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CSOs scrutinize 2023/24 education budget, urge enhanced fund disbursement in 2024/25

By Ivy Tunkete Mwanyongo:

A consortium of Non -Governmental Organizations (NGOs) championing issues of Education in the country has called on the government to enhance the disbursement of funds allocated to the education sector in the national budget.

Led by the Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) and its partners Forum for African Women Educationalists in Malawi (FAWEMA), Girls Activist Youth Organization (GAYO) and OXFARM, the organization’s scrutinized the disbursement of the 2023/24 allocation which shows that funds amounting to K459 Billion against K662 Billion were disbursed as of February, 2024, representing 66 percent.

Speaking in Lilongwe Thursday at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC), when the CSO’s presented their analysis to the Parliamentary Committee on Education, CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe noted that the move aims at ensuring accountability especially on how the funds are disbursed and utilized.

According to Kondowe, their analysis has shown that only K3 Billion of K16.3 Billion was disbursed for government funded projects, where some contractors abandoned sites due to errors.

Kondowe-The move aims at ensuring accountability.

“Our research has shown that for some projects with a budget of K12 Million and K9 Million has been spent but the project is still at slab level and if the projects will just be left, that means, the K9 Million will have just been wasted. As CSEC we are calling on the government to allocate special funds to help in finishing the stalled projects”, said Kondowe.

The CSO’s have since urged the government to lessen the bureaucracy that goes with contracting projects for timely implementation.

“Our view is that within the decentralisation policy, more funds should be allocated to the local council to manage some projects because we have seen the abandonment and stagnation of some projects because they are handled at the Central government”, added Kondowe.

Ephraim Nayija, Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Education acknowledged the delay in disbursement of funds to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which has also delayed the progress of various projects.

Nayija also noted issues of arrears with some contractors which led them to abounding the projects.

He however said, the Committee will intensify its role in monitoring the implementation of the projects for the challenges to be minimised.

In the 2024/25 the education sector has been allocated about K900 Billion an increase from K600 Billion in the 2023/24 budget.

 

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