School: 1 million pupils priced out

file picture

file picture

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Nearly a million pupils risk dropping out of school this year owing to financial constraints after the Government and donors cut funding for the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam), an official in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services has said. Last year, the programme was funded to the tune of US$73 million through Government, Unicef and the Department for International Development.

Government intended to fund 750 000 primary and 250 000 secondary school pupils this year.
But with just US$15 million allocated to Beam, it can only support the education of 83 000 secondary school pupils at a cost of US$180 per child (US$60 each per term at Government institutions).

This means 167 000 targeted secondary school pupils and all 750 000 targeted primary school pupils will miss out unless funding is secured.

Unicef and DfID provided the bulk of Beam funding in previous years.
However, Unicef withdrew two years ago and DfID said the funding arrangement ended in 2013.
Director of Social Services in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Mr Sydney Mhishi, made the revelations in his oral submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Labour, chaired by Gutu East MP Cde Berita Chikwama (Zanu-PF) in Harare yesterday.

“Government had up to last year made an arrangement with other stakeholders. We used to have a basket funding where (European Union) countries pool resources and give it to Unicef which would interface with our schools. That fell off two years ago.
“Their argument was that primary education must be free and compulsory.”

Mr Mhishi said DfID had a funding programme that ran until 2013, leaving 2014 with no taker.
“The current circumstance is that there will be no free primary education. We still think they (DfID) might come again. They have not responded and schools open today (yesterday). If they don’t come, it means Government will have to look for the money,” he said.
He was responding to a question from Mufakose MP Ms Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T) on relations with development partners who used to fund Beam.

“The 2012 Beam evaluation revealed that ideally the programme should reach one million children. Thus for 2014 the programme intended to target one million children broken down as follows: 750 000 primary school children and 250 000 secondary school,” said Mr Mhishi.

The target of 250 000 secondary school children would cost US$45 million at a total cost of US$60 per child per term.
“Allocated budget by Treasury of US$15 million will only assist 83 000 against the targeted of 250 000 vulnerable children. The implication is that 167 000 children would not be able to access Government assistance for secondary education,” he said.
For primary school, the target was 750 000 children at a total cost of US$8 per child per term amounting to US$28 million, he said.
“US$15 million is expected from donors, however no commitment has been formally communicated to the ministry. If donors are to come on board, 625 000 children will be assisted and the other 125 000 will still be in need of funding,” he said.

Legislators expressed concern with the low funding of education saying it was a violation of the Constitution which provided for free education.

Mazowe North Member of the National Assembly, Cde Edgar Chidavaenzi (Zanu-PF) said the committee should consider calling Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa before it to explore how the problem could be fixed.

Pin It
  • Mr.Sunningdale(Kong Town)

    Asi Biti akaenda nema key?

  • karen

    Under Facing the world on You Tube is a video of a presentation about an Israeli University and on that there is a very interesting flow chart for the consequences of educating all! It is in money that it is counted!

    • kumbi

      every sane person educated or not knows how valuable eduction is. the question is why are you telling us about the obvious

      • tk

        We don’t need EU money to educate our children. We should educate them ourselves. The message these colonialist are sending is very clear …… accept to be colonised and we will support you OR refuse to be colonised and we will not support you. There is no sincerity, no genuineness in their support. its evil, its meant to manipulate the indigenous people of any country they purport to assist for their own selfish gains. When they were supporting BEAM in the first place didn’t they know that primary education should be free?
        Mubereki ngaashande adzidzise vana vake. Mazimbabweans majaira kuuchirira zvesezvese semakadyiswa nemabhunu aya.

  • magondo

    teachers getting peanuts.pupils failing to attend school.parents losing jobs.government exporting jobs.china dumping sub-standard jobs e.t.c.ARE THESE NOT SIGNS OF FAILURE ON THE PART OF GOVERNMENT.maybe makandiwa and rotina mavhunga will come to our rescue.Hameno ikoko.

  • Progressive Zimbabwean

    This is rather unfortunate as education is all you can pass on to posterity in the absence of material wealth. It is disheartening coming as it does at a time when private schools are profiteering and are even arrogant enough to say “pay or pack and go”. There is this dearth of passion for education and empathy that is normally associated with provision of education. Some of them are in it for the money and do not care at all about the welfare of the child and it is a shame indeed. My suggestion would be for government to move resources from other non-essential ministries to this vital ministry to cater for the education of the underprivileged child.

