Butaleja District Council has approved a budget of 17.7 billion shillings for the Financial Year 2013/2014. In the budget, Education took the lion’s share with 8.4 billion shillings allocated to the sector. This was followed by management and support services with 3.1 billion shillings, while the Health sector took 2.1 billion shillings.
Moses Gamusi, the district Secretary for Finance, Planning and Administration who presented the budget on Wednesday, said 86 percent of the total budget is expected from the Central Government, 13 percent from donors and only one percent is from the local revenue in the district.
The budget represents a 12 percent increase from the financial year 2012/2013 when the district approved 15.6 billion shillings.
In the 2013/2014 budget, Education sector took the lion’s share of 8.4 billion shillings followed by management and support services at 3.1 billion shillings. The Health sector took 2.1 billion shillings.
Other sectors are Works and Technical Services that got 1.2 billion shillings, production department with 1.2 billion shillings, Finance & Planning with 124 million shillings, and Community-based Services which was given 193 million shillings.
Council and statutory boards got 176 million shillings while Natural resources got 129 million shillings.
Gamusi disclosed that the strategic priority action for Financial Year 2013/14 Budget is to improve Health care and sanitation, access to safe water, Education and social services and Production. He notes that the district will focus the strategy on social economic growth and development.
Joseph Muyonjo, the Butaleja District Local Council chairperson, says his office will closely monitor and supervise all the government and Non-governmental programmes so that there is value for money spent on these projects.
Whereas Education sector in Butaleja continues to receive the biggest share of the district budget, the sector has lagged behind.
In a recent report to the district, Philips Kalyebi, the Butaleja District Education Officer, indicated that more than 40 percent of school-going age children are adamant to go to school as they prefer going for rice farming, the major economic activity in the district. Kalyebi said most parents have failed to keep their children in school.
Meanwhile, Primary school teachers in Butaleja are bitter with the politicians who they accused of being behind their unnecessary cross-transfers within the district. They blame the persistent poor performance in Butaleja district on transfers of teachers from one school to another over unexplained reasons.
They claim that most times these transfers are caused by politicians who connive with the office of the District Education Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer to effect the transfer.
One of the teachers who identified herself as Namulwa Harriet claims that on several occasions, when some politicians are not in good terms with some teachers, they force a case against them and demand for their immediate transfer to another school. She blames the District Education Department and the CAO for acting without investigations.