§ 25. Mr. Dalyell
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what measures Her Majesty's Government propose to take to increase the supply of British teachers to Nigeria and to encourage the continued service of those already there.
§ Mrs. Castle
I am glad to announce that arrangements have been agreed with the Nigerian Federal Government for the retention of British teachers in Nigeria and the recruitment of new ones.
We shall now seek to recruit in consultation with the Nigerian authorities up to 75 British graduate or technical teachers a year for service in Nigeria. To facilitate recruitment we shall offer a special financial inducement payable in Britain. We shall also be prepared to offer a financial inducement to certain British graduate or technical teachers already serving in Nigeria who are prepared to stay on for at least three years and whose services the Nigerian authorities wish to retain.
This scheme, estimated to cost £1 million over five years, represents a partnership not only between the British and Nigerian Governments but also between the Ministry of Overseas Development and a major education authority in Britain. The London County Council is——
§ Mr. Cooper
On a point of order. Is it not customary, Mr. Speaker, for Government statements to be made after Question Time?
§ Mr. Speaker
It is always a matter of judgment whether it is better to do it then or in the middle of Questions. The point is that we should try to keep both 201 supplementary questions and answers as short as is consistent with what has to be done.
§ Mrs. Castle
I am interested to note that hon. Members opposite, having pressed me for statements of policy, are obviously very annoyed when I am able to announce an advance in this field.
The London County Council is forming an educational link with Northern Nigeria and will now encourage their own teachers to go out to Northern Nigeria on secondment under the new scheme. This is a most welcome development, and my Ministry is ready to assist other education authorities to enter into similar links elsewhere overseas.