'Zanu PF abrogating right to education'

HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s  MDC party has called for the unconditional enrolment of all disadvantaged pupils in schools this year, saying it is unconstitutional for children not to receive primary education.

This comes as almost a million disadvantaged children who depend on State assistance to pay school fees may be unable to enrol as the new term opened this week after government failed to raise funds.

Concilia Chinanzvavana, MDC shadow minister for Basic Education, told a news conference yesterday that the Zanu PF government’s move was unconstitutional.

“Section 75 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states: “Every citizen and resident of Zimbabwe has a right to a basic state-funded education, including adult basic education.”

Chinanzvavana said education was a fundamental right that was non-negotiable.

“No person including the government is allowed to abrogate this right,” she said.

“Zimbabweans must unite in spite of their political affiliations to make sure that this right is protected.”

Chinanzvavana said the MDC was extremely perturbed that over a million disadvantaged children may not enrol for school this year as a result of the Zanu PF government failure to provide money for the Basic Education Assistance Model (Beam).

She attributed failure to provide money for Beam to corruption. 

“This failure to provide money for Beam is as a result of the massive corruption that saw children of Zanu PF chefs benefitting from this scheme ahead of the poor and deserving students,” she said.

“It is also as a result of Zanu PF’s failure to run this economy due to its pursuit of ruinous and failed policies.”

She alleged Zanu PF had no plan or vision in place to alleviate this crisis.

The MDC accused Zanu PF of creating political and economic turmoil in all sectors since it came into disputed power on July 31, 2013 elections.

“Because of Zanu PF, the opportunities that were created in the education sector in 2009 by the inclusive government have been destroyed. The whole education system in Zimbabwe is now in a serious crisis.”

She expressed concern about how the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s request for $1,2 billion, only received $865 million.

“Although this is 20 percent of the total national budget, it is of concern that 95 percent of this amount, which is $828 million will go to employment costs leaving only about 3,3 percent to cover the operational costs such as the provision of material resources and infrastructural development,”  Chinanzvavana said.

She also urged government to pay teachers and supporting staff adequately to make sure they provide quality education.

Comments (1)

They have even let Mutendi High School off the hook yet they blatantly told the ministry to go hang when they send kids home for paltry fees balances in the middle of the night.

Maita Manyuka - 20 January 2014

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