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Kenya (Education)

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the voting in the Kenya Legislative Council on the Beecher Report on African Education was 24 in favour, and seven against; that the seven against were four African and three Indian members, and that two Arab and one Indian member abstained; and whether, in these circumstances, it is the intention of the Kenya Government to implement the Report.

The answer to both parts of the Question is "Yes." This Report will lead to a great improvement and expansion of African education at all levels with a greatly increased programme of expenditure. Much of the African opposition is due to certain features which they consider will adversely affect the financial position of African teachers. Modification of these features is under consideration by the Kenya Government, although considerable extra expenditure will be involved, and I will let my hon. Friend know of the outcome.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the expenditure incurred by the Kenya Government on education per head of the school-going population for Europeans, Asians and Africans, respectively, in schools.

The net expenditure per head by the Central Government is: European, £59; Asian, £14 16s.; African, £1 10s. These figures are misleading, however, as they take no account of the contribution of local Government funds to African primary education. The extent of the resulting dilution is shown by the fact that the net cost of an African pupil in a Government secondary school is £30. School fees paid to the Government per head amount to: European, £46; Asian, £2 18s.; African, 1s.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why 3,500 copies of a booklet have been distributed in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and a Deputy and Assistant Director of Education brought to this country from Kenya to recruit 16 education officers; what is the expense involved; and what efforts were made to recruit Africans in Kenya and from Makerere College in view of the fact that suitable Africans are available locally.

This recruitment drive was initiated by the Government of Kenya following the Beecher Report on the Development of African Education in Kenya. The booklet states the problem briefly and advertises the vacancies, and the two officials are here to give firsthand information to applicants. The booklet cost £100 and the two return air passages about £400. That expense is borne by the Kenya Government which made these special arrangements for recruitment here because suitable Africans are not yet available for these particular vacancies or supervisory and teacher training officers.


asked the Secretray of State for the Colonies whether the Government of Kenya has accepted the principle that no child should be excluded on racial grounds from any Government-aided secondary school in Kenya.

Differences in language and cultural background make it desirable on educational grounds to provide each race with the separate facilities best suited to its children, so that the question of accepting such a principle has not yet arisen.