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NAQEZ demands 21% budgetary allocation to education

THE National Action for Quality Education in Zambia is demanding a 21 per cent allocation to the education sector.

Executive director Aaron Chansa said for too long, the Ministry of Finance had “forsaken” education funding in the country.

“From 20.2 per cent funding to the sector in 2015, education just received 15.3 per cent and 12.4 per cent in 2019 and 2020 respectively. This kind of funding will not take the country anywhere, socially and economically,” he said. “We hold the view that the current terrible funding to education in Zambia offends the guidance by SADC, it is against the aspirations of the 7th National Development Plan and will prevent the country from attaining Vision 2030. We therefore, challenge the Minister of Finance Hon Bwalya Ng’andu to demonstrate the country’s seriousness with education, through the 2021 budget.”

Chansa said with more than 50,000 trained teachers but unemployed, the sector needing more than 1.3 million desks, the urgent need for good teacher motivation, funding of universities and colleges, purchasing of more computers and books, it would be shocking if the minister would once again undermine the importance of education through a paltry allocation.

He said NAQEZ further expects the budget to clearly separate funding of general education from higher education.

“Our proposal is that Ministry of General Education alone must receive 13 per cent of the total national budget while Ministry of Higher Education must have eight per cent of the national budget,” said Chansa. “As an organization, we strongly believe that Zambia will never sustainably develop with insignificant investments in education. Countries such as Singapore, China, Malaysia and India have developed faster because of their huge investments in education. It is either we take a leaf from the above economic tigers or we continue with our underdevelopment.”

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