UNDERFUNDING of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education over the years has resulted in accumulation of arrears amounting to $1 699 781, Parliament was told yesterday.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Primary and Secondary Education ministry finance and administration director Betty Wenjere on Tuesday told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture that only $2 327 000 was allocated by Treasury for payment to service providers in 2015, of which most of it would be gobbled by debts.
“An amount of $2 327 000 was allocated for service providers and will go towards payment of communication and information suppliers ($417 000), rental and hire expenses (office and vehicles $1 000 000, water, rates and electricity ($540 000), and maintenance of vehicles ($370 000),” said Wenjere.
“The funds allocated by Treasury to this area are insufficient taking into account the huge carry over bills from previous years, which include $832 518, 18 for office accommodation, $32 000 for cleaning and maintenance of elevators, $94 179 for water, electricity and rates, $99 625, 65 owed to NetOne, $459 449, 30 owed to TelOne and $182 009, 30 owed to CMED.”
Acting secretary in the ministry Jacob Gwenese said Treasury only gave the ministry $16 927 000 when they had pledged for $47 454 031.
“Of that allocation $8 million will go towards capital expenditure while $9 million will go towards recurrent expenditure.”
Gwenese said their staff complement was 132 000 employees of which 95% of the posts were occupied by teaching staff and were filled because there was no freezing of posts.
“The funding that we were given will cater for 35,67% of our needs, and 98,10% will go towards employment costs leaving only 1,9% for both capital and recurrent expenditure. Meagre funding will affect inspection of over 8 000 primary and secondary schools,” he said.
Zimsec was only allocated $1 million dollars for grade seven examinations and yet it required $3 million and had arrears of $1,8 million for expenditures incurred during marking of examinations. Chairman of the committee Temba Mliswa said there was no need for the ministry to hire vehicles for the minister because he had enough government vehicles for use.