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Nigeria

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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Teaching Profession

40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the present condition of the teaching profession in Nigeria and the exodus of teachers; what are the present wages paid, hours worked and holidays; and whether he is considering plans to make the profession more satisfactory and attractive?

As regards the first and third parts of the Question, the circumstances of the teaching profession in Nigeria have for some time been engaging my serious attention in consultation with the Governor, who has submitted comprehensive proposals for improving present conditions. These proposals are receiving active consideration in the Colonial Office. I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement giving in full the details asked for in the second part.

Do I understand that that statement includes proposals regarding the improvement of this profession?

Yes, they are comprehensive educational proposals which we are now considering.

Following are the details:

As regards the second part of the Question, wages vary according to the grades of the teachers and their certificates. In Mission Schools the pay of certificated elementary teachers is £30 to £60 per annum. In Government Schools £36 to £72 per annum. Mission teachers holding the Yaba Diploma receive £75 to £150 per annum. Mission School "graduates" receive £160 to £200 per annum. In Government Schools teachers with the Yaba Diploma are divided into three grades, the lowest receiving £88 to £128 per annum and the highest £240 to £375 per annum. Uncertificated teachers are on lower scales. The usual school hours are 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The holidays vary according to locality but are roughly two months in the year for both Government and Mission Schools.

Native Administration Services

41.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the recommendations in the Dodds Report on conditions of service in the Nigerian native administrations are to be implemented; what is the nature of the control of service in these administrations; and how do they compare with Government service?

I am not aware of the recommendations in the Report referred to by the hon. Member, and I am asking the Governor for information about it. The Native Administration Services are under the control of the various native authorities which, in their turn, are subject to the supervision of administrative officers of the Nigerian Government. I have no detailed information as regards the last part of the Question, but generally speaking officials of the native administrations are paid at lower rates than corresponding officials of the Central Government of Nigeria.

When is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman likely to receive a copy of the Dodds Report, and therefore to be able to give his decision on the matter?

I cannot give an estimate. I shall ask for it as a matter of urgency, but the hon. Member will realise that communications are sometimes difficult.