Despite calls for belt-tightening because of recession, the budget for the Ministry of Education has ballooned by 9.78 percent to P9.7 billion.
The former Education Minister Jacob Nkate was heavily criticised for recklessness last year when the budget for the ministry hit the P8 billion mark. A number of parliamentarians called for his head. This year, the ministry will spend P8.2 billion on recurrent budget, while the rest is for the development according to presentations on Thursday by the new Education Minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi before the parliamentary committee of supply.
The budget does not have any new projects and the development funds will be used on ongoing ones. Of the P8.2 billion recurrent budget, the Department of Teaching Service Management receives the largest portion of P3 billion for teachers' salaries and associated costs. The Department of Tertiary Education gets P2 billion for students already on government sponsorship. Another P2.7 billion will go to education officers salaries and subventions to parastatals and running costs for departments.
In the development budget of P1.4 billion, about P127 million will be used at the headquarters while P90.7 million will be used to complete ongoing projects such as Oodi College of Applied Arts and Technology, GTC, ATTC upgrading, Serowe and Francistown colleges of education.
Other consultancies include streamlining of emotional intelligence, an intervention programme aimed at addressing psycho-social challenges facing the education system especially in schools; the establishment of the Education Hub and the ongoing review of senior secondary school curriculum and development of national credit qualification framework.
The establishment of educational television has been allocated P5 million while P500,000 is for special education and final payment for Tlokweng Braille and Rehabilitation Centre. A further P5 million will go towards completing the construction of TEC office block, while P10 million will go to the Botswana Examinations Council for development of the national examination processing system. Meanwhile P15 million will fund the takeover of the brigades. BOCODOL/DOSET offices being constructed in Maun will consume P45 million.