Big education budget misses crucial targets


CIVIL Society Education Coalition (Csec) has said the government has left out some crucial targets in the K235 billion education, science and technology sector budget for the 2016/2017 financial year.

According to the budget estimates analysis, which Csec presented to the Education, Science and Technology Parliamentary cluster on Friday, the targets remain unimpressively stagnant and at low levels when compared against those of 2016/2017.

Csec has cited the exclusion of planned construction of four national secondary schools and community day secondary schools, teachers’ recruitment and promotion of primary school teachers, which government included in the 2016/2017 budget, as a probable signal of lack of interest to pursue such targets.


The forthcoming budget does not have any target for new teachers’ recruitment and the number of secondary school teachers to be promoted is at 800, down from the 2016/2017 target of 1500.

Csec consultant, Humphrey Mdyetseni told the cluster that the interventions are not in the sub area of special needs education with the number of students with disability to be enrolled for higher education targeted at 95 from 44 being the only notable target.

The education budget estimates have also been faulted for not considering special provisions for initiatives aimed at promoting girls education, with construction of girls hostels missing.


Csec analysis also indicated that the ministry of education has completely withdrawn its attention to Early Childhood Education (ECD), as the little K5 million that was allocated for such education in the year ending is no longer there.

The analysis also pointed at the absence of affirmative targets like employment of female teachers and their deployments to rural areas.

The civil society in education said planned targets are mostly inadequate to meet the huge demands and it is difficult to establish whether there is equitable distribution among programmes due to unclear presentation of some strategic information.

“There is need to review the budget to come up with targets that are likely to register impact in the sector since most of those specified now take much longer to change the education landscape. There is need to include missing targets for key result areas particularly those addressing girl child and adequacy of teachers in rural areas; motivation of teachers and sustainability of learning infrastructure,” Mdyetseni said.

Cluster chairperson Elias Chakwera said the budget needed to motivate teachers who are key to successful education.

“It is not good to put up a budget that fails to motivate teachers through promotion. They are people who have no allowances and they rely on salaries and such salaries can be improved by promoting them,” Chakwera said.

The education sector has been allocated 18.1 percent of the budget, which is the highest budgetary allocation but, according to Csec, there is continued low share of development budget hence continued implementation of pro-consumption budget.

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