BY MOSES MATENGA
MEMBERS of Parliament said paltry funding for Early Childhood Development in Zimbabwe was cause for concern and will push to ensure the sector is capacitated.
Speaking during a meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Network for Early Childhood Development Actors (ZNECDA) and the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) on budgeting processes, Bikita MP Johnson Madhuku said issues affecting ECDs need adequate budgeting and promised to use the budget formulation processes to push for that.
MPs from the primary and secondary schools committee were part of the indaba that also saw representatives from the government, teacher organisations among other sectors participating.
“There are challenges that do not only affect learners but us as parents as well. This interaction came in timely as we are starting the budget processes,” he said.
“There are a lot of areas we ought to focus on and they include infrastructure where we hear some learners are using beer halls for the purposes of learning and we have problems with feeding schemes where our learners should get food and so on,” Madhuku said.
“We have travelled around where we have seen dilapidated infrastructure, stolen equipment, and hungry children and so on. These are the issues we want to deal with effectively.
“We also have issues of high teacher to pupil ratio that is totally unacceptable. There is also a challenge of lack of skilled personnel for our ECD learners and the budget should look into that.”
He said the committee was also alerted that district schools inspectors were failing to inspect schools as they were incapacitated.
ZINECDA and ECOZI, organisers of the capacity building interaction said they were hoping for better budgeting towards the education sector, particularly ECDs describing the 2% of the total budget given to the sector as inadequate.