1 million drop out of school

via 1 million drop out of school – DailyNews Live by Mugove Tafirenyika 15 JANUARY 2014

Almost a million Zimbabwean orphans and disadvantaged children who depend on State assistance to pay school fees may be unable to enrol as the new term opened this week after government failed to raise funds.

Under the Basic Education Assistance Model (Beam), the government needs $73 million to pay school fees of orphans and disadvantaged children, but Ngoni Masoka, the permanent secretary in the Public Service ministry, told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Public Service Labour and Social Welfare, that only $15 million was budgeted for Beam this fiscal year, a figure he said was grossly insufficient.

He warned that hundreds of thousands of children will drop out of school.

Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has led to job losses, making it impossible for growing numbers of parents to pay tuition fees. Unemployment now stands at 80 percent, and is rising as businesses continue to fold.

For those still employed in the formal sector, low wages have worsened a situation that is already desperate.

The announcement that there were no funds for Beam came after hard-pressed guardians of Beam beneficiaries had made representations to government to expand the programme to include the purchasing of exercise books.

The $73 million is needed to assist in the education of one million children. But only $15 million has been raised.

Masoka said the situation had been compounded by the withdrawal of donors such as Unicef and the United Kingdom Aid (Ukaid)’s Department for International Development (DfID) among others.

No comment was available from the British Embassy and Unicef yesterday, as officials had left when we sought comment late yesterday.

Official sources said the donors who used to pay for pupils under Beam had anticipated that there would be no need for aid as primary education was supposed to be free under the new Zimbabwe Constitution adopted last year in May.

“Allocated budget by Treasury of $15 million will only assist 83 000 secondary school children against the targeted 250 000,” Masoka said.

“The implication is that 167 000 (secondary school) children will not be able to access government assistance for secondary education.

“For primary school, the target is 750 000 children at a total cost of $8 per child per term which amounts to $28 million per year.

“$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.”

Masoka said the latest 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 schoolchildren,” he said.

Appearing before the same parliamentary committee, the ministry’s director of Social Services Sydney Mhishi reported that government had also failed to provide adequate funding for 5 700 “Children in Difficult Circumstances (CDC)” as well as street children.

“Out of the $1 364 453 and $80 000 the ministry had proposed for CDCs and street children, Treasury allocated $500 000 and $20 000, representing 37 and 25 percent respectively,” Mhishi said.

“Under this scenario, the possibility of some institutions closing down is great.

“This leaves government with the burden of where to place the affected children taking into account the daily subsistence needs and school requirements of institutionalised and foster care children.”

Lawmakers sympathised with the ministry officials, placing the blame squarely on Patrick Chinamasa, the Finance minister, for failing to adequately mobilise resources to help children needing social safety nets.



  • comment-avatar

    I can remember a some time ago when Africans (Zimbabwean Africans) were Africans. I will ask my white countrymen to hear me out because I don’t want it to sound like I am leaving anyone out. My next door neighbours son was walking on the road with his friend. They started playing football kicking a stone. The one boy was using brand new shoes. Every time he kicked I felt the pain his father had to payed for those shoes. I totally lost it and shouted at the boy. “Stop that” I said. Both boys fled but the culprit went and tell his father that one of the neighbours tried to beat him up. The father promptly came to my house. He was angry. “Do little” he shouted. “Why did you want to beat up my kid.” ” My friend” I said.Ask the boy what he was doing and what I said to him. The boy told what had happened and was disciplined there and then. What has happened? In those days anybodies child was everybody’s child. The big boys in my neighbour hood still switch off their cigarettes when they see us approach. Why are we allowing this to happen. Happy children make happy families, Happy families make happy communities, Happy communities make happy towns, Happy towns make happy cities, Happy cities make Happy countries and if we have happy countries there’s got to be a better world. People these are hard times. Help each other. Respect each other. Exchange ideas.

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    Fallenz 8 years ago

    No profession, or function in life, other than parents, have more influence on the future of a nation than educators. Their guidance is crucial in the development of tomorrow’s leaders of government and industry… no matter how large or small the position of those leaders. If children are not guided and taught well, they will be left to their own devices. Degrees do not bring moral minds, but the process of learning and interacting does create society. Education is more important than military because without society, the military has nothing worth protecting. Trade some of the guns to pay for paper, pencils, and teacher salaries, and Zim will have a better opportunity for a future.

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    mark longhurst 8 years ago

    and how many of the 1 million kids parents’ voted for ZanuPF—suckers!!

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    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    Some seem to be celebrating the crisis.Do not let your hatred of Mugabe cloud your thinking.

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    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    The donors must not contribute. Marange could easily pay for these students. Zanu is the problem and must be surgically removed.