The Education Coalition of Zimbabwe with support from the Education Out Loud, held a Domestic Education Financing Dialogue online on the 16th of June 2021 ahead of the GPE Replenishment 2021 – 2025. The Dialogue was well subscribed with participants from different African Countries, Parliamentarians, Representatives from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education – Zimbabwe, Other Funding Partners, Regional Education Coalitions and ECOZI Members. Among the key issues that formed the agenda were the importance of domestic education financing dialogue and strategies for domestic resource mobilisation for education, and role of Education in Sustainable Development and where we are as Zimbabwe on achieving SDG4.
The Education Amendment Act 2019 provides that every citizen and a permanent resident of Zimbabwe have a right to a basic state funded education, including adult basic education (Section 75:01a). For the right to a basic state funded education to be realized, all key stakeholders both in public and private sectors. As such this Domestic Education Financing Dialogue was a platform to explore ways to make basic state funded, quality and inclusive education in Zimbabwe a reality.
The Importance of Domestic Education Financing Dialogue ahead of the GPE Replenishment 2021-2025
During the dialogue, Ms. Mwamba from ANCEFA gave highlights on the importance of domestic education financing dialogue ahead of the GPE Replenishment 2021-2025. She pointed out that there is rapid growth in inequalities, increase in domestic violence and increase in child labour activities. Ms. Mwamba mentioned that the Global Education summit will be an opportunity for world leaders to make 5 year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories. She added that from President Uhuru Kenyatta is calling on Heads of States in GPE partner countries to join him in endorsing his political statement to prioritised, protect and increase domestic financing towards the 20% global benchmark. Ms. Mwamba added that the importance of dialogue before the GPE summit is to ensure dialogue starts first at national level with the key stakeholders of this process and to influence governments to make realistic pledges before the Senate and share with the Local Education Groups.
Strategies for Domestic Resource Mobilization for Education
Mr David Archer from Action Aid International explained the need to pay attention to what the global community can do to support domestic education. The 2 critical issues he identified are; tax and public sector wages. On the issue of tax, he explained that expanding tax revenues is important and that focus should be on the big wealthy corporates. He mentioned that the next step will be for Global actions that sets fair tax rules. It was also pointed out that teachers make up 90% or more of the national budget and if governments cannot spend more money on teachers, then they cannot ensure domestic education financing for learners. CSOs were encouraged to put pressure on their Ministries of education and governments to achieve this, because education is important on economic growth. Mr Archer also posited that education financing is the solution to achieving SDGs; hence the need for stronger government action as well as investment in public service solutions.
From the dialogue, The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education representative Mr Dhewa reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring access to basic state funded, quality and inclusive education in Zimbabwe. He mentioned that the ministry already has a draft School Financing Policy to guide the domestic education financing process.
Overally the dialogue ended with every concurring that there is indeed a need to have a Multi sectorial approach to support the Education sector and ensure that domestic Education financing increases.