A study by the Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) has found that there are still huge gaps in the education financing system.
The study, which was tracking the 2017 public expenditure in the education sector in three districts of Dedza, Lilongwe and Ntchisi, focused on the disbursement and management of School Improvement Grant (SIG).
Among other things, the study found that SIG disbursement is delayed and often in less than half the required amount, which defeats the purpose of the funds.
“Almost in all the 18 schools that we visited, we discovered that they received the funds later than needed and the funds disbursed were less than half of what was required,” said Mdyetseni.
Following the introduction of free primary school education in 1994, enrolment increased, prompting government to introduce the Primary School Improvement Programme (PSIP) under which the SIG component falls.
Chairperson of Parliamentary Education Committee Elias Chakwera said the purpose of SIG is to expand equitable access to education, and improve governance and management of the system to enable efficient delivery of services.
“SIG’s purpose is to, among others, ensure that schools manage additional teaching and learning materials, teacher trainings and infrastructure improvement to match with the growing enrolment,” said Chakwera.
He promised to incorporate the findings and recommendations of the study in a report to Parliament for action. n