The Swiss are an industrious and practical people and their schools Chow the national characteristics. This country has the distinc tion of having provided the model for the first French trade school. As early as 1599 Saint Francis de Sales conducted a school which maintained an industrial section. The Duke de la Rochefoucauld, while traveling in Switzer land, heard of the school, and, at his own ex pense, founded a similar one in France, which later became a National School of Arts and Trades.
The Federal government has developed an excellent system of subsidizing and supervising trade schools. The continuation school is the favorite, and they are similar in character to those of Germany, though the special trade fea tures are not so well developed. They are found in all of the cantons and are for both sexes.
The Industrial Art Schools are giving train ing to apprentices in the trade, as well as ad vanced instruction. The cantonal School of In dustrial Arts at Geneva, devoted purely to the art industries, and the Trade and Industrial Art School in Bern, combining other industries with its art work, are examples. Certain classes in both of these schools are open to women.
The Trade Schools proper cover a wide field of occupations. Of those teaching a simple trade, the watchmaking schools are the most numerous. Woodworking, embroidery and weaving schools are also characteristic of Switzerland. Many of the schools teach sev eral trades. The course is usually three years in length and includes such art and academic work as is felt to be necessary for the under standing of the trade. These schools have had for their models the German, Belgian and French institutions of a similar character. The art work is generally less notable, however. The cantons of Appenzell, Bern, Geneva, Neuchatel, Saint Gall, Soleure and Zurich have successful trade schools as well as apprentice shops.
Trade instruction for women is also well developed. Many of the trade schools include
the housekeeping element as is the case in Germany, Belgium and France. The Trade and Housekeeping School (ecole profession nelle-menagere) in Geneva offers a three-year course. The work produced resembles the French in precision of technique and beauty of execution, but has, perhaps, less artistic value. Of the trade schools proper a good example is the school for ladies' tailoring and lingerie making at Zurich. Pupils must be over 14 years of age and present certificates showing a good general education. Courses of three or four years are offered, which include practical work at the chosen trade, theoretical instruction concerning it, auxiliary academic subjects, drawing and drafting and at least six months' service in a salesroom connected with the school. The Bern Women's Hand work School (Frauenarbeitsschule) also gives trade training, but does not at present include art or academic work in its curriculum.
Schools for housekeepers and servants have been developed in Switzerland and give excel lent courses of several months' duration. All of the ordinary work of housekeeping, cooking. baking, preserving, serving, cleaning, sewing.
i repairing, washing, ironing, gardening, sweep ing and putting rooms in order is included in the course. An effort to lengthen the time of training is being made. Lenzburg, Bern and Boniswil have good schools of this class.
The Swiss trade school is felt to have a beneficial effect on the working man and woman as well as on the industries, and is favored by the labor unions. Although the schools have not created new industries, they have been the means of developing many. The schools of wood-carving have done much to improve this trade, and machine embroidery has been, through the schools, bsought prominently for ward. The products of this industry are largely exported to the United States.