Education vote to spur rural school development

HARARE - The $1,132 billion allocated to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry will bankroll teacher training in local languages, and fund rural education and development, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has said.

This was after lawmakers had raised queries about the arrested development in rural schools.

Ncube said the education sector received the highest allocation of $1,5 billion in the 2019 National Budget with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry receiving the lion’s share of $1,132 billion.

The ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development was allocated $380,8 million, with a big chunk of the kitty channelled towards supporting disadvantaged students who are unable to access funding under the student loan facility (Edu-Loan) as well as equipping laboratories at teachers’ colleges and infrastructural development at the State universities.

He said the allocation is in line with the education sector strategy plan (2016-2020).

“There is a question about supporting teacher training in local languages especially for Kariba, Binga and Beitbridge among other places. Mr Speaker, I respond to say that resources have been allocated under the teacher capacity development programme and that will really take care of teacher training in local languages as well,” Ncube said.

“There is a question about the introduction of an education, equalisation fund to fund the rural education and development. Once again, the education Budget is actually the largest in terms of allocation. So we have really put a lot of resources towards this very important sector and some of the allocations for the US$310m for devolution, some of that certainly will go towards dealing with the education sector.”

He also said he was very clear about investing in infrastructure for the education sector particularly primary education.

“There is a document Mr Speaker Sir, which is not a Parliamentary document in terms of it being required to be tabled here but I am very happy to share with all the honourable members here present and those in the Upper House and it is a detailed infrastructure investment plan for 2019, everything that we invest in infrastructure is in this book.

“I will just turn to page 73 of this book to just show you what we are doing for the education sector.  We are going to be investing US$32,7m in building new schools at primary and secondary level. I will just pick a region at random for instance in Mashonaland East we are going to spend

US$650 000 on upgrading and construction of Chitepo Secondary School, just one example.

“In Mashonaland East, US$1m to be spend on Wedza Primary, so I am just saying that it is very important to realise that we have a plan for this ministry and we are doing quite a bit of work in making sure that all the capital development investment is done and we will improve the quality of education in the rural areas.” Ncube said.


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