K500 million to service MOE debts
Nchelenge, February 4, 2014, ZANIS…The government has set aside K500 million in the 2014 budget to service debts for the Ministry of Education, Science Vocational Training and Early Education.
The deputy minister of education David Mabumba said his ministry has a debt burdened infrastructure development system that the PF government inherited from the MMD regime.
However, Mr. Mabumba said the government is doing its level best to systematically dismantle the debt which he said is in billions of kwacha.
Mr. Mabumba said his ministry will this year not embark on new constructions but instead will upgrade 220 primary schools across the country to secondary schools in order to mitigate the high dropout numbers linked to the shortage of the classroom space.
He said K500 million has been set aside in the 2014 budget for the dismantling of the debt that his ministry owes the contractors countrywide.
Mr. Mabumba who is also PF Mwense Central Member of Parliament was speaking in Nchelenge District of Luapula Province yesterday.
The deputy minister who was in the area to monitor the implementation of developmental projects and the new curriculum framework was accompanied by Principal Education Standards Officer Smith Bweupe for Luapula and Nchelenge District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Bennie Mwansa.
He disclosed that K32 million has been allocated to each province for the upgrading of 22 primary schools per province.
“The government has adopted the concept of upgrading some primary schools into secondary schools in order to yield immediate social and economic impact,” he said.
The deputy minister said the initiative is economical for the parents because they will not be required to pay boarding fees as it enables the pupils to walk from their respective homes to access education.
Mr. Mabumba explained that the initiative will provide each beneficiary school with six staff houses, two 1 X 3 classroom blocks and undisclosed accompanying number of ventilated improved pit-latrines (VIP) toilets for both the teachers and pupils.
He further said in order to enhance the delivery of quality education the government has in the interim provided a significant amount of money in the 2014 budget for the procurement of mobile laboratories for the sites that will be upgraded.
The deputy minister revealed that Mweru and Munsa primary schools in Nchelenge district will be upgraded this year.