Consul McNally, of Liege, says that in no country in the world does the government attach more importance to the industrial and professional education of its people than in Belgium. While some of the industrial and professional institutions are maintained by the grace of the central government, the majority are subsidized by the provincial or communal administrations. The city of Liege supports one large industrial school and nine professional schools.
The industrial school is one of the best in Belgium and has at present an attendance of 650 pupils. Many of its graduates have become noted in the industrial world.
The professional schools include one for tailors, where the lectures and practical work of a tailor as taught in conjunction are free. The course is five years. The school of horticulture is free, with a course of three years.
The commercial and consular high school is intended to offer an advanced education, both theoretical and practical, and is open to those contemplating the profession of banking, commerce, industry or a consular career. The government usually drafts from the graduates the young men wanted in the various consulates throughout the world, where they remain without compensation during a preliminary prescribed period.
The firearm school was established in 1897, and like the other schools the applicant for admission must have had a primary education. Every detail from the stock making to the barrel is taught, and the boys must pass an apprenticeship in every branch of the gun-making industry. The lectures include both the theory and practical information of firearm making.
The remaining schools embrace tanning, house painting, mechanics, plumbing and carpenter work. The mechanical school includes the study of political economy, hygiene, arithmetic, geometry, drawing (mechanical), physics, chemistry, mechanics, wood and iron work, bicycle and automobile making.
Plumbing is the only school in which an entrance fee is demanded.