HC Deb 05 July 1939 vol 349 cc1291-2
65. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that Africans pay annually in direct taxation to the Kenya Government £534,502, of which only £12,430, or 2.3 percent., went to aided schools for the elementary education of Africans, and having regard to the small proportion of African children getting any education whatsoever, he will recommend that steps be taken to greatly improve the educational facilities now existing.

70. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that only 2.3 per cent. of the amount raised by direct taxation from the natives of Kenya is devoted to elementary education, and that of the 100,872 pupils in elementary schools in the Colony in 1939 as many as 61,220 were in unaided schools, he will take steps to increase the provision for native elementary education out of the revenue provided by taxation in the Colony.

Mr. M. MacDonald

The term "elementary education" covers only one part of the pre-secondary school education of native children in Kenya. In fact expenditure on the education of these children was, in round figures, £55,000 in 1937 and £62,000 in 1938, and is estimated to be £65,000 in 1939. I am communicating with the Governor as to the possibility of making further provision for this purpose.

71. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that school fees are compulsory in all grant-in-aid schools in the Kavirondo district of Kenya; and is he aware that these school fees automatically exclude the poorer children from the opportunity of education although their parents pay the same tax as those who can afford to pay fees.

Mr. MacDonald

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative As regards the second part, as my right hon. Friend said in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling) on 21st June, the Governor is having an inquiry made into this matter.

Mr. Riley

Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that it is a question of school fees?

Mr. MacDonald

It is a question of school fees and the allegation that in some districts children are being sent away from school because of the incapacity of their parents to pay those fees.

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