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School Population And Accommodation

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the school population of Singapore; how many of the children attend school; and when he anticipates that school accommodation will be provided for all children.

There are about 153,000 children of six to 12 and 69,000 of 12 to 16, of whom some 151,000 attend school. When schools now under construction are complete there will be places for all between six and 12. Despite the sharp rise in the birth-rate since the liberation, it is hoped that universal primary education can be provided by 1960.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the people of Malaya are more keenly interested in education for their children than in almost anything else, and will he speed up the school accommodation so that every child will have an opportunity of getting at least an elementary education?

I agree with the hon. Member. This is one of the primary tasks to be undertaken in Malaya and Singapore.