§ Mr. J. Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to pages 68 and 121W 69 of the United Nations publication entitled "Non-Self-Governing Territories," ST/TRI/SER.A/8 of 1954; if he is aware that there has been a fall in the total number of African schools in Northern Rhodesia from 1951 to 1952, and a fall in the number of African teachers and of African pupils in primary and secondary schools; to what extent this tendency has been checked and what the comparable figures are for 1953 and 1954; and if he is satisfied with the progress of African primary and secondary education in Northern Rhodesia.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Yes. The total numbers of African Schools and of African teachers and pupils in primary and secondary schools fell between 1951 and 1952. This was the result of a reorganisation in the African education system, whereby a number of sub-standard bush schools were abolished and some small and inefficient schools were amalgamated into larger and more economic units. At the same time a number of untrained and inefficient teachers of very low educational standard were retired. The number of pupils increased from 167,649 in 1953 to 186,976 in 1954; the number of teachers rose to 4,588 in 1953 but fell slightly to 4,369 in 1954. This was due to the retirement of further untrained teachers and has since been more than made good by the number of trained teachers coming forward.
The number of schools was further reduced to 1,524 in 1953 and 1,381 in 1954, but this was the result of a continuation of the process of consolidation whereby school units are being added to and upgraded: for example, one school can now offer elementary, middle and upper primary education whereas formerly either elementary education only could be provided or three separate schools were required.
Still more progress of this kind would be needed before I should be satisfied. But I do believe that the reorganisation which has taken place is achieving the object of a proper balance between quantity and quality in the progress of African primary and secondary education.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many girls are attending the only African junior secondary school in Northern Rhodesia; what steps he is taking to increase these 122W numbers; and when he proposes to build a senior secondary school in that Colony.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
There is one junior secondary school for girls only; at this and co-educational African junior secondary schools the total number of girls is 42. Numbers are limited by the lack of enthusiasm of both parents and girls, who seem to prefer early marriage. All possible efforts are being made to counter these factors through native and local education authorities, and propaganda by the African Education and Information Departments. The Government of Northern Rhodesia will shortly upgrade two junior secondary schools to senior.