In Summary
  • The non-governmental organisation called for increased budget to 20 per cent of the overall government budget as per the commitment of the entire continent

Dar es Salaam. As Parliament continues with its 15th sitting to discuss budget proposals for the 2019/20 fiscal year, Hakielimu has pointed out six issues that need to be taken into consideration in the education budget.

The non-governmental organisation called for increased budget to 20 per cent of the overall government budget.

Addressing the press in the city yesterday, HakiElimu managing director John Kalage said they expect the budget to increase to meet the needs of the expanded admissions. “In the Incheon declaration, all of the sub Saharan states were urged to set aside 20 per cent of their overall budget on education. However, in Tanzania the ration of education budget to the general budget (including national debt) has decreased from 16.1 per cent in 2016/17 to 15 per cent in 2017/18 and has dropped to 14 per cent for the 2018/2019 fiscal year,” he said.

In 2016/17 the education budget was Sh4.77 trillion, for 2017/18 it was Sh4.7 trillion and Sh4.62 trillion was for 2018/19.

Mr Kalage added, “most of the challenges facing the sector could be addressed.”

The organization also wanted the government to increase the development budget on primary education, number of teachers and conducive teaching environment and improve the classification of the education sector budget.

“On average only 7 per cent of the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) budget was set for that purpose. More budget is needed to develop infrastructure of primary education,” said Mr Kalage. The implementation of the budget was also pointed out, whereby the approved budget funds were not released accordingly.

According to HakiElimu, the 2018/19 fiscal year approved funds for the education ministry were Sh929 billion but to March 2019 only 57 per cent (Sh529 billion were disbursed.

In addition, Mr Kalage pressed the issue on the sanitary pads prices since the government scraped Value Added Tax (VAT).

“On retail shops across the country the price is still the same starting from Sh2,000, which to some of the students from poor families cannot afford thus affecting their education,” he said.