HL Deb 01 December 1998 vol 595 cc17-22WA
Lord Lucas

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they accept the allegation on page 210 of The Reality of Aid 1998–99, published by Earthscan, that the bulk of Ugandan education expenditure was either retained at Districts or embezzled; and, if so, why they now believe that supporting Ugandan Government education expenditure is the most efficient way of improving primary education in that country. [HL32]

Baroness Amos

The figures cited on page 210 ofThe Reality of Aid 1998–99 concern Government of Uganda contributions to primary schools between 1991–94. There were many problems preventing funds reaching schools, as the article describes. Since then, a number of changes have been instigated, some of which are documented in the same article.

Since 1997–98, primary education in Uganda has been funded by conditional grants. The grants are specifically earmarked by central government to go to each publicly-funded school. Central government now publicises its monthly disbursements made to districts and schools through the mass media, and schools must clearly display the amounts received. New measures have been taken to strengthen capacity in the Auditor-General's office, including its outreach to Districts. The new Poverty Eradication Fund established by the Ugandan Government will also earmark additional resources for tracking education and health spending.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has also undertaken some monitoring of its own to examine how funds are being used. The audit of 1997–98 Programme Aid to Uganda investigated a representative sample of education expenditures and concluded that, while there were still some problems in some districts, the situation has improved considerably since 1994. Ninety per cent. of salary spending is accurately distributed to school staff and the bulk of non-salary spending was released to the special primary education accounts. More work is now needed to strengthen school-level accounting. Among the conditions that DFID and other donors have agreed concerning their support for the Education Sector Investment Plan is that an annual verification exercise of Ugandan Government primary education expenditure is carried out. Subsequent releases of donor funds will depend on the outcome of these exercises.

Lord Lucas

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the Government of Uganda's Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP) 1997–2003, to which they propose to contribute £67 million. [HL28]

Baroness Amos

The Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP) has been presented by the Minister of Education to the Ugandan Cabinet for approval. Cabinet approval is a condition for Department for International Development (DFID) release of the first tranche of the £67 million and is also a condition for support from the European Commission. When the ESIP is approved, DFID will provide a copy of the final document to the Libraries of both Houses.

Lord Lucas

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What independent assessments they intend to carry out, and when, of the progress of Uganda's Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP) and of the effectiveness of their contribution to it. [HL31]

Baroness Amos

The Ugandan Government has agreed to independent evaluations of all its key education programmes, including financial management systems. The timetable for most of these evaluations has yet to be finalised, but it is intended that those investigating financial management systems will be on an annual basis.

Lord Lucas

asked Her Majesty's Government:

By what measures they will judge the success of their support for Uganda's Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP); what the value of these measures is now; what they anticipate the value of these measures will be in 2003 and at any intermediate point; and who will make these measurements and how; and [HL29]

What information they expect to receive, and when, from the Government of Uganda as to the progress made with their Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP). [HL30]

Baroness Amos

The Education Sector Investment Plan (ESIP) contains clear targets for the education sector. There is also an ESIP Sector Work Plan that identifies clear steps to be taken in order to ensure that the ESIP targets are achieved.

The overall success of the Department for International Development's (DFID) support to the ESIP will be measured by the achievement of key ESIP

Table 1: Measures of Success for DFID Support to Education Sector Investment Programme
Goal Level Goal Level Measures
Educated Ugandan citizens, improved livelihoods, reduced poverty. High quality basic education for all by 2003 Increased levels of adult literacy in 15–24 age range Real national income growth in 6%–8% range Percentage of people living in poverty reduced
Purpose Level Purpose Level Measures
To achieve the targets of the agreed education sector programme.
1. Improved access and equity at all levels of the education system. 1.1 Increased enrolment in primary schools from current 5.3 million to 6.6 million by 2003.
1.2 Increased post-primary enrolments from current 0.41 million to at least 0.73 million by 2003, with a secondary school provided in every sub-county.
1.3 Significant increases in the participation of females (47% at primary, 42% in lower-secondary, 35% at upper-secondary and 30% at university), disadvantaged children and children with special education needs (targets to be agreed).
1.4 Increased opportunities for out of school children through expansion of existing complementary education opportunities (targets to be set).
1.5 Increase in higher education enrolments from 25,000 to 50,000 by 2003.
1.6 Increase in completion rates for primary and post-primary levels (targets to be set).
1.7 Establishment of up to 850 community polytechnics by 2001, with 0.1 million graduates by 2003.
2. Improved quality of education, particularly at the primary school level. 2.1 All primary schools provided with water and sanitation and 25,000 new classrooms constructed by 2003, and 12,000 part finished classrooms completed by 1999.
2.2 Books available in all core subject areas on a 1:2 basis for all primary pupils by 2002.
2.3 Teacher deployment (primary) on basis of new school or district based staffing norms completed by 1999.
2.4 Teacher training and development network completed with a negligible number of untrained primary teachers remaining by 2003.
2.5 National network of secondary school core teaching and learning resources available by 2001.
2.6 Student performance in literacy and numeracy at primary and secondary levels increased (targets to be set).

targets. These are presented in Table 1 below, which also provides information, where available, on the current status of these measures.