  • Tichaona

    High time we look East

    • kumbi

      the east are the specialist diamonds thiefs they stole our diamonds worth over 10bln gvt have been looking east since 2000 what we got from that???

      high time we stop corruption in our diamonds and in gvt in general and employ technocrats who know wht they are doing and we would not be in this mess

      let us man up why look east ???who are the easterns llokming at???? answer themselves!!!!!!!.

      man act dont depent on other man

    • dinara rapozo

      True that it is time we looked east. Never look west until

    • moriartyO

      When the Philippines had a huge earthquake just a few months ago, china only offered a million dollars. Do u actually think they will offer a cent for your mess

  • patriot2

    Lets try the Chinese donors.

    • kumbi

      you jocker the china will say give us more diamond worth 10bln and will give you a 200mln loan!!!!!!

      thats what they did with marange if we had done our own thing with transparency we would have been better off

      sad but chokwadi zim needs to reengage ma vet machiana aripo but rero dzevanhu

  • kutototo

    This is an opportunity for our friends from the east to show their worthy, they should come in and fill the void left by the imperialists.

    • kumbi

      hapna hushamwari apa
      china haipee madonation vatori ma imperialist they are not worthy since 2000
      if you have not figured that out then nothing can help you

  • repo

    tatofa zve

  • funman

    the provision of basic social services requires the ZANU PF government to humble its self and go back to the same colonists and beg for the education of its nation otherwise they are building another Togo or Sudan where in the near future civil wars will be the order of the day in the country.
    What happened to all the Billons that ZANU PF promised had during its campaign in the run up to the 2013 July elections, were industries were to be revived e.g. Zisco, Civil servants were to be awarded hefty salaries that have not yet been paid as discussions are on going and the many other good things we were promised.

  • Chinos Kid Bro

    Imhosva yema sanctions, these British & Americans should or must educate our children. They are killings these kids for refusing to fund Beam. Chinos can explain my argument better.

    • keith

      they hate you why must they pay?????? and they wont you can shoutall u want . they wont pay and and atually want to tightern sanctions they dont give a *&^&%^& .solution is we stop corruption there is too much money in zim but being benefiting the few

      *diamonds must be nationalized and and accountability
      *death sentance for corrupt officials
      *dont spent 40lnm on new cars for ministers when there is no school fees and and 2mln people are hungry (can we blame sanctions for this when our gvt has messed up priorities?)
      *illigal chinises citizens deported
      shop owners forced to pay real tax (most dont pay tax)

  • Wolves Witches and Giants

    Lets see how much our all weather friends the Chinese will help…..Funny so far they only help in things like military….which does not develop a nation
    Lint Plant ….To break down the cotton for easy carriage to abused , no development there…
    They mine and buy our minerals for a song …no development there…..

    And some people who I will not name can’t see it. Zvakaoma.

    • Jindaguru

      Great idea, I’m certain our Chinese friends are capable of rising to the occasion! Make a deal mortgaging the next 30 years of diamond exports, and import 50,000 Chinese teachers.
      Replace English with mandatory Mandarin and Cantonese taught in hundreds of new schools built to the same standards as the National Defence College…. easy???

  • anon

    Vamwe baba ndipo vanoronga zve9 years primary education. Vari mu7-year program mabobhadhara here? Maticha acho for the current programme mabhadhara here enough to retain them or provide an incentive for them to deliver?

    As for the reference that appears in other reports of this debacle to how the the NGOs are no longer funding (who are the other stakeholders they have alluded to but do not want to come out in the open to say it), this is a result of politicking overtaking rationality. You condemn NGOs and yet are dependent on them for services. Just a few days ago it was about people begging that NGOs be allowed to operate to give people food because they are starving as the government has failed to feed them.

    Sad and sickening but it is to be expected of the so-called leaders who are nothing but jackals who take care of themselves and their families (oversees schooling for their children, shopping and healthcare included) while the majority suffers. All this points to a massive systemic failure but as long as people are celebrating “winning”, nothing else matter, right?

