Education ministry has least funded capital projects

09 Nov 2015 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 09 NOV (NAMPA) – Despite the increase in the budget allocation over the years towards education, a large portion of the allocation has consistently been apportioned towards the payment of operational expenditures which are mainly personnel related.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has seen the gradual increase of the budget allocation from a mere N.dollars 468,9 million at independence in 1990, to N.dollars 11,3 billion in the current financial year (2015/2016).
Delivering her official address at a one-day seminar on Monday on the ‘State of Education, Arts and Culture in Namibia,’ Minister of Education Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa explained that the current payment of staff expenditures takes up an average of 64 per cent of the total allocated budget to the ministry, negatively impacting the implementation of ministerial capital projects.
“Personnel related expenditure includes staff remuneration, Government Institution Pension Fund (GIPF) and other conditions of service,” the minister said.
She went on to say the budget allocation towards capital expenditures only makes up six per cent of the total budget allocation for the 2015/16 financial year.
“This trend that has been observed in the past financial years, whereby the proportion of the development budget allocation towards the total ministerial budget was only three per cent; five per cent; five per cent and six per cent for the 2012/13 to 2015/16 financial years,” she said.
This makes the ministry one of the least funded ministries in terms of capital projects.
Hanse-Himarwa also noted that these allocations impede the development of critical infrastructure such as the construction of school and school hostels, classrooms, libraries and sanitation facilities.
“Future increase in the budget allocations towards infrastructure development is therefore critical to ease the burden on the existing infrastructure, as well as construct new ones to address the demand due to increase in the number of learners resulting from the implementation of the fee-free primary and secondary education.
“An increase in the operational budget allocation for staff related expenditures is also vital to address the overspending which has been an occurrence for the past two financial years,” she said.