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Finance Minister's $50 Tax on Smartphones Retrogressive on Education Sector

The $50 tax proposed by finance minister Mthuli Ncube on all smartphones is retrogressive and will derail government efforts to make education inclusive to the poor, parliamentary portfolio on primary and secondary education chairperson Torerayi Moyo has said.

"I noted with concern the proposed revenue raising measure of a USD50 levy on all cell phones. While we acknowledge the need for Government to raise resources, I have observed that this proposal is regressive in nature as it will militate against the Government’s drive to enhance access for all and ensure inclusivity of the poor in the education sector, particularly, targeting access to online lessons for all learners.

"I am sure, we shall debate further this proposal and come up with workable solutions that will support embracing of the digital revolution," said Moyo in a virtual address to the attendees as he is in Rwanda on parliament business.

The meeting was organised by ZINECDA and ECOZI to analyze the 2022 national budget and its impact on the education sector.

Zimbabwe Parliament director finance budget Pepukai Chivore urged government to disburse the funds timeously.

"Parliament, through the Portfolio Committee of Primary and Secondary Education should ensure that MoPSE gets adequate funding for goods and services and Infrastructure(Teaching & Leaning mmaterials)Phased establishment of Government schools to cover the school’s deficit, estimated at 2056.

"While private ECD centres, Primary and Secondary schools have come in to fill the gap that is there in terms of number of schools, the Ministry has not played its role to ensure that the quality of service offered is up to standard.

"Parliament, through the Portfolio Committee should engage the Ministry of Finance and the PSC to ensure that unemployed qualified teachers are engaged and that MoPSE get treasury concurrence to fill in critical vacant posts of school’s inspectors and ECD teachers," he said.

The 2022 National Budget statement was presented on the 25th of November 2021 by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development in Parliament.

The workshop comprised of Parliamentarians, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials, CSOs, ZINECDA and ECOZI members on work planning, budget tracking and analysis in a quest to ensure budget-policy linkages.

ECOZI and ZINECDA who are implementing partners of an EducationOutLoud grant engaged a consultant who webt through the National Budget with the members of ECOZI, ZINECDA and members of the PPC on Primary and Secondary Education.

The analysis assisted in making an assessment of how the budget will impact the education system and how it addresses the needs of children in Zimbabwe.

Giving an analysis of the size and composition of education budget, provides a synopsis of critical issues related to adequacy, allocative efficiency. Effectiveness and equity of current and past education spending.

The analysis also paved way for some recommendations to Government of Zimbabwe to be done on the possible ways to improve public spending on education.

Content created and supplied by: ProblemMasau (via Opera News )

ECOZI Mthuli Ncube Pepukai Chivore Torerayi Moyo Zimbabwe


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