HC Deb 23 July 1959 vol 609 cc1500-2
27. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that the Kenya Government decided to make a cut in the number of students going to Makerere University College without consulting the African Education Advisory Committee, and gave no opportunity to the African District Councils to finance further places at the College; and whether he will make a statement on the reasons for the adoption of this policy.

Mr. J. Amery

In matters of this kind the Kenya Government seek the advice of the Advisory Council on High Education, which represents the interests of all races. This Council endorses the policy of the Kenya Government, which aims at supporting the maximum number of students at both Makerere College and the Royal Technical College.

The total new admissions to both Colleges of African students with full Government support is greater in the coming academic year than in any year in the past.

The decision that African District Councils should no longer administer or grant bursaries for higher education in East Africa was part of a revision of financial relationships between the Kenya Government and the District Councils designed to provide a firm basis on which Councils can plan for a steady programme of development within the limits of their income and expenditure. The decision was approved by the Legislative Council.

Regarding the reasons for reducing the number of entrants to Makerere College, I have nothing to add to my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) on 14th April.

Mr. Johnson

Is not the Under-Secretary aware that Africans are willing to make almost any sacrifice for education? They believe that it is the key to their further advance. They believe that this whole matter was handled tactlessly by the Education Minister or Department, as the case may be. Is it not also a fact that the places at the Royal Technical College at Nairobi are more expensive than the other places at Makerere?

Mr. Amery

There is no ground for believing that there was any tactless handling of this. It is important to ensure that the facilities at the Royal Technical College are fully used, as well as those at Makerere. If they were not fully used, the per capita expense would rise very sharply.

Mr. P. Williams

Will my hon. Friend see if this cut can be restored at the earliest possible moment, because it will be a misfortune to education in Kenya if this cut is to be maintained? Will he give an undertaking that as soon as possible improved trade training and technical training will be given in Kenya to a larger number of people?

Mr. Amery

The emphasis we are putting on the Royal Technical College to some extent meets my hon. Friend's point. I also remind him of what I said in my original Answer, that the number of Africans going to both colleges in the coming year is greater than in any year in the past.

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