The government says it will gradually start implementing its State-funded free education policy when schools open for the first term next week.
Speaking in an interview with State media on Tuesday, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said:
The free education effort is not starting this year. It has been building up for some time. As for Matabeleland South, I know that two districts, Mangwe and Beitbridge pioneered the issue of free education and it was two districts across the country’s rural provinces where Government was fully paying for learners.
In our statement last year, we highlighted that it is not going to be everyone who will be covered. It is going to be a phased approach, beginning with the most disadvantaged communities classified under our systems and coded as P3, which are the rural primary schools, and S3, rural secondary schools.
Our efforts are going to be targeted at those areas and gradually we are going to realise full State-funded education. We have started through BEAM and the pilot program where two districts were covered.
We will gradually begin, with the most disadvantaged schools and move up the ladder until we are able to cover the whole population.
The government already subsides the payment of Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) registration fees by up to 55 percent for every learner while fully paying the fees for those pupils under BEAM.
Around two million disadvantaged learners’ fees are paid for under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) from the estimated 6.7 million pupil population. | Chronicle