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Rhodesia And Nyasaland

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 18 May 1961

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Education (African Children)

20.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plans he has for the compulsory education of African children in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

The first task is to provide primary education for all the children who want it. Compulsory attendance will no doubt be considered by the Governments as progress is made towards that aim. It is already in force in certain areas of Northern Rhodesia, and there are plans to extend it.

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider expediting the programme, because one of the most effective methods of eliminating the engagement of child labour in these territories is to ensure that children are adequately schooled? Will he assure the House that he will, to the best of his ability, expedite the fulfilment of the programme?

I do not think that it is for me to expedite the programme. I try to give what help I can. It is then for the Northern Rhodesian Government, which will, I am sure, bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman said, to allocate their priorities within the programme.