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Fri 24 November 2017

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Visits to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran



Problems with Education

Confidential report on the tour by the DDG

Discusses problem with education in these areas, politics being one of theme:

'In return for political support in the streets and everywhere students receive concessions, forced from the educational authorities, in respect of entry to the universities, standards of examinations etc.'

Large pool of graduates who are disillusioned and 'unwilling to serve in relatively humble positions at first...[the main problems is] there is little or no attempt, whether by government or in the universities to organise the employment of university men in the best interests of either their country or themselves...(except) young technician who is trained by an oil company and returns to a specific job, the young doctor or scientist who have a hospital or laboratory ready to receive him...for the others,...the future is less certain'

British policy is to fill as many of these educational posts with Englishmen ' as experience shows that in most cases the influence of such men is out of all proportion to the numbers'

'An intellectual Pakistani remarked to me that three traces of British influence were certain to remain in his country - the use of the English language, the tradition of the Indian army and the practice of English law.'

The DDG's comments on 'The English type Schools' i.e., Aitcheson, Karachi Grammar..:

'These schools are centres of British influence, even when there are no British there: it is our business to strengthen them as such centres and the introduction of good English staff is the best way to do it'

Includes a detailed review of the 'top schools' - Aitcheson, Karachi Grammar, Military and Kadet schools.

In a confidential report of visit to West Pakistan:

' The resources of the British Council in men and money are minute in relation to the opportunity and the demands...I think it is necessary therefore to accept the hard fact that we must concentrate our attention on people who in their respective spheres exercise, or are likely to exercise, influence.
We must seek to add strength to the strong, not rescue the weak. Picking winners, whether individuals or institutions, is part of the British Council officers job. The goods we offer must be of high quality, not mass-produced: and the appeal must be to those likely to influence opinion and not, except indirectly, to the masses.'

PRO File: BW 1 90 & BW 1 306  

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