There is no dilemma that Serbia needs to invest more in education and science. But how can we determine how much we need, if the minister himself has not figured out how much money enters his sector from all departments responsible for funding?
We have asked Minister Mladen Sarcevic whether he can tell us how much Serbia invests in education and are there any estimates of a minimum that would be sufficient to feel actual improvement?
“If you have noticed, our budget in 2017 was EUR1.4 billion, now it is EUR1.9 (and something). Thus, it’s higher by half a billion. One part of it is used for salaries, the other is used digitization, but it’s bigger nevertheless. It depends on country’s economic power,” Minister has said.
Along with an answer, Minister also asks himself how to determine all financial assets that are used for education via state budget and investments, what calculus should be implemented? He asserts that it is not possible to determine the exact figure, based on what is adopted as a budget in the Assembly at the end of the year, as that is only a portion of funds.
“Where are the loans? Even significantly richer countries take loans,” Minister has said and promised he will try “to find out one day how much money comes from all sides.”
The Minister does not dispute that more should be invested in education and science. He points out that we are working on this, and mentions announced increase in salaries in that sector as evidence.