Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The education sector has taken a lion share in the budget estimates for 2020/2021 financial year across the districts in the Teso sub region.
In Kumi district, the education budget increased by more than 600,000 shillings from the current financial year budget of 10.1 billion shillings. Kumi Municipality allocated 3.6 billion shillings.
In Ngora district, education was allocated 10.7 billion shillings from the 22.2 billion total budget for the new financial year. Serere district allocated the sector 16.2 billion shillings from the 43.3 total budget.
Soroti district allocated education department 13.1 billion shillings from the 37.7 billion shillings budget.
Richard Oboi, the district planner says that four billion will be spent on capital development especially the construction of classrooms, teachers’ houses and pit latrines while the rest of money will be used for wages and operations.
Paul Omer, the Mayor Soroti Municipality says that whereas education takes a bigger share of the budget, most of it will be used for recurrent expenditure like wages. He however notes that the council has allocated 99 million shillings for the renovation of The Pioneer Primary School in Soroti.
Ben Eumu, the LCV chairperson Ngora says the allocation in education is to improve on the infrastructure and offer refresher training and conferences to teachers.
“We started refresher training and conferences last year across the district and we have seen results. We want to establish model schools in each sub-county and this requires some money to facilitate all these activities. As a council, we believe that education is key to success and development in Ngora and Teso sub-region”, he said.
Kapelebyong that was recently carved out of Amuria district allocated 4.9 billion to education out of the total budget of 12.1 billion shillings.
Charles Okiria, the council speaker for Kumi district observes that much of the funds appropriated in the budget will be for salaries and other recurrent expenditure with little funds to the community.
He also notes that local revenue has been the main challenge in the current financial year following COVID-19 lockdown and dwindling sources for revenue collection.
“Reduction in local revenue has affected all the departments including garbage collection and management, council operation and physical planning among others. Even then, central government releases which constitute 95 percent of the total budget were also affected due to COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.