Hilma Nakanduungile KATIMA MULILO - The Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Anna Nghipondoka has called on Zambezi regional educators and the country at large to do their best despite the challenges brought about by the cross-cutting budget cuts in the ministry. Addressing regional directors, inspectors, principals, Heads of Departments and other invited guests on Tuesday, Nghipondoka said carrying out their mandate which is to provide quality education and lifelong learning for all is negatively influenced by highly uncertain macro-economic situation in the country during the financial year 2017/18, which is likely to continue. As a result, the overall budget ceiling of the ministry was reduced significantly in 2017/18. She said with such reduction, they were forced to take painful but necessary decisions which involved reducing or cutting some critical areas of operation such as school grants, classroom construction and renovations, textbooks procurement, for them to remain afloat. In spite of financial concerns, she urged educators to work hard stating that the expectations of the nation on education is so high that it cannot be lowered by the lack of resources. “We need to work hard towards internal efficiency of the education system, while striking a balance between the inputs and outputs in terms of the results we produce. Internal efficiency is not necessarily impacted by resources but mainly attitudes towards our work while understanding that efficiency is doing more with less,” she stated. Nghipondoka used the occasion to emphasise the significance of vocational education, saying vocational skilling is the only way to eliminate poverty, thus people should not discourage learners to undertake vocational subjects. Educators should plan together, advise each other and they remain students for life, she said. Furthermore, she expressed her concern regarding the progress of the implementation of the Performance Management System (PMS), saying that it has lost momentum this year, since majorities of the staff members did not sign their performance agreements, and those who did, failed to ensure the systematic review of such agreements as required by the PMS framework. “I thus direct that, right from the inception of the 2018/19 business year, all staff members starting from the executive to the operational and support staff should ensure full compliance to the PMS framework,” she said. She also visited learners from Nankutwe Combined School who were relocated to Kabbe due to the floods. *Hilma Nakanduungile is an Information Officer in the MICT, based in Zambezi Region.
New Era Reporter
2018-05-31 09:17:00 8 months ago