Ministry cuts funding to private schools

Andrew Kathindi

The Ministry of Education has discontinued funding private schools after discovering it was not uniformly done.

Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp said the ministry put a stop to funding after discovering that certain conditions for funding, such as providing scholarships for 10 percent of its enrollment to vulnerable children, was not being met.

Some private schools were also heavily reliant on the subsidy and could not prove that they were self-reliant. N$87 million per annum was dispersed to private schools in the past.

Steenkamp said that while the economic downturn of the last three years has also affected the budget for this fund, the ministry realized that it was spending disproportionately more money on subsidizing parts of private school budgets than originally intended. The ministry is now working on a subsidy policy that will be followed should it ever decide to revive this funding avenue for private schools.

“We discovered that some schools would request for funds but when you go to the school you will find that these funds were not used for the purpose that it was reported. This means that it needs a much closer monitoring system in place. If government makes money available to support, they need to account for it. No funds will be dispersed if the private schools cannot provide a legitimate audit report and if we cannot have inspections to verify how the funding has been used. A lot needs to be reviewed with regards to the funding of private schools in order for us to be able to cope with the shortage of funds,” she said.

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