Govt called upon to increase education budget to 20 pct for 2019/2020

27Apr 2019
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
Govt called upon to increase education budget to 20 pct for 2019/2020

THE government has been urged to increase budgetary allocation to 20 percent for the 2019/20 financial year from the current 14 per cent to so as improve education standards in the country.

​​​​​​​HakiElimu executive director Dr John Kallage

HakiElimu executive director Dr John Kallage made the call  on Tuesday when speaking to journalists on the organisation’s recommendations for the next year’s education budget.

He said that despite increase of enrolment of pupils in primary schools, the budget has remained low for years.

Dr Kallage said: “A total of 4.706.4bn/- was approved by Parliament in the financial year 2017/18. The amount is less compared to what was approved in financial year 2016/17, which was 4,770.4bn/-.

“The drop saw a fall in the proportion of the education sector to the national budget from 16 per cent allocated in 2016/17 to 15 per cent in 2017/18. The allocation further dropped to 14 percent in 2018/19 (4,628bn/-).”

According to him, the enrolment in primary schools increased to 10,111,255 in 2018 from 8, 639,202   in 2016. There has been an increase of 12.6 percent of students in secondary schools from 1,908, 857 of 2017 to 2, and 148,466 in 2018.

“Despite this achievement in enrolment, the education has been grabbed by a number of challenges including shortage of classrooms, quality teachers, learning and teaching equipment, classrooms and latrines…All these need to be addressed for provision of quality education,” he said.

He further noted that, report of the Controller and Auditor General (GAG) for the 2016/ 2017 fiscal year shows a shortage of classrooms by 85 percent in primary schools; latrines 83 percent; teacher’s houses 66 percent; and 14 percent of desks.

“In secondary schools, the report shows that there is shortage of classrooms by 52 per cent; laboratories by 84 per cent; desks by 84 per cent; teacher’s houses by 85 per cent; latrines by 53 percent and teachers houses by 88 percent,” he noted.

Dr Kallage urged the government to allocate realistic budget that can really set a remarkable step in resolving these long-lasting challenges that have been affecting learning and teaching in public schools.

For his part, HakiElimu head of programmes Godfrey Bonventura said that apart from increasing allocation, the government should ensure that the proposed budget is implemented.

“We are also calling for more transparency during the implementation of the budget,” He added.

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