President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said primary education in public schools will be offered free of charge starting next year.
In his weekly article published by The Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa also said the Government plans to equip primary school learners with electronic gadgets such as tablets to facilitate e-learning. He said:
The government will push for phased access to universal free education wholly funded by the State.
We must make primary education free and universal next year, in 2023.
This entails more than the Government just taking over the payment of school fees for all pupils in primary school.
Each primary school-going child has to have access to a tablet at Government’s expense.
Equally, primary schools will have to have access to electricity and electronic signals for online teaching.
How will the Government fund free universal education?
Mnangagwa said his administration has several options on the table. He said:
We have several options. We could fund this programme directly through budget allocations to concerned ministries.
We could also approach funding through resources devolved to our provinces.
Equally, we could target communities and learners through Constituency Development Funds.
Lastly, we could develop a hybrid model from all three avenues.
Whichever route we take, it must be efficient and deliver on results we want to see in the shortest possible time.