LEGISLATORS feel that the Primary and Secondary Education ministry’s 2023 budget allocation of $787,8 billion (US$1,2 billion) is so inadequate that it will be gobbled up by salaries.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) also said Finance minister Mthuli Ncube failed to allocate funds towards ensuring free education for all. This came out on Wednesday during post-budget discussions between the Primary and Secondary Education ministry officials, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, the Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (Zinecda) and Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (Ecozi).
Bikita East MP Johnson Madhuku (Zanu PF) said: “The budget is purely for salaries, and there is a huge deficit in financing other line items. The budget must ensure that it accounts for what President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced when he said there must be free basic education.”
Nkayi South MP, Stars Mathe (Zanu PF) said the budget failed to make meaningful allocation towards the Basic Education Assistance Module.
Ecozi board secretary Daisy Zambuko said Treasury should ensure the education sector is allocated 20% of the national budget as stipulated in the Dakar Declaration.
The education budget is 18,5% of the national cake.
Zinecda national co-ordinator Naison Bhunu said: “The education budget continues to slide in United States dollars. The bulk of the money will go towards salaries, leaving out other line items like learning materials.”