Government backtracks on free education roll-out; says program needs resource mobilisation

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By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT has backtracked on its promise to provide free education, saying the move requires resources and serious mobilisation strategies.

Speaking to local media, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Torerai Moyo, said the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government was committed to providing free education despite the challenges.

“It is true, the government has the intention that from Early Childhood Development (ECD) up to Grade 7, children should have free education,” responded Moyo to queries when free education would be enrolled.

“That is the aim of the President. So, this is not new.  It is an issue that we are seriously considering and it will not take us three years to implement.”

According to Moyo, there are various forms of free education and the government needs to mobilise the resources so that people benefit.

“There is the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) for those children that come from less privileged parents and they can go from ECD A up to grade 7 for free.”

BEAM caters for tuition fees for the disadvantaged and orphans.

“In underdeveloped areas like my communal home, Muzarabani, Guruve and Kariba, children in those areas do not pay school fees. They are going to school for free. There is a grant that is being used to cater for their fees.

“Those that pay do so because they will have reached an agreement that the school wants to build accommodation for the schoolteachers and levies are going to be paid. The ministry is approached with proposals and approval is granted,” Moyo said.

According to the report, in 2020, President Mnangagwa signed into law the Education Amendment Act which compels the State to provide free basic education in line with the provisions of section 27 of the Constitution.

The government has been failing to deliver free education despite numerous promises.