Education sector prioritised in development budget

> > Preparedness for Covid-19

02 June 2020 | Ministries

Phillepus Uusiku - Priority sectors such as education got the second largest share of 14% after transport in the development budget for the 2020/21 fiscal year, compared to a share of 9% in the 2019/20 fiscal year budget, a percentage increase of 5%.

The education sector was the fourth most allocated sector in the development budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year. In the preceding 2019/20 fiscal year, the transport sector was still the most allocated sector followed by agriculture and rural and urban development.

Furthermore, the health and social services sector was ranked fifth behind education. The education sector rose from fourth to second position in the 2020/21 fiscal year development budget, while the health and social services sector fell out of the top five list of the most allocation sectors in the development budget.

Education, arts and culture

The development budget targets all 14 regions in developing physical education facilities to ensure that all learners have access to equitable and inclusive quality education that qualifies them to pursue higher education.

The largest project in this sector is expected to cost about N$600 million in facilitating the installation of water tanks and the connection of water pipes to schools, upgrading and renovation of ablution facilities as well as the upgrading of hostel facilities.

With schools expected to reopen this week, this project aims to ensure the preparedness for Covid-19 after the schools were closed due to the pandemic.

According to the budget, in order to ensure the health of learners and teachers during the teaching and learning process, there is a need to provide the required services at the schools with a dire need for potable water, ablution facilities and hostel accommodation.

The main components of this project are the installation of 10 000-litre water tanks in 193 schools, the renovation of 580 ablution facilities and the construction of 744 new ablution facilities as well as hostel accommodation at 86 schools countrywide.

Higher education

To ensure that tertiary institutions produce graduates that respond to industry needs, there should have a strong education system that has the necessary infrastructure to enable students and lecturers to carry out their tasks successfully.

The biggest project that is expected to take place in the higher education, training and innovation sector is the continuation of the construction of the University of Namibia (Unam) southern campus, which was stopped in 2018 due to a lack of funds. The completion of this project is expected to cost N$30 million.

According to the budget, the establishment of the Unam southern campus is a strategic development initiative, mandated to provide decentralised higher education to all corners of Namibia - in this case for the underdeveloped southern region.

Phase 1 of the campus, which is currently underway, is aimed to cater for the construction of four lecture halls with an average capacity of 120 students each, three classrooms with a capacity of 40 students each, ablution facilities and offices.

This is the first building to be erected at the newly established southern campus in order for Unam to vacate the government building currently being occupied.

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