Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Paul Mavima said the over one billion dollar budget ($1,132,322,000) allocation to the education sector is insufficient to fund infrastructure during a tour of the Avondale Primary School in Harare yesterday.
The minister said that a lot of money from the allocated budget goes into employment cost mainly paying teachers salaries and for the supporting staff as well.
“What we really want to do as a nation is to go beyond treasury allocations and find other ways in which we can find the other requirements for our ministry and the education sector,” Mavima said on a side interview.
Of the over $1.3 billion allocated to education, 1 billion ($1,048,402,000) goes to employment costs, $47 million is for operations and maintenance and the remaining 36.9 million ($36,920,000) is capital expenditure.
The Minister went on to say the education sector would want to use the third party funds for the purposes of bridging that gap, especially in the rural areas.
“If you listened carefully to the Minister of Finance presentation, he (Finance Minister) said we are going to work together to unlock third party funds to come into the education sector in order to aid infrastructure development,” Mavima said.
“So we are going to sit down with the ministry of finance, find a way in which we can pull resources together into some account which we can then use as comfort for the third party investors who may want to bring in money now.”
“… we then use funds from that account that we would have set up to pay back over a long period of time,” Mavima goes on.
The Professor also said the Secondary Education department already building collaborations with various corporations who can supply goods and services at a reasonable price with the ministry repaying over a long period of time.
“There are companies that we are already talking to, some that do the science equipment, others do ICTs, others that just do… education management, other that are doing websites and connecting our schools with communities their software,” Mavima said.
“This has really brought Zimbabwe into focus and we are talking to a number of companies in order to help us with the digitization journey that I referred to.”
“This is why I am saying third-party funds are so important for education in Zimbabwe,” Mavima explained.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is in short of 2 thousand schools; science laboratories; facilities in ECD and sporting; water, connectivity and also teachers houses.
“Some of the urban schools can cater for themselves, some of the mission schools can cater for themselves but we have hard to serve disadvantaged schools especially in the rural area,” Mavima explained. “we should target also in resettlement areas.”