By JOHN CHOLA
The release of more than K400 million to all schools marks the final grant allocation under the free education programme.
Finance and National Planning Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane affirms in a statement that with the release of the K442.2 million 4th quarter grants, the entire 2022 budget allocation of K1.8 billion in school grants has now been disbursed.
Following the Government’s decision in October 2021 to provide free education from early childhood to secondary school level, all public schools have been receiving quarterly grants from the Treasury.
These grants are remitted within the opening two weeks of each quarter to ensure the smooth operation of schools country-wide.
“The first quarter disbursement amounting to K323.8 million was released on 2nd January 2022; second quarter disbursement amounting to K398 million on 5th April 2022; third quarter disbursement amounting to K611.4 million on 13th July 2022, and the final disbursement for the year amounting to K442.4 million on Friday, 14th October 2022.”
Dr Musokotwane added, “This was the final disbursement for 2022 under the free education school grants programme.”
The Minister has directed relevant officials in his ministry to ensure that all schools directly receive their respective grants within the week to ensure smooth operations.
“The budget for administrative matters and for conducting examinations is provided separately from the school grants under the free education policy. Funds for examinations are channelled directly to the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ), and not to individual schools,” the Minister stated.
In this regard, K60.5 million was disbursed to the ECZ in July 2022 to allow authorities ample time to prepare materials and logistical requirements for primary and secondary examinations.