Mini budget: Higher learning to be boosted

Spending on post school education and training will grow faster than any other government programme over the next three years, says Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Over the medium term, this would amount to just under R200 billion, he said in the 2014 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, tabled at Parliament on Wednesday.

“Underscoring government’s commitment to addressing skills constraints, medium-term spending on post-school education and training, which grows more strongly than any other spending programme, will amount to nearly R200 billion.”

Of this amount, 55 percent would comprise subsidies to universities and contributions to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, allowing an additional 116,000 university entrolments by 2016/17, he said.

As expected, basic education will continue to get the biggest slice of the budgetary pie over the next three years.

“Over the 2015 MTEF [Medium Term Expenditure Framework], proposed allocations to basic education exceed R640 billion, accounting for nearly 15 percent of all spending.”

Spending on basic education would reach R226bn by 2017/18 — an average annual increase of 6.3 percent.

In both basic and higher education and training, government wanted to see an expansion in access to institutions matched with quality outcomes.

“New tools for monitoring educational outcomes — such as the annual national assessments — are establishing platforms to address long-standing challenges.”

According to the document, these approaches, in combination with greater attention to teacher training and human resource management, will improve teaching and learning around the country.

Source : Sapa /cp/rod

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