EDUCATION, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart has expressed that the government is failing to pay for the 138 000 children under the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) while channelling a lot of money to the military.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga Own correspondent
Speaking at the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) conference in the city, Coltart said insufficient funding was crippling the Beam programme.
“There are currently 380 000 children who need to be covered by Beam but the government does not have the money for the programme,” he said.
The minister said the situation was disadvantaging the children as they were being chased away from schools over non-payment of fees. He said recently the government allocated $6 million for the programme which is not enough to cover all the children.
“We estimate that next year, if Beam is to cover the 380 000 children it needs up to $53 million,” he said. Coltart said he was always raising the issue of poor allocation of funds to education at Cabinet meetings.
He expressed concern that the $98 million which was allocated towards the construction of the Defence College in Harare was being done at the expense of educating Zimbabwe’s future leaders.
Coltart commended Finance minister Tendai Biti for his efforts in managing the country’s funds.
“Biti has limited space to move and his hands are tied but he has innovative ideas concerning the education sector,” he said.