HC Deb 14 February 1956 vol 548 cc247-8W
Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction of Africans in Northern Rhodesia regarding the facilities for secondary education and technical education, other than technological education within the executive authority of the Federation; and what steps he is taking to expand the Munali secondary school.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd,

pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th November, 1955; Vol. 546, c. 206] supplied the following information:

The facilities for secondary education have up to the present been adequate to provide secondary courses for all pupils who were fitted and able to go forward after completing the full primary course. In 1955 the total number of places available in Forms I was 367. For the first time since secondary education began in Northern Rhodesia, it was found necessary to lower the standard of the entrance examination in order that enough pupils could be accepted to fill all the vacancies. Even so, 31 of those accepted did not take up their places and only 336 pupils were enrolled. Of the places unfilled, 20 were for boys and 11 for girls. In addition, 9 per cent. of the places offered to boys in the senior secondary course were not taken up.

Munali Secondary School has now reached its full capacity of 425 boys and it is not proposed to expand it further. Additional facilities will be provided by developing other secondary schools and establishing new ones. It is planned that during the next few years the number of places in junior secondary schools will increase from 500 to 1,640, and in senior secondary schools from 250 to 840. Consideration is now being given to the establishment during 1956 of one new Local Education Authority junior secondary school and two or three mission junior secondary schools; whether this can be done will depend on there being funds, staff and buildings available. The general policy of the Northern Rhodesian African Education Department, however, which has been accepted by the African Education Advisory Board, is that the doubling of existing single-stream schools should have priority over the opening of new schools, and it is hoped that some of the existing secondary schools will have staff and accommodation available in 1956 to introduce a second stream. As a temporary measure, it is also proposed in 1956 to increase the maximum size of new junior secondary classes from 30 to 35 pupils.

The facilities for technical education are adequate to meet the demand. In fact 126 places at existing trade schools and 16 places at the Hodgson Technical College are vacant. Five new trade schools are planned, and, when the maximum capacity (approximately 400 students) of the Hodgson Technical College has been reached, another similar institution is proposed.