ZANEC urges prudent spending
BY SANDRA MACHIMA GOVERNMENT must ensure that the resources provided to the education and skills sector in 2018 Budget are spent in a prudent and efficient manner, Zambia National Education Coalition executive director Grace Sinkamba has said.
Ms Sinkamba said spending the money prudently and efficiently would allow for tangible changes in the education sector for Zambia to attain its vision 2030, of becoming a “Prosperous Middle Income Country”,
She said the coalition had observed that over the years, spending agencies survived on supplementary budgets even when the allocated budgets had not been released fully.
She said there was also need to scale up support towards inclusive education in Zambia as most learners do not have learning and teaching materials.
She noted that inclusive education for learners with special education needs required specific and clear budget lines to support infrastructure development and procurement of teaching learning materials such as braille text books.
“In the ZANEC analysis of the Auditor General’s Report for the financial year ending 31st December, 2015; the Coalition identified irregularities such as money not going to intended beneficiaries, unreceived school grants, failure to deliver and distribute teaching and learning materials, failure to correct contract sums, bloated payroll coupled with sheer wasteful expenditure.”
Ms Sinkamba said misappropriation of resources highlighted the Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Higher Educations’ loopholes in managing expenditure, which takes away the little allocated to the much needed resources from actual quality service delivery.
She said Zambia needed to close the teacher pupil ratio if the country was to improve on performance, service delivery and learning outcomes.
She said it was the Coalition’s considered view that the Ministry of General Education should sustain the recruitment of 5,000 as per plan and allocations.
And as key stakeholders in the education and skills Sector, the coalition is glad that in his address to the second session of the 12th National Assembly, President Edgar Lungu reaffirmed his desire to increase government support to the education and skills sector where several commitments were made towards the sector.
It is the Coalition’s hope that these bold statements will be actualised through the allocation of matching resources in the 2018 national budget for the education and skills sector,” she said.