In addition to DFID, other donors are providing flexible budget support to the ESIP. These donors have all agreed to a system of joint sector monitoring and evaluation for the education sector. This will involve joint annual monitoring missions. The first mission will take place in April 1999. DFID will be represented in the joint missions and will be provided with progress on the measures indicated in Table 1.

DFID is linking the releases of budget support to key undertakings by the Ugandan Government. There is a set of undertakings that have to be complied with each year, some of which are relevant every year and others which are specific to different years during the five-year programme. Table 2 shows these undertakings. The specific undertakings for financial year 2000–01 and beyond will be negotiated in April 1999 during the first joint monitoring mission. The Ugandan Government has to report progress on achievement of undertakings during each annual monitoring mission.

3. Strengthened sector management and planning 3.1 Primary education pupil to teacher ratios (PTR) and school establishment formula to continue to be determined on basis of overall staff ceiling determined through budget process with gradual improvement from current overall PTR of 57:1 to 40:1 by 2003.
3.2 Secondary education PTR to increase from current 20:1 to 30:1 by 2002.
3.3 Recurrent expenditure in education maintained at around 31% of total discretionary expenditure over project period, with primary education share increasing from 56% to 60%, secondary education share at least maintained at 14% and tertiary education share declining from 14% to 12%.
3.4 Maintain recurrent non-salary expenditures in primary education at between 25%–30%.
3.5 Development expenditure of minimum 70% for primary education until 2000, with secondary education increasing from 4% to minimum 20% by 2003, and tertiary education maintained at around 10%.
3.6 Average cost per pupil to move within agreed limits for each sub-sector.
3.7 Efficient teaching and learning materials supply system (time taken for delivery and the proportion of books and other learning materials ordered).
3.8 Efficient school construction and rehabilitation systems (unit costs, time from proposal submissions to completion).
3.9 Efficient disbursement and use of school and district conditional grants (time taken for money to reach districts/schools, use of money in districts/schools, time taken to account for funds used at district/schools, time taken to pay teachers).
3.9 District education plans developed and funded, minimum 12 districts by end of 1999, minimum further 20 districts by end of 2000.

Table 2: Undertakings by Ugandan Government for DFID releases of budget support

£12 million per annum of budget support from DFID contingent upon progress against key undertakings (conditions) jointly agreed through annual consultations.

For every financial year:

Budget and release funds in line with the rolling medium term expenditure framework, maintaining a minimum of 31 per cent of recurrent discretionary expenditure for the education sector over the period 1998 to 2003.

Extend the rolling medium term expenditure framework and work plan to cover all development spending (Ugandan Government and donor) in education, prepare budget, make releases and demonstrate that expenditures have been made in line with the framework and sector work programme, without shifting expenditures to development activities outside the three-year framework and work programme for education.

Convene meetings every six months with education donors to review progress reports on the achievement of time-bound indicators as set out in the sector programme work plan and the ESIP policy and strategic framework.

Convene meetings annually with relevant education donors to share draft budget submissions and to agree undertakings (conditions) for budget support, with interim monitoring missions as jointly agreed.

For 1998–99 budget release the key indicators are:

Cabinet approval of revised ESIP Strategic and Programme Framework.

Agreement by Government (Ministry of Education and Sports [MoES] and Ministry of Finance [MoFPED]) and donors of a revised three-year financing plan (1998–99 to 2001–02) for the entire education sector, covering both development and recurrent expenditures.

Agreement by MoES and MoFPED of an instructional materials plan and an interim schools construction plan for completing unfinished schools.

MoES approved sector development work plan.

For 1999–2000 budget release the key indicators are:

MoES provides, by April, an independent evaluation of recurrent expenditures on education salaries and conditional grants and all development expenditures in education which verifies that expenditures have been made and outputs achieved in line with the framework and sector work programme.

Implementation of the agreed action plan to update the teachers' payroll based on the new staff establishment policy.

Agreement by MoES and MoFPED of a medium-term school facilities plan and an integrated teacher development plan.

Action plan for improved performance monitoring and financial management agreed by MoES, MoFPED and donors.

Policy and plan for decentralisation of development expenditures agreed by MoES and MoFPED.

Definition and communication of policies in relation to parental/community participation in universal primary education and teacher management (deployment, multi-grade and double-shift teaching).

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