Government has urged the Private sector to take a leading role in addressing challenges that inhibit the provision of quality education to people.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga said the business community has an important role to play in enhancing quality teaching and learning in the province.
Dr Mulenga noted that the private sector has the potential to expand equitable access to schooling as well as enhance improvements in the education sector to meet the needs of disadvantaged areas and groups.
He was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Eastern Province Chief Human Resource Development Officer, Nation Lusale, during a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Education meeting held at Luangwa Lodge in Chipata.
‘’ May I state that while globally, governments are the main financiers of primary and secondary education, a substantial share of education is delivered by private agents. The concept of PPP recognizes the existence of alternative options for providing education besides public finance and public delivery,’’ said Dr Mulenga.
The Permanent Secretary highlighted that benefits that can be realized through the partnership are increased enrolment, improved education outcomes, reduced costs and reduced inequalities among others.
He noted that although the education sector in the country received a large proportion of the national budget, a huge chunk went towards personal emoluments, while fewer funds went to infrastructure development, general administration activities and procurement of teaching and learning materials including grants to learning institutions.
Dr Mulenga said that funds allocated for non -personal emolument activities are inadequate for the education sector to effectively deliver its mandate, and is therefore calling on the private sector to supplement government efforts in education service delivery.
And Eastern Province Acting Education Officer, Florence Chikalekale, appealed to the private sector to fund the province’s 2015 to 2017 Strategic Plan being formulated to ensure that the goals and objectives in the plan are achieved.
She reiterated that government cannot fund all education programmes as it needs to attend to other national programmes.
Ms Chikalekale expressed hope that the Private Public Partnership will be enhanced in the province in order to improve the education system.