Members of Parliament from the Education and Sports Committee have raised concern over the continued reduction in the education budget.
Discussing a brief on the national budget framework paper for financial year 2018/2019 for the education and sports sector yesterday, the members observed that although the government wants education for all, that ambition is not matched with funding.
According to committee chairperson, Connie Nakayenze (Mbale Woman MP), the budget proposal for the 2018/19 financial year would see 11 per cent allocated to the education sector, down from 11.4 per cent under the current budget. This implies that the sector stands to lose 0.4 per cent, amounting to Shs 81.9 billion.
She adds that education sector spending as a share for the national budget has reduced from 14.6 per cent since 2012/2013.
“They should have increased instead of cutting down. It is not good for us to keep on asking for an increase year in year out, and it keeps getting reduced instead. Looking at the poor performance of the different educational institutions, the ministry needs to explain why this money has kept on reducing,” Nakayenze said.
Masaka Municipality MP, Babirye Mary Kabanda, said although there is need for infrastructure, capacity building and teacher recruitment in the education sector, the budget represents a contradiction.
“We need to find out why this is happening, the budget is getting smaller and smaller, yet this is a very important sector of the budget. We have so many government schools crying over funds and children,” she said.
However, according to the budget framework paper, there are various sectors which will suffer reductions. These include health, justice and agriculture, among others.