'Budget fails education'

HARARE - Civic Society Organisations advocating for access to Education under the Every Child in School campaign (ECIS) have accused government of neglecting pupils, in its 2019 Budget, by largely prioritising public service bills.

This comes after Finance minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that the Education ministry would scoop more than a billion from the $8,2 billion 2019 budget, with the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education receiving the largest share of $1,132 billion.

Tag a Life International Trust (TaLI) director Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, leading the consortium of CSOs lobbying for children to access education in the Every Child in School campaign, told the Daily News that the budget allocation was disappointing, as seven percent allocated to pupils from the $1,132 billion would not suffice the dire needs of pupils in school.

“The budget as released on the 22nd falls short of prioritising education of the more than $1 billion purported to have been allocated to education, only seven percent is directed at pupils and the rest is funding the public services bill in the form of teacher salaries.

“This is falling extremely short of the Dakar Declaration that Zimbabwe is a signatory to which requires that governments allocate at least 20 percent of the annual budget towards education,” Mashayamombe said.

Zimbabwe’s education sector has been deteriorating together with the economy, as many have been failing to access education.

Mashayamombe said children have been failing to enrol in schools because schools are burdening parents with expenses which they cannot afford.

“Currently when first graders, as well as those that left primary school for one reason or the other are seeking to come back into the schooling system, they are asked to pay total school fees, levies, uniforms and many other demands school authorities put on the parents or guardians of these children,” she said.

Failure to meet the expenses has caused many pupils not to be enrolled in schools while others have been forced to drop out.

As result more than 30 percent of children are reported to be currently out of school.

CSOs, on November 21, 2018, lodged a petition to Parliament through the consortium, of more than 200 organisations in Zimbabwe, demanding that Parliament force government to enact a policy that allows every child to access education.

The budget, however, falls short of expectations as the CSOs’ petition which read: “It therefore is the responsibility of the Zimbabwean government to put in place mechanisms such as this policy that allows children access to education, as well as create an education fund that is specifically to benefit learners and should be funded by sustainable sources.

“The Government of Zimbabwe is encouraged to ask the minister of Finance to allocate more resources for the learners.”

Mashayamombe said there is need for funding that goes directly for learners resourcing and development and the government is held responsible, as stipulated by the Constitution, to ensure every child’s basic education.

This also comes after Ncube has come under censure for prioritising ministries such as Defence over Mines and Tourism sectors which bring revenue to the country.

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Comments (4)

Musaita semusiri kuziva kuti Gov haina mare. Zim has LOW forex Inflows and NO funding from IMF or WB, So, what do you expect the Finance minister to do (Money does not grow on trees)

Nyandoro - 27 November 2018

Iwe @Nyandoro dzirimo kana kuti dzakatamba nepwere? If govt has no money why then charter airplanes for Marujata, buy Benz's and waste taxpayer money on worthless trips? Obviously not having money hasn't stopped your evil Zanuoids from spending like drunken sailors.

Moe Syszlack - 27 November 2018

Nyandoro haunyari kushama muromo kutinhuwidza geza mkanwa

Innocent - 27 November 2018

thc gvmnt is always a failure. aftr all they dnt know wat to prioritize!

hither - 27 November 2018

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