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Education

Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War if he will give particulars of the educational and vocational training now available to men awaiting release; how it is related to the needs of the new Britain; for how many units of the Forces is such training now available; and how many men and women avail themselves of it.

Full particulars of the Army Education Scheme during the release period are contained in a pamphlet issued in June last, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend. In units in which the Scheme is fully operative not less than six hours a week is allotted to education from normal training or working hours. Without the expenditure of much time and labour it would not be possible to say how many units, throughout the whole Army, are operating the Scheme but, in general, and excluding certain special units like hospitals, training units and detention barracks, which are exempt from the Scheme and catered for separately, it is being operated, wholly or partially, by all units outside India and S.E.A.C. whose operational and other commitments allow them to take advantage of it, and their numbers are steadily increasing.Recent reports show that the majority of units are now operating the Scheme wholly or partially. India and the Far East were unable to make as early a start. But since the end of the war with Japan every effort has been made to provide educational material and instructors, and the Scheme is expected to start in Ceylon and Burma before the end of the year in other parts of S.E.A.C. early in the spring of 1946. An interim scheme has been started in India.

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking to obtain the reprinting of text books required for those correspondence courses which are held up for lack of these books.

Representations are made to the publishers, through His Majesty's Stationery Office, who offer an allocation of paper for reprinting. All the publishers have co-operated as fully as possible. Where some delay is unavoidable, a suitable available book is substituted, or the particular course re-written so that it can be used without the non-available textbook.