and Fortunate Ahimbisibwe
DONORS have warned the Government against diversion of education funds to non-priority areas outside the budget.
Irish Ambassador Martin Oâ€™Fainin, who spoke on behalf of the Education Funding Agencies Group (EFAG), said such reallocations were likely to make development partners lose confidence in the budget.
â€œIt is disappointing to see the education sector being requested to allocate funds during this fiscal year for areas like school feeding and teachersâ€™ salaries, which had not been included in the priorities set or in the budget framework,â€ Oâ€™Fainin said yesterday at the opening of the 11th education sector review in Kampala.
The education ministry has set aside sh10b for the school feeding programme which targets pupils in 19 districts affected by insurgency.
Another sum is also to be set aside to raise the salary of primary school teachers following President Yoweri Museveniâ€™s recent directive.
While commending the ministry for an impressive performance against targets agreed last year, Oâ€™Fainin said the two areas had implications for the budget in the longer term and should not have been addressed in an ad hoc manner.
â€œBoth finance and education ministries consider budget support the most efficient funding modality but funding agencies must have confidence in the budget process if they are to continue providing budget support,â€ the envoy said.
â€œWe are also concerned about the implications of this allocation from the key areas related to providing quality education for all children and the Millennium Development Goals of ensuring all children complete primary school,â€ he added.
EFAG is a consortium of 14 donor agencies that provide more than half of the education budget.
Opening the five-day conference, the education minister, Dr. Khiddu Makubuya, said despite several challenges, the sector had scored great success because the Government considered education key to achieving national development.
Permanent Secretary Francis Lubanga said the challenges included inadequate budgetary allocation and late release of capitation grants.
Donors warn on school funds