Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.
Cairo , January 25, 1873. (Received February 18.)
Sir: By invitation of His Majesty the Khedive I attended this morning a distribution of prizes to the students of the national schools at Cairo.
About one hundred and fifty prizes were distributed.
I send you by this mail two pamphlets, one containing a list of the pupils who received prizes, with the number of their class, rating, &c., and the other a statistical report on the actual condition of the schools, native and foreign, in Egypt. By the latter document it will be observed: (1) that the national schools are systematically graded from preparatory and normal up to the higher grades of literature and languages, medicine and surgery, and polytechnics; (2) that fifty-one students are being educated in Europe at government expense; (3) that at Cairo, Alexandria, and the chief towns and villages there are 2,067 schools, with 2,381 teachers, and 77,292 pupils; (4) that each pupil pays from one to four piasters a month, according to his means, the piaster being equal to five cents of our money; and (5) that these schools are all under the control of the department of public instruction. There are also in the public schools 5,010 scholars who are being educated partly at the expense [Page 1126] of the government and partly at the expense of religions estates, making a total of 82,302 students in the national schools.
Under the head of European schools are classed all independent schools. These are mostly under missionary auspices, and the number of scholars here given at Cairo and Alexandria is 5,978, which, added to 82,302, the number of scholars in the national schools, makes a total of 88,280 scholars.
Besides these schools, however, there are many missionary schools in Upper Egypt, and the regimental schools in the army, of which no mention is made in the report in question. It is safe to say that the number of scholars in all the schools in Egypt will not fall much short of 100,000.
A noticeable feature of this report is the mention of the establishment of a school for girls, which is an innovation of Oriental thought and custom almost too great to be realized.
I have visited some of the schools of this city and will visit the balance of them the coming week, when I will be better prepared to report as to their efficiency. So far as I have seen they appear to be well conducted, and their influence for good upon the future of Egypt is beyond all calculation.
I am, &c.,