HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 cc1624-5
2. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what decisions have been made on African education in Swaziland, following the termination of education facilities in the Union of South Africa: and if these decisions include the inauguration of inter-racial schools at all levels with equal opportunities for African and European children.

Mr. Braine

The education facilities provided for Swazi students by South African authorities have been access to South African universities, and the right to take public examinations set by the Joint Matriculation Board of the University of South Africa. The former facility was withdrawn in 1959 except in regard to the Natal Medical School.

Suitably qualified Swazi students can now receive university education at either Pius XII College at Roma in Basutoland, the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, or at universities overseas.

The latter facility is still provided, but as I informed the hon. Gentleman in reply to his Question on 29th June, facilities are also provided for African and other pupils to take the London Overseas General Certificate of Education.

In regard to inter-racial schools, as I stated in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) on 29th June, the Swaziland education authorities are examining how these can best be introduced.

Mr. Brockway

Does not the termination of the arrangements with the Union of South Africa give an opportunity for a new start in education in Swaziland, not only in higher education but in primary education, too? Is the Minister aware that there is segregation in the schools of Swaziland and that only £5 a year per head is spent on the African child compared with £90 on the European child? Will he do something to establish free inter-racial compulsory education for all the children in Swaziland?

Mr. Braine

The opportunity for taking a fresh look and making a fresh start in these matters is being taken. The question of examinations is being considered at the moment by the Swaziland Educational Board. The hon. Member asked about progressive integration in the schools. The Board is considering, among other matters, the replacement of the African, European and Euro-Asian Advisory Boards by one inter-racial board; extra-mural activities on a non-racial basis; integration in the secondary schools; and the raising of standards in African primary schools to make possible integrated schooling on a wider basis.

Mr. Marquand

The Minister mentioned Pius XII College at Roma. Is this institution fully recognised as an institution of higher learning of university standard?

Mr. Braine

I prefer that question to be put on the Order Paper. It is important, and I should prefer it to be put down separately.