BY LORRAINE MUROMO
The Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (Ecoz) has called upon government to prioritise State-funded education, saying it was important for the growth of the country’s economy.
Ecoz was reacting to the 2021 National Budget presented by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube where the education sector was allocated $55 billion from the $421 billion budget, with only 27% expected to go towards non-salary obligations.
In a report, the educational lobby group said budget allocation towards the education sector had dropped over the past two years with the sector getting 11,04% of the total budget in 2018, 14,51% in 2019 and the 13,39% in 2020 indicating a 1,19 decrease.
“The 2021 allocation has dropped to lower than the sub-Saharan Africa average government spending on primary and secondary education which currently stands at 16,5% of the national budgets,” part of the report read.
Ecoz said although government had made efforts in ensuring more resource allocation to schools, more fundamental efforts should be continuously made.
“While there has been increased allocation in terms of non-salary expenditure, which is a welcome move, as ultimately, this may mean more direct government support to schools,” Ecoz said in the report.
“It has, however, noted that the budget falls short of meeting certain international benchmarks or statutes to which Zimbabwe is signatory.
“Notable efforts have been made to increase non-salary expenditure, it has to be noted that the increase in allocation towards capital goods and services has to continue expanding so as to ensure that all set outcomes will be attained.
The Incheon Declaration for Education (2015) to which Zimbabwe is a signatory mandates governments to spend at least 4,6% of their gross domestic product towards basic education expenditure.
Meanwhile, other non-governmental organisations such TagaLife International and the Rosarium Memorium Trust have supported the efforts by Ecoz in calling on government to fundamentally support State-funded education.
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