Over 14 billion needed to implement national education programme

14 Nov 2013 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 14 NOV (NAMPA) - The Deputy Minister of Education announced here on Thursday that about N.dollars 14, 3 billion is needed to implement the national education programme in full during the 2014/2015 financial year.
Sylvia Makgone was responding to questions by Congress of Democrats (CoD) Member of Parliament (MP), Ben Ulenga, who wanted to know how much money Government would need to satisfy the annual national education programme in full.
Addressing members of the National Assembly here on Thursday, Makgone explained that the Ministry of Finance allocated N.dollars 50 million during the 2012/2013 financial year for the implementation of the Universal Primary Education (UPE), which was introduced in State-run primary schools this year.
“The disbursement of the N.dollars 50 million was only done in 2013 for the effective utilisation of the funds as per the academic year,” she said.
Makgone added that during the financial year 2013/2014, an amount of N.dollars 162 million was allocated for UPE. Each region was allocated funds according to the percentage of learner enrollment in the specific region.
She indicated that the Education Regional Directorates have already ordered the necessary teaching and learning materials for their respective schools for next year, and all regions have already participated in the budgeting process based on their individual needs.
The deputy minister made it clear that the provision of UPE is a constitutional obligation and a right to all Namibian children.
“This was not an attempt, but is a large scale implementation of Constitutional provisions and adherence to International Agreed Goals ratified by us to ensure access of quality education to all,” she added.
Makgone noted that a campaign is currently running in all regions, through which all parents and guardians are told to send their children of school-going age to school.
She also then reiterated her ministry's commitment to ensure that all Namibian children of school-going age is in school and remain in school until they complete their primary education or have attained the age of 16 years.
According to her, most of the rural schools and previously disadvantaged schools in the country welcomed and appreciated the funds allocated to their schools, saying the School Development Fund was abolished for a good cause to ensure access, retention and completion of primary education.
Makgone said parents and community members who would want to make voluntary contributions to schools are not restricted, hence a manual and training was given to all school managers for ease of reference in the implementation of the UPE.