The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has called for an increase in the share of the education budget from the current 13.9 percent in 2023 to at least 15 percent of the national budget.
ZANEC Executive Director, George Hamusunge, said this would help improve the education sector and deal with some of the challenges being encountered by various education administrators.
The coalition gave the recommendation in a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday in anticipation of the 2024 budget presentation to Parliament by Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, on Friday.
“Allocate six percent of the education budget towards infrastructure development to construct more secondary schools and boarding facilities to address the challenges of inadequate secondary and boarding schools,” he said.
The group said there was need for government to allocate more resources towards a digital real-time database for schools and devolve the system between the school and the Ministry.
ZANEC expects that the budget would consider broadening the skills development levy into an education levy that would provide dedicated funding for the education sector.
“Revisit Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) through renegotiation, development, and publication of the DTA policy and cancellation of harmful/old treaties,” ZANEC said.
It added that government should renegotiate for the reform of the current DTAs in a manner that can help increase taxes and minimize capital flight.
The association urged the Minister of Finance to announce progressive taxation measures that would ensure that multinational companies pay fair taxes to help increase revenue and avert the current revenue loss of US$635million according to the tax Justice network .
“We recommend that the government increases the allocation of financial resources to go towards vocational training for both teachers and learners and recruiting and equipping more qualified teachers to teach STEM and life skills,” it said.
ZANEC recommended that government should decentralise the Higher Education, Loans and Scholarship Board (HELSB) to improve information access to learners in rural areas and also enable them to apply for these loans.
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