HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 cc184-5
44. Mr. Malcolm MacPherson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many African children of primary school age there are in Tanganyika; how many of them attend primary schools; and how many go on to secondary schools.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. John Profumo)

Out of an estimated total of 859,000 African children of primary school age in Tanganyika, 336,079 were enrolled in primary schools in 1956. In the same year, 32,845 African children were enrolled in the middle schools, which are an intermediate stage in the educational system in the territory, and 2,409 in secondary schools.

Mr. MacPherson

In view of the fact that less than half the African children of primary school age seem to be in primary schools, will the Minister reconsider the official statement that the new five-year plan may be held back for financial reasons? If the manpower is available, will he give an undertaking that finance will not stop the expansion?

Mr. Profumo

It is not only a question of expense, but, as the hon. Gentleman knows, of establishments and teachers. The Government of the Territory have got what they regard—and my right hon. Friend agrees with them—as a balanced programme, which we intend to pursue.

Mr. MacPherson

Is not that exactly the point I have just made? Will the Minister undertake that if the manpower is available, in the terms that he has just described, finance itself will not hold back the development of the plan?

Mr. Profumo

I think that that is hypothetical. I did not say that all the other factors were as the hon. Member presumed.

Mr. Swingler

Will the Under-Secretary say what is being done about these other factors? Are not these figures appallingly low? What is the good of talking about political advance unless some further steps are taken to provide universal education? Will he be more forthcoming and say what is being done to provide the resources to give this education to the African children?

Mr. Profumo

I do not agree with the hon. Member that progress is not being made. I think that hon. Members on both sides of the House realise the problems that still exist in this Territory. Within these limitations, everything is being done to promote education.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Has not there been an immense advance on the position of ten years ago?

Mr. Profumo

That is perfectly true.

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