Government spending on education has been declining over the years,compounding the crisis facing the sector, a latest survey reveals.
The survey titled: 2022 Education Budget Brief, Tracking the 2022 budget gaps and opportunities for more funding, was conducted by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ).
According to results of the survey, there has been a steady decline in national budgetary allocation towards education in the past seven years.
“The last 7 years have seen a decline in the education allocation as a share of the total budget with education receiving 20.3% of the total budget share in 2016, 14.51% in 2019 and 12.8% in 2022, about a 7.5% decrease in as many years,” the report reads.
“A comparison of the 2022 and 2021 shows that allocation for primary and secondary education declined marginally to 12.8% in 2022 from 13.1% in 2021 showing a worrying trend in which national resources allocation to education as a percentage of total government expenditure are consistently declining year by year.”
In 2021, the Primary and Secondary Education ministry received ZW$55.2 billion.
For this year, education received ZW$122 billion, about 12.8% of the total national budget of ZW$927.6 billion.
According to Artuz, this is way below the sub-Saharan Africa government spending on primary and secondary education which currently stands at 16.5%.
“The amount spent on education continues to fall short of the recommended international goals. The 2022 ministry of Primary and Secondary Education budget expressed as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 2.4%, which is less than the 4-6% required by the Incheon Declaration to Education to which Zimbabwe is a state party to,” the report says.
“With little resources going towards capex within the education budget, it may mean that the country is likely to have years of school shortages and inadequate and deteriorating school infrastructure in some existing public schools.”
The Incheon Declaration recognises the important role of education as a main driver of development and speaks to the right to education, equity in education, inclusive education, quality education and lifelong learning.