Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reading between the education budget

By Nyachro Kasese, chuchum09@gmail.com

According to the recently released 2014/2015 budget framework, a lot of departments will experience budget cuts where as others will receive an increase in budget spending.

The largest of these cuts is directed to the health sector whose budget will be cut down by 22.5 per cent This is a lot of money subtracted from a sector that is in desperate need of funding. 

Another sector with deductions that should concern us is the education sector whose budget has been reduced from sh1,761.59 billion to sh1, 663.54 billion.

In a country such as our where education is already an issue we cannot afford to be having budget cuts in a sector as vital as education.

Budget cuts imply that there are less incentives for teachers to come to school and teach.

As it is teachers are already receiving low salaries, there are teachers that are not showing up to class and teachers that are leaving the education sector to pursue businesses.

If the government is cutting funding towards the education sector, this implies that teacher’s salaries are bound to be lowered. Thereby not offering the teachers any motivation to do their best.

A reduction in funding also implies that worker benefits will be reduced.

For instance one of the benefits received by teachers is one where their children are allowed to attend the schools within which they teach for free.

A reduction in their benefits once more reduces their commitment and work ethic.

This reduction also goes to affect the teaching materials offered within schools. The funding education and schools receive is important in ensuring that materials such as photocopies, textbooks, posters and learning tools are made available to students.

This reduction in funding will cut down the materials with which the educators use to teach in classes thereby reducing the quality of education.

This also implies that there will be less electives within schools. A reduction in funding implies that the school is unable to offer their students a wide variety of subjects from which to choose from as this means more teachers.

Certain subjects may be cut off as they may not be seen as necessary. Teachers may find themselves teaching subjects that are not within their area of expertise as a result of this.

A cut in funding implies a cut in educators, which implies larger classes. Research has shown that students function and learn better within smaller groups than larger ones.

Teachers find it harder to control children and get them to focus. This will result in poor grades.

And finally, this may result in school closures. If schools cant afford to pay teachers, then teachers leave and find something that offers them better incentives and better pay.

Teachers leave, students have no materials and no teachers, schools close.

An important thing to note about development and the betterment of our country is that our growth depends on education. It is an investment with long term benefits and is as a result most often disregarded.

Email: chuchum09@gmail.com