Scholarship spending should be reduced: IMF

By Mike Puia

LEADER of a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that has been conducting consultation in the country over the past week says the government needs to re-look at the number of scholarships it issues yearly.

Deputy Division Chief of IMF’s Surveillance Policy Division, Ms Alison Stuart, made this comment yesterday.

Stuart said the size of spending on scholarships is an issue.

She revealed the fact that it accounts for two-thirds of the education budget for 2017; this spending scale is huge compared to other countries when talking about students the government sends abroad for study.

Stuart said some good criteria need to be in place so that few selected students sent abroad achieve high completion.

She said there is a need for greater focus on primary and secondary education, as it appears primary and secondary have been given less priority.

Stuart said beside the Constituency Development Fund and the National Shipping Grant, scholarship remains high while the development budget has seen a sharp cut.

She added there is a need to re-direct spending in the 2019 budget to priority areas in line with the country’s National Development Strategy with the aim to cut spending on CDF, shipping grant and scholarship.

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