HC Deb 20 June 1956 vol 554 cc1416-7
39. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what estimate he has made of the cost to the Kenya Government, and how many additional teachers would be needed, to introduce free compulsory primary education for all children in that Colony.

Mr. Hare

Primary education is already compulsory for European children and, in some of the larger towns, for Asian children. The demand for primary education by the Arab community is being satisfied. As regards African education, the objective is to provide, as soon as possible, an eight year course of education for every African child; the immediate target is to provide by 1960 a four-year primary course for every African child whose parents wish the child to go to school.

On present population figures, and without taking into account substantial capital costs, it is estimated that more than £12 million per annum and 41,000 additional teachers would be needed to provide an eight-year course of education for every African child.

Mr. Johnson

Is the Minister aware that this question of education is now perhaps the most important political and social issue in Kenya, now that the emergency is coming to an end? Would he consider a loan of something like £5 million for African education, because, if nothing or little is done, this will be almost dynamite in the Colony?

Mr. Hare

The hon. Gentleman knows the Colony much too well to say that nothing or little has been done. I believe he knows perfectly well that the figures laid down in the Beecher Report have already been exceeded. For instance, there are in existence 2,287 primary schools and 337 intermediate schools, as opposed to the Beecher recommendation of only 2,000 primary schools and 270 intermediate schools.