Evening classes, each meeting usually once a week, are flourishing immensely, and not only those which prepare people for examinations leading to professional qualifications. Many people attend classes connected with their hobbies, such as photography, painting, folk-dancing, dog training, cake decoration, archaeology, local history, car maintenance and other subjects, some of them no less surprising than some of these. The classes may be organized by the local education authority or by the Workers' Educational Association, and in them people find an agreeable social life as well as the means for pursuing their own hobbies more satisfactorily. All this, together with the popularity of amateur dramatics, can provide some comfort for those who fear that modern mass entertainment is producing a passive society.
Apart from the organized classes mention must also be made of the privately-arranged groups of people who join together for the pursuit of their hobbies.
Evening classes reopen every autumn for those who want to advance their career, to study for an examination, to follow up some special interest or to get more enjoyment out of their leisure hours. Men and women, old and young, professional and amateurs - all are catered for.
The session for evening classes is normally from late September to the end of June (in some cases Easter) and, when a definite course of study is being undertaken, it is most important that students should join the class at the beginning of the session in order to obtain full benefit from the course.
Admission to classes is at the discretion of the principal of the establishment. In certain cases minimum age and/or other qualifications are required and details are available through the establishment concerned. The opening of classes is largely dependent on the enrolment of a minimum number of students and admission is subject to a vacancy being available.
Regular attendance at evening classes is very desirable. If numbers fall the Authority reserves the right to close the class or to combine one class with another.
Fees are payable in advance and there is no entitlement to a refund or to a transfer.
The list of subjects includes: advertising, anatomy (for artists, for meat trades), angling, archery, astronomy (popular lectures, advanced lectures with use of planetarium), bird watching, biscuit making, camping, Christmas decorations, clothing design, cookery, crafts, cricket, criminology (for B. Sc. sociology students only, for police officers, prison officers and magistrates), drama (for the physically handicapped, producers' course, theatre make-up, mime; stage lighting), dressmaking, elocution, English for students from abroad, flower arrangement (Japanese), girls' complete course (incorporating fashion, good grooming, dressmaking, party cooking), guitar groups, hairdressing, heraldry, home decorating, hotel management, housewives' course, London (history and topography, museums and galleries, archeology of London), manicure, marriage (preparation for marriage), modelling (clay), money (spending and saving), musical instrument making for amateurs, care of pets, pottery, puppetry, religions of the world, Russian (conversation; with use of language laboratory; Russian for scientists; etc.), secretarial training, Shakespeare's plays, shorthand, speech therapy for stammerers, tape recording techniques, tapestry weaving, wines and spirits (wines of Europe; wine-making for amateurs; wine appreciation), zoology (for research degrees; for laboratory technicians; popular lectures; etc.), and quite a number of others.
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