'Beam should prioritise special care schools'

BULAWAYO - A school head at Simanyane special care school in Bulawayo, Nyaradzo Fungura has challenged the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) administrator to prioritise the intellectually challenged in their budget.

Fungura’s challenge comes after the government allocated only $15 million to Beam in the 2014 national budget which cannot cater for many students.

“Currently, we do not have money or any savings because our main source of funding is Beam. We depend on the money that comes from Beam and we hope that they will prioritise our application with the money they have because we depend on them,” Fungura said.

She said the school is facing a lot of challenges.

“We turned the farmhouse into a school therefore the resources are not enough.

“We are more like volunteers here because sometimes we go for six months without pay since the school fees meant for wages comes very late,” she said.

Fungura said most of the foods the students eat comes from the farm produce but they do not have a ready market for the surplus which poses a financial challenge.

The school chairperson Soneni Dube Vushe said the school needs a workshop so that children will be trained in such a way that when they finish society accepts them.

“More often the children do not have anything to do when they finish school and as a result they become societal outcasts,” she said.

The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) however, put a smile on the children’s faces by donating goods and food stuff worth thousands of dollars.

Located in Newton West in Bulawayo, the school is mainly for the intellectually challenged.

It has a capacity of 56 but currently has enrolled 54 students aged between the ages of 6 to 18 years.

Beam was created in 2000 to assist poor and marginalised children access quality education.

The government which pays $60 per secondary schoolchild, amounting to $45 million per year and $8 per primary schoolchild, amounting to $28 million per year now has to come up with plans on how they could also aid the intellectually challenged Zimbabwean child.

Presenting the 2014 budget finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said a certain amount of money had been put aside for the vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.

“Development partners through UNICEF for the Child Protection Fund availed US$21,2 million as at September 2013. Of this, US$14 million, constituting a third of the figure had already been utilised and it is my sincere hope, that this programme will be extended and scaled up considering the various challenges being faced by the Zimbabwean child,” he said..

The launch of the $54 million Education Transition Fund (ETF) Phase I in 2009, also administered by Unicef, contributed immensely to the resuscitation of the education system the programme was extended by another 5 years from 2012 to 2015, with a total budget currently at $152 million.

Chinamasa said the Child Protection Fund, is committed to ensuring that children’s rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, protected and fulfilled as contained in the  Constitution and the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (NAP II) from 2011 to 2015.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.