The minister of education, Anna Nghipondoka, has noted with concern that the provision of physical education facilities such as additional classrooms, new schools, hostels and maintenance remains a challenge as the bulk of the ministry’s N$14 billion allocation goes to operational expenditure.
She made this observation while motivating the education ministry’s budget allocation in parliament last Thursday.
She said while the ministry highly appreciates and enjoys the biggest budgetary allocation, she remains concerned about the disproportionate allocation between the operational and capital budgets.
“The bulk of our allocation goes to operational expenditures thus making it difficult for the ministry to meet its infrastructure development needs,” the education minister informed fellow parliamentarians.
She told lawmakers that from the N$14 billion allocated to education, a sum of N$13 billion is for operational expenditure, while N$895 million is spend on the development budget and close to 80% of N$10 billion of the budget allocation goes towards the defrayal of personnel expenditures.
“Only six percent is for capital expenditures, with the remaining 17% apportioned for other operational expenditures, the bulk of which is earmarked for regional transfers,” further explained Nghipondoka.
Given the above reality, Nghipondoka said the ministry shall continue to focus on redressing the high wage bill through various measures and strategies.
In addition to that, she said the ministry will pay attention to streamlining its operations in order to ensure the enhancement of internal efficiencies and maximise the use of available resources. “To this effect, among the considerations will be, implementing a regionally targeted phased in procurement approach with regards to the development of education physical facilities,” she said.
Other considerations include the prioritisation of local sourcing with regards to procurement of works and other education goods and services in order to support local economies. “We are also looking at developing and adopting a standard drawing for schools in order to reduce building costs by cutting out exorbitant consultancy fees,” parliamentarians were informed by the minister. She said other deliberations include restructuring of project planning and implementation while embracing coordination between government offices in order to fast track the construction and completion of education physical facilities, especially schools and hostels.
The minister said forming partnerships with public and private entities in the delivery of works and services in order to minimise costs and ensure speed in the delivery of services, continuation of monthly wage bill verifications and where possible, apply the aspect of compensatory reduction in order to guard against unwarranted wage bill expansions is another consideration.
2020-06-15 09:56:18 | 28 days ago