ZANEC urges pru­dent spend­ing

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS -

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.

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