Education For All Sierra Leone Coalition has stated in a validated report Tuesday 17 that there is about six hundred and twenty-two billion Leones funding gap which is about 15 percent.
“About 51 percent of that gap is related to uncovered development expenses. Interventions such as handicapped accessible schools and WASH facilities fall under development spending,” the report states.
The report, titled ‘National Research on Education Gap and Domestic Financing in Sierra Leone’ was validated at No. 16 Roberts Street in Freetown.
Making a power point presentation of the report, the Executive Director, Education For All Coalition, Joseph Kobena, highlighted topical issues in the education sector in Sierra Leone while addressing the issues raised.
The report suggested that for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to source additional funding should use innovative and more strategic modes by collaborating with other MDAs whose activities interlock with the ministry.
The report recommended that if government improves tax administration and collection to boost domestic revenue mobilization the funding gap could be reduced further.
According to the report, financial capacity for education is inadequate for all needs, and the total amounts available to the education sector from central government are unlikely to be increase in future.
“A core problem is the lack of adequately trained finance personnel at all levels, which hampers the capacity of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Local Government to deliver on their education financial system and responsibilities,” the report stated.
It maintained that the budgets for education is under-utilized due to unpredicted government revenue, poor financial planning and review of plans as budget change, delay in financial processes largely due to the lack of qualified and competent personnel and inadequate information and knowledge at all levels.
EFA suggested in its report that massive funds are needed to be infused in education to accelerate human resources development that would yield sustainable economic growth and development.
They said the year 2010 to 2015 witnessed an increase in budgetary allocation in the educational sector but there is still pressure on the sector considering the population of the country.
“The Sierra Leone educational system has undergone drastic transformations in a bid to make education the key to success but results seem farfetched from goals set,” the report highlighted.
The report further noted a nation that has invested in human capacity building has made dramatic improvement in economic performance and standard of living for it nationals and those that have not are always faced with challenges in acquiring the level of human resources in promoting sustainable development and economic growth.
It noted that if funds required for full pledged educational activities are not accurately and timely disbursed the leakages would lead to a collapse in the already fragile quality of education.
They recommended that an adequate and effective decentralization and supervision and accountability mechanism in finance and human resources management system would also improve fiscal management.