In the ongoing FY2024 bilateral budget discussion, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) presented their recurrent expenditure of Nle 70.7m for the Fiscal Year 2024, compared to the Nle 44.5m ceiling given by the Ministry of Finance and this may result to a funding gap of Nle 26.2m.

The session was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Finance II, Bockarie Kalokoh, in the presence of other stakeholders like District Budget Oversight Committee members, Non-State Actors, representatives from the Chief Minister’s Office, the media and other Civil Society organizations on Thursday 19th October 2023 at the main conference hall of the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry’s key deliverables for FY2024 include the construction and Rehabilitation of Non Formal Education Learning Centers (5 additional centers), equip additional Schools with Science Laboratories (Projection – 50 schools), phase out double shift system in Schools – No. of schools transitioning to single shift – construction of 6 classroom blocks in schools, increase the number of beneficiaries and districts benefiting from the school feeding program currently 818,624 in 15 Districts (and projection for 2024 – 1 million children), and integrated EMIS – digitized and securitized data (Unique Learners ID – NIN).

The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Conrad Sackey regarded education as one of the five game changers in President Bio’s agenda, adding that a lot of gains have been made in the education sector with over one million new learners which brings the figure to 3.1 million learners in the country.

“We have also introduced the Radical Inclusion policy which speaks to the issue of equity. For us as a government, education is an investment with the goal being improved learning outcomes,” he said.

Minister Sackey explains the Ministry move in attracting additional financing from partners especially in the area of Foundational Learning.

The Deputy Minister of Finance II, Bockarie Kalokoh reemphasized government commitment in supporting the education sector despite agriculture being the flagship programme for the next five years, noting that the government will continue providing 22% budgetary allocation to the education sector.

He said President Bio believes in human capital development and education is very key in achieving that, noting that the fact that the former minister of Basic Education is now the Chief Minister shows how strong the commitment is.

“We have our Big-Five Game Changer and education runs across all of them. I want to assure all of you that we will look for alternative financing in achieving the Big-Five,” he said.

While presenting the FY2024 Budget, the Ministry highlighted some of their achievements in FY2023 like the review and update of the 2004 Education Act, Construction of three hostels for girls in three districts, develop and roll out of Senior Secondary School Curriculum, equipped additional schools with science laboratory, phase-out of double shifts in schools, construction and rehabilitation of Non-formal Education Learning Centers among others.

The Ministry expresses challenges in accessing funds from both government and donor partners, the untimely disbursement of funds and bureaucratic procedures by MoF to secure funding for programs and activities, and lack of motor bikes and vehicles to support mobility for monitoring and program implementation.