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Beam paralyses quality education: Teachers

THE Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) says the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) has crippled the capacity of schools to deliver quality education after government disbursed inadequate funds for the 2022 third term.

The programme has over the years been experiencing challenges as several children under its sponsorship failed to access basic education because their school fees were not paid.

Government has since admitted to the widespread abuse of Beam funds and late disbursement, acknowledging the mismanagement that has plagued the programme.

In a statement, Artuz president Obert Masaraure said the union was appalled and outraged by the gross negligence and blatant disregard for the future of learners as exhibited by government in the disbursement of funds for the year 2022.

“After an agonisingly long wait of over a year, the government has finally released the funds. However, the figures we have received paint a grim picture, revealing that Beam has effectively crippled our schools, rendering them incapable of delivering quality education,” Masaraure said.

According to records seen by NewsDay, Midlands province received only ZWL$388 494 033 to be disbursed to schools.

“The figures we have received serve as a damning indictment of this neglect. Take, for instance, Bush Park Primary School, a beacon of hope for 49 students, which received a pitiful ZWL$98 000 equivalent to a meagre US$6 at the official bank rate.

“Similarly, Madzivazvido Primary School in Gokwe, burdened with 380 students relying on Beam, received a paltry ZWL$3 420 000 amounting to a mere US$213 when converted,” Masaraure added.

“The very purpose of Beam was to provide support to underprivileged learners, but it has been hijacked by corrupt individuals and schools that shamelessly allocate grants to all their students, regardless of need.”

He said government had a constitutional duty to progressively make education accessible and available by implementing reasonable legislative measures.

“The stark reality is that the national budget consistently fails to prioritise education, treating it as an afterthought rather than a fundamental pillar of our society. We demand a swift and fair disbursement of Beam funds, accompanied by stringent measures to prevent abuse and mismanagement,” he said.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro told NewsDay that there was nothing amiss about the disbursement, adding that the funds would enable the smooth operation of the schools.

“The ministry is pleased that the disbursing of the Basic Education Assistance Module to schools allows them to operate smoothly,” he said.

“The funds will ensure that our schools remain functional and are able to provide quality heritage based education.”



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