Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Education leads Government spending with a combined $10,7 billion allocated to the Ministries of Primary and Secondary, and Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, with priority on setting up and equipping six innovation hubs.
Presenting the 2020 National Budget in Harare yesterday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said $8,5 billion was budgeted for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and $2,2 billion for Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.“Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all students remains the country’s top priority in the education sector as Government commits to leave no child behind,” said Prof Ncube.
Similarly, the energy for change, innovation and creativity and ultimate inclusive economic growth needs investments in human capital base. “Under the 2020 budget the major focus will be on completing the setting and equipping up of the first six innovation hubs and operationalising them to ensure existing innovations in the different universities are developed into prototypes that will be industrialised at the industrial parks,” he said.
He added that resources will be allocated to stimulate and support innovation and industrialisation. The Government will also initiate a graduate internship programme designed to equip graduates with entrepreneurial skills and business experience to enable them to become productive and play a key role in national development. “The apprenticeship programme initiated last year with 1000 new apprentices being recruited will see another cohort of 1 000 apprentices being recruited by the beginning of next year,” he said.
Starting from next year, the Government will provide sanitary wear for school going children to ensure the products are available to girls and enable them to attend their classes in comfort and dignity.
The minister said the budget responds comprehensively to the plight of girls in enhancing their dignity.
“In anticipation of the finalisation of the Education Act, the budget is required to have a provision for the supply of sanitary wear for female learners.
“Based on equity consideration, the proposal is to begin with rural primary and secondary learners from Grade four to Upper sixth form and a provision of $200 million has been made under this budget,” he said.