmaking was taught in the same school, now equipped with workshops and professional staff to train seventeen apprentices. Not long after, linen, lace and embroidery workshops were also established (Nehama). The success of poor girls in establishing themselves and earning their living comfortably led the local Committee to create a proper training

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