Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) is faced with some serious and enormous budgetary challenges that hindered most of its plans from being implemented at the expected pace and standards.
Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Education and Skills Development Minister last Friday noted unsatisfactory budget allocation as the major challenge facing her ministry and stifles its capacity to accomplish its duties.
Deliberating a keynote address during the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) third congress of delegates last Friday in Francistown, Venson-Moitoi said the development has resulted in her ministry failing to create conducive environment for both teachers and students.
However, she said her ministry is doing everything within its reach to make sure that infrastructure is developed in schools while the existing one is renovated to the right standard.
Venson-Moitoi said infrastructure such as teacher’s houses, classrooms, hostels, kitchens and administration blocks are expected to be renovated to keep them in good condition.
She said her ministry has set aside a total of P900 million for renovations.
“This (renovation of infrastructure) will help create conducive learning environment and consequently take results northwards,” said the minister.
“However, we need to understand that all schools cannot be renovated at the same time as there are budgetary constraints,” lamented the minister whose ministry got the largest chunk of the 2103 national budget.
Early February, Finance and Development Planning Minister Kenneth Matambo announced a P44.02 billion budget in which the MoSED was awarded the largest share of the recurrent financial plan.
Education makes up the majority of planned 2013/14 recurrent expenditure at P7.93 billion, up from the estimate of P7.77 billion planned in the 2012/13 budget.
Meanwhile, Venson-Moitoi said she is also aware that acute shortage of teaching material in schools is still a major challenge.
She said it is disappointing that some of these challenges are a result of some officers who fail to perform their responsibilities like at secondary schools where the procurement of the teaching material is done at school level.
The minister said the electrification of schools project is in her priority list and her wish and hope is that this project is expeditiously done.