Mr.A.E. Frye LL.B.'90, Superintendent of Schools in Cuba, has just returned to Boston from Havana to complete the arrangements for the Summer School for Cuban teachers to be conducted by Harvard this year.
Mr. Frye went to Cuba five months ago, having volunteered to serve the government there gratuitously for five years. Since his arrival his experiences with the Cubans have been most interesting. From threats of lynching and attempts at blackmail the Cuban newspapers have turned to hearty appreciation of his efforts. From being regarded as a spy and a robber of Cuban nationality he has come to be looked upon as the virtual founder of education in the island. When he arrived in Cuba there were some four thousand children attending school, and the teachers had to depend upon the subscriptions of the wealthier parents for their pay. There are now one hundred and twenty thousand children in school and the teachers are paid regular salaries of a very high average. In short, order has been substituted for chaos, and the educational system of Cuba is well on the road toward efficiency.
The plan for the Summer School, as worked out by President Eliot and Mr. Frye, provides for transporting at least one thousand, and possibly two thousand teachers to this country, receiving and caring for them while here and giving them three months instruction. The government has consented to bring the teachers from Cuba, and four steamers will be used for the purpose. Upon their arrival in Cambridge the women will be placed in homes near the College, and the men in the dormitories. Memorial Hall, and, if necessary, Randall Hall, will be kept open all summer for their exclusive use, and Phillips Brooks House will be at the disposal of the women teachers as a place for social gathering.
The President has already planned the course of study to be pursued. The principal courses will be English, Geography, Nature Studies, School Organization and Management, Cuban History, American History--particularly that which bears upon the problems now lying before Cuba--and a great many lectures of general culture. In addition to this regular work there will be historical and literary excursions to Plymouth, Bunker Hill, Lexington, Concord, the homes of Longfellow, Lowell and Whittier, and other places of instructive value.
To defray the expenses of this journey a plan for raising $50,000 is now being formed. Arrangements will be completed this week and no difficulty in getting the required amount is anticipated.