  • Fatso Gringo

    Here comes a generation of dumb people

    • Jotham

      You feel that you are better.

      • Fatso Gringo

        I am better. I just feel sorry for these kids who are being brought in this day and age where their education is taken for granted.

  • anhu acho

    “Vanopfurira gumbo mushuga, vamwe vachipona nezvekupemha,
    Vachipfurira gumbo mushuga vamwe tichipona nenhoko dzezvironda,
    Zuva budei, zuva nyurei, indangariro”

    That is a perfect commentary on modern day Zimbabwe and its leaders. Tichanyatsoafunga makare.

  • maita

    BEAM is being abused. I remember when I quit being a member of beam selection committee at a primary school in Harare. Some well to do parents’ children where given forms to be considered for beam when the deserving ones stay at home. I queried this criteria and was told ah just give them the forms. To make matters worse they talked as heard because they did not know I was in the committe ‘ hanzi ah tiwanewo zvemahara izvi’

  • Jambanja paSalisbury

    Togoona kunowira tsvimbo nedohwe, parizvino zvichiri mudenga

    • Jotham

      Denga reyi , kurota kunokunetsa.

  • soso

    DFID is a British imperialist organisation. Why do we rely on them for funding activities and programmes such as these?

    • moriartyO

      Lol, what a waste man.

  • Mhofu Chaiyo

    These are fruits of our silly politics! Our leaders do not think of the consequences of their actions before speaking and acting. Hameno zvavo vasingagone kuendesa vana vavo kuchikoro! Tsitsi dzangu dziri kunherera!

    • nathan

      so what you are saying we should the west’s A$$$$ , in other words , how is that helping Uganda ,Tanzania & recently Malawi ? open your eyes.

  • showemright

    what is this? africa had GREAT institutions of learning in fact the 1st university in the world was built in MALI called the UNIVERSITY OF TIMBUKTU,africans did it without the help of no god fore saken western handout.This is the time african leadership needs to get together at a Great ROUNDTABLE to discuss ways of doing for self.There was a time Africans functioned without a European derived institute called a bank.The world steals your resources then sells them back to you in another shape or form, could be a cellphone,laptop,car,etc.WAKE UP AFRICA,know when your being EXPLOITED.Timbuktu, had schools of science,mathematics,agriculture,just to name a few,we africans built GREAT ZIMBABWE,The pyramids in Egypt, and Sudan,We carved churches in solid stone in Ethiopia, Just because the european devils chased us all around in order we live today, doesn’t mean we still run away from what we have, WE as african people are not running any more, we stand say no more wickedness from the west, Remember what happen to your brothers up north the libyan people 2 years ago,europeans did that to put fear in you, they will never be a friend to our KIND,Get rid of your borders, no more visas,gates,checkpoints, because this is how they (europeans live) they do so much crime around the GLOBE and they build fences ,borders and etc of fear and control of who might be at their gates. i WANT to see the GREATNESS of africa restored again, and im pretty sure im not the only one with this VISION.

  • Stanford

    This article makes for sad reading really. For one, it shows us how poor Zimbabwean parents have become despite the fact that so many have been resettled to more productive farm land.
    Surely how can parents be supported or fail to pay $8 per term for primary school kids? What is really the meaning of this? And, the number is just staggering; 750 0000 requiring assistance in primary education.

    So many questions are raised, I said. What is the level of poverty in beloved land and surely who is responsible for this glaring poverty that has befallen us as a nation? Are we really now the poorest nation in Southern Africa?

    Other questions that the article raises are; how rich are ZANU PF bigwigs. What is their combined wealth? Where did they get this money from if it did not come from the millions of poor people that we have in this country? Money should be gotten from somewhere.

    I don’t want to keep on asking these questions. I believe I have mentioned enough questions and readers to this forum could add more questions.

    Let’s be embarrassed by the way have run down this country to the extent that people are failing pay $8 per term for their kids.

  • ubit

    this kids should be allowed to continue without paying,,,, no one is paying,,,, zbc not paying workers NRZ paying half pay,,,,,,,



  • kumbi

    do you think anyone is listening???

    they cant do that how will they stop looting if its in their dna