HC Deb 07 December 1961 vol 650 cc1510-1
12. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Colonies have not yet instituted compulsory education; and if he will list them.

Mr. H. Fraser

Thirty-one territories. With permission, I will circulate the list in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Boyden

Is not this entirely unsatisfactory? How many of those thirty-one will have compulsory education within, say, the next five years?

Mr. Fraser

I think that our first task is to provide primary education for all the children who want it, and, secondly, higher education as we can get to it. Of course, it is unsatisfactory against the standards in this country, but if I might point out some of the things done by this Government and the previous Government since 1946, I can say that no less than £54 million has been spent on education in the Colonies through C.D. and W. grants. To make another two or three points, in Africa, in Tanganyika, for instance, the total number of enrolled schoolchildren has gone up from 180,000 in 1950 to over 430,000 today, and in Kenya from 330,000 in 1950 to 730,000 today. That is considerable progress, and to denigrate it, I believe, is in the worst possible interest.

Mr. Rankin

While acknowledging that progress, may I ask whether the Under-Secretary would agree that it is also true that when many of the Colonies do attain a form of self-government, there is always a definite shortage of the necessary Civil Service staff in those Colonies? Does not that prove that our educational effort both at the primary and higher level is still insufficient?

Mr. Fraser

I agree that it is insufficient, but between 1950 and today we have more than doubled the number of schoolchildren in many of our Colonies.

Following is the list: