Hawaii. Papa Hoonaauao (Board of Education).

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The Hawaiian and English annual and biennial reports in this collection are from Hawaiʻi’s Papa Hoonaauao, or Board of Education, from 1845-1901. Later reports from 1902-1952 are available in print in the UHM’s Hawaiian Collection and some years are freely available online in HathiTrust.

The Papa Hoonaauao was first established as the Kuhina no ke Aopalapala or Minister of Public Instruction, overseeing the Oihana no ke Aopalapala, or Department of Public Instruction, in the First Act and Second Act Part IV of the Kanawai i kauia e Ka Moi, E Kamehameha III or Statute Laws of His Majesty Kamehameha III in 1845-1846. Led by the Minister of Public Instruction, this department oversaw parental duties, the filial duties of children, public and private schools, institutions (literary, seminary, or select schools) endowed by the government, parishes and church foundations, and penal obligations for children, schools, and churches.

In the Kanawai o ka Moi Kamehameha IV or Laws of His Majesty Kamehameha IV of 1855, the office of Minister of Public Instruction was abolished and replaced with an appointed Board of Education led by a President and two Directors who had direct oversight over the Department of Public Instruction. After this change, the reports focused more on the academic and school-related obligations of the board, rather than previous years in which a range of duties and responsibilities were reported. Under the Republic of Hawaiʻi, the Department of Public Instruction was placed under the Executive Department, replacing the Board of Education with a Minister of Public Instruction. Under the Act to provide a Government for the Territory of Hawaiʻi, the Superintendent of Public Instruction was established in place of the minister position.

These reports include lists of teachers and schools; pupils broken down by nationality, age, and gender; financial statements; brief overviews on what individual schools have done or need to do; as well updates and notes on academic materials and courses of study. Various census tables of the Hawaiian Kingdom (1853, 1860, 1866, 1872, and 1878) are also found in these reports because census taking was under the responsibilities of this department. Interesting information to look for within these reports are statistics and reports on vocational and industrial schools, as well as on schools that serve children with disabilities. These reports are valuable research tools when discussing Native Hawaiian education and how it was developed in the Hawaiian Kingdom, as they offer a lot of broad and focused statistics and reports on those topics.

This digital collection was made possible with support from our Native Hawaiian Student Services' Kekaulike Internship intern Sienna Andrade, who spent many hours reviewing, digitizing, and writing about these reports. A special mahalo to the team at Native Hawaiian Student Services for the continued support and aloha for UHM's Hawaiian Collection. This digital collection is inspired by their vision and mission of, "Growing Hawaiian Leaders, Strengthening Hawaiian Research, and Empowering the Lāhui." We hope this digital collection will further their work by helping the lāhui connect to the history of education in the Hawaiian Kingdom.


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