National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQUEZ) executive director Aaron Chansa says the association has rejected the K13.1 billion budgetary allocation to the education sector for the year 2020.
In a statement, Chansa said NAQUEZ was shocked by the allocation and warned that if passed, it would spell doom to education sector in the financial year.
“National Action for Quality Education in Zambia [NAQEZ] has rejected the K13.1billion allocated to education in the proposed 2020 national budget. When all Zambians expected a substantial increase in national expenditure to education, the Finance Minister shocked us all by drastically reducing the amount from the 2019 appropriation by about 2.9 per cent,” Chansa stated.
“This allocation is too small and a serious assault on all efforts aimed at providing quality teaching and learning in Zambian schools. If approved by Parliament, this particular allocation will spell a lot of doom to education in 2020 and will acutely impair many programs in both Ministries of Education.”
He predicted that the allocation would not allow the engagement of more teachers to the sector.
“With this allocation for the sector, we can predict with certainty that very few teachers will be employed next year, very few computers and desks will be purchased and teachers will go without motivation. NAQEZ has gravely been concerned with sustained dwindling in allocation to the education sector in recent history, despite genuine and consistent calls for more funds to the sector by stakeholders,” he explained.
“For instant, in 2017, only K10.6 billion or 16.5 per cent of the total national budget was allocated to education. In 2018, K11.6 billion or 16.1 per cent was appropriated to the sector and K13.3 billion or 15.3 per cent is in the 2019 national budget. In 2020, only 13.1billion or 12.4% of the total national budget has been set aside for education.”
Chansa called upon members of parliaments regardless of their Political orientation to reject the cruel allocation.
“These allocations are not only inadequate but totally against the progressive ideals of the 7th National Development Plan and an attempt to disrupt national aspirations in the national vision of 2030. For the sake of Zambia’s future, we call on all MPs, regardless of political orientation, to join NAQEZ in rejecting this cruel allocation to the most important sector in the land,” Chansa said.
“Let them make good history together by fundamentally altering this flawed allocation before the whole budget could be approved. We shall watch with keen interest how our law makers will handle this matter in the National Assembly. We also invite the Church and all Zambians of goodwill to roundly reject this open show of disregard to our education sector.”
Chansa said the association was frustrated with the continued challenges the education sector was facing after 55 years of Independence.
“We are tired of seeing learners sitting on the floor, learners learning without computers, learners fighting over very few books, schools going without funding, university students and lecturers protesting over their entitlements and more than 100 pupils being taught by one frustrated teacher. This surely cannot be allowed, 55 years after doing away with colonialism,” stated Chansa.