Field and Tuer, the Leadenhall Press : Simpkin, Marshall,
Text on page 49
BRITISH OR LOWER BURMA. 4J
down from generation to generation. Among them very considerable and satisfactory progress has been made, though actually only between two and three per cent, of the population are Christians.
Considering the backward state of the people in many other respects, education shows up well, fifty-two per cent, of the males over twelve years of age being returned as able to read and write. In the country districts the monasteries are the only schools, as in Upper Burma; but the Buddhist monks, with most praiseworthy liberality, have welcomed a system of education proposed by a Government professing a rival faith, and in many monasteries native children are now given a rudimentary but sound education, which is more easily acquired and much more useful than the crude native course.
Missionary labour first, and the Government later on, have helped forward this movement by the preparation of school books in the vernacular, setting forth the elements of geography, mathematics, astronomy, agriculture, human physiology, etc. In the large towns, and par-