Higher Education prioritised in ministry's budget

08 Apr 2016 10:10am
WINDHOEK, 08 APR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation has identified five programmes to which its N.dollars 3 409 891 000 share of the 2016/17 National Budget will be allocated.
Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Itah Kandjii-Murangi motivated the ministry’s budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday, saying the ministry is seized with addressing the functional overlaps of the Acts governing the operations of the various public enterprises under her ministry.
Kandjii-Murangi said N.dollars 3 286 603 000 has been earmarked for operational activities, while N.dollars 123 288 000 is for capital development.
The budget allocations for the programmes under the ministry are as follows:
Higher education – N.dollars 2 741 874 000
Vocational Education and Training – N.dollars 484 213 000
Research, Innovation and Training – N.dollars 55 280 000
Namibia National Commission for UNESCO – N.dollars 11 548 000
Coordination and support services – N.dollars 11 186 000
Kandjii-Murangi further noted that doing away with “costly overlaps, reviewing and rectifying outdated and in some cases, non-existing sector policies” are some of the targeted undertakings for this year.
The minister went on to say the post-secondary school gap deserves immediate close scrutiny and solutions.
“There is an urgent need to increase tertiary education opportunities in Namibia. In this regard, the ministry is looking at different models, with a view to developing a proposal that will be shared with the public, before refinement and submission to Cabinet for approval,” said Kandjii-Murangi.
Going forward, the main challenge the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation faces is that funding has not been commensurate with the significant growth of programme offerings, student numbers and infrastructural expansion needed at higher education institutions.
Also, this year has seen a drop in funds allocated to tertiary education by N.dollars 568 000 000.
The drop in funds allocated to tertiary education might have a negative impact on numerous critical skills development initiatives in medicine, pharmacy, land studies, logistics and computing, which are key drivers in Namibia’s socio-economic development and stability, Kandjii-Murangi said.