SDCs and School Heads Trained on SIG funds
The Education Coalition of Zimbabwe with Support from UNICEF Zimbabwe conducted a three-day Training on School development Planning, Budgeting and reporting for 30 New schools receiving SIG funds in Mt Darwin.
The School Improvement Grant (SIG) is a programme aimed at providing financially constrained schools with resources to address their most basic needs and meet a set of school functionality standards. The programme prioritizes funding to the schools serving the poorest communities and with the poorest levels of resources.
The training was done in partnership with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. The Provincial Education Director Mrs Chikosha Welcomed the participants to the training pointing out that, It is important for School Development Committees and School heads to understand how to identify priorities, prepare School Development plans, Budget for and fully utilise the SIG Funds.
She also argued that schools that were trained in 2020 improved a great deal in reporting and properly using SIG funds.
“ I encourage you all to participate and take these trainings seriously, they are key to the development of our schools and subsequently improve the delivery of quality, equitable and inclusive education.
She also added that in developing School Development Plans, Children should be consulted.
“You should make sure that your plans reflect the needs and inputs from pupils because there should never be anything for them without them, Child participation is central for SDC decision-making processes”, she said.
Schools Inspector Mrs Nyamande and the Mt Darwin District accountant Mr Kanyenze led the training on Financial Management, the preparation of School development Plans, alternative fundraising for schools and how to properly use and report SIG funds.
Fidelyn Chinyani Bursar at Kandeya Secondary school pointed out that her school benefitted much from the School Improvement Grants (SIG).
“Initially our school was a satellite school, and we manage to build a classroom block, procure age-appropriate furniture and buy textbooks using the SIG money. As we speak our textbook learner ratio has decreased from 1:20 to about 1:6. We hope the money continues to come through.
Enviolata Shoniwa the SDC Chairperson for Nyakasikana Primary school pointed out that the two-day training on budgeting, planning and reporting SIG funds was eye-opening and that as a school they were going to promote child participation in drawing the School Development Plan (SDP) and budgeting for SIG funds.
“This training we have been having is quite enlightening, I have learnt that it is important for the school, SDC and other stakeholders to prepare the School Development Plan together, it helps parents support the school and subsequently pay their children’s levies knowing what needs to be done. I have also understood that SIG funds should be properly used to improve the quality of education and as a committee, we should prioritise school needs in consultation with the pupils”
150 SDC members and School Heads from a total of 30 schools were trained at 2 different venues to allow for the observance of strict COVID-19 prevention measures.
ECOZI also donated four suggestion boxes to Mt Darwin district. The suggestion boxes are meant to encourage child participation, transparency and accountability in school management.
One of the recipients of the suggestion box Mr Martin Kunaka the Acting Head at Chakoma Primary school highlighted that the school was experiencing a number of issues and the suggestion box will help resolve these.
“ I am excited to receive the suggestion box, which I believe will be a feedback platform to school management, I am sure it will encourage children, parents and even teachers to speak up. I am convinced it is a platform that will help us resolve management issues affecting the school” he said.