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Educational Facilities

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken by His Majesty's Government to assist in the provision of educational facilities in Malaya.

I have recently approved grants to the Government of the Federation of Malaya of over £223,000 from Colonial Development and Welfare Funds to provide for six new Malay schools and four new Chinese schools, for improvements and additions to 12 existing schools and for the extension of the Malay Women's Training College at Malacca. I have also approved in principle the provision of a new Malay Men's Training College on the understanding that it is impracticable to obtain the desired increase in the training of men teachers by extending the existing college.

A grant of over £565,000 from Colonial Development and Welfare Funds was made last year to provide for the construction and equipment of a new Technical Training College at Kuala Lumpur and a sum of £1 million has been earmarked from the same source for the building programme of the University of Malaya.

While I am sure that the House will appreciate the importance of the statement which the Minister has just made, may I ask if he can say how many teaching staff and additional officials will be required to carry out this scheme? Is he satisfied that the recruitment of the appropriate number of people will go forward without delay?

There is an urgent need for a large increase in the number of teachers. Every school in Malaya is at present working a double shift, with one group of children at school in the morning and another in the afternoon. The demand for education is one of the most urgent in Malaya, and I shall do my best to meet it.