HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 c198
11. Mr. Godman Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plan has been drawn up for the development of education in the British Solomon Islands; what is the estimated cost; and what action is being taken

Mr. Fisher

The plan aims to provide 420 places in secondary schools and 4,620 places in designated primary schools. The capital cost is about £780,000 plus a further £260,000 which will be met by the churches and local authorities. The recurrent cast to Government in a full year's working will be about £140,000. I am glad to say that all the churches, to which We are greatly indebted for the development of education in the territory, welcome the plan and all but one of them are prepared to participate in it.

Mr. Godman Irvine

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that this plan in adequate? In the last figures which were available in 1960, there was a plan which took up £100,000, and this is a considerable improvement, but is my hon. Friend really satisfied that out of a budget of about £1.7 million enough is being spent on education?

Mr. Fisher

There will be a high priority for education in this next planning period. As to the total amount of money, we must bear in mind that the Territory is grant-aided to the extent of half its budget. In the last CD. & W. period, £239,000 per annum went to the Solomon Islands and in the next the total will be £453,000 per annum. This is a big improvement—it is about double—and expenditure on education will reflect it.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Are there any proposals in the education plan for teaching family planning, and what would Solomon have thought of it?

Mr. Fisher

That has not yet arisen in the Solomon Islands.

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