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West Africa (Education)

Volume 390: debated on Wednesday 2 June 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of children in the West African Colonies now receiving, respectively, elementary education and post-primary education; the number of students receiving advanced education; and whether particular consideration is being given to the need of providing a plan of primary education for all Colonial children during the 10 years following the end of the war?

As was stated in the reply to the hon. Member's Question of 9th September last, such statistics as those requested are not normally available owing to the abridgment of the annual reports of the Education Departments in war-time. It is, however, known that approximately 465,000 elementary scholars were registered last year in the West African Dependencies, and I will ask the Governors to send me any figures they may have for the two other categories. As regards the last part of the Question, long-term plans for the extension of education at all stages are under active consideration.

While thanking the Minister for his reply to the last part of my Question, is the plan which I suggest is necessary for the liquidation of illiteracy being borne in mind?

I think primary education must take its place with all other forms of education, and we are now considering long-term plans for the quickest advance which is practicable.

Can the Minister say when the result of his consideration is likely to be made public?