Maxwell Tapatapa-Herald Reporter
THE Government has budgeted $1,7 billion towards the administration of the 2021 school public examinations with parents and guardians only required to pay 45 percent of examination fees.
This is aimed at easing the pressure on parents whose incomes were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since early last year.
The $1,7 billion translates to a 55 percent subsidy per every learner which is more than the 53 percent that the Government committed last year.
Last year, Government released $150 million to the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) to subsidise fees for those learning at Government schools, local authority and not-for-profit mission schools.
In a statement Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema commended President Mnangagwa’s administration for remaining resolute in supporting the country’s education sector.
“As a ministry, we are indeed grateful that the Government, under the leadership and guidance of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Mnangagwa has committed a grant of $1,7 billion for the administration of public examinations in Zimbabwe for 2021.
“This commendable gesture will go a long way in ensuring the affordability of examination fees,” said Ambassador Mathema.
He added: “The contribution ratio of 55 percent for Government and 45 percent for parents and guardians for pupils in public schools will ease the burden on parents and guardians whose incomes have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This timely intervention by the Government paves way for the registration of all eligible school candidates in public schools for 2021 ZIMSEC examinations.”
Minister Mathema also acknowledged the efforts of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which provided financial support, parents and guardians for ensuring the smooth running of public examinations in 2020.
The Second Republic has been investing heavily in education over the past three years resulting in vastly improved infrastructure and better quality learning.
Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the pass rates for the 2020 Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations remained within the normal range.
This was attributable to the various interventions by Government which ensured that the learning and examination processes proceeded, albeit under very unusual and difficult circumstances.