MPs call for changes in Beam management

HARARE - Legislators have demanded that the ministry of primary and secondary education be given the responsibility of administrating the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam).

The presentation was made by legislators in the parliamentary portfolio committee hearing on Education, Sports and Culture chaired by Zanu PF MP Temba Mliswa.

He said the committee was going to put its request in writing to the executive.

“We have put it in writing to them so that it can be recorded that it is the request of this committee” said Mliswa.

Oliver Mandipaka, Zanu PF MP for Buhera  posed the question to acting permanent secretary in the primary and secondary education ministry, Rogers Sisiyami on whether his ministry was interested in taking over the fund management

“Are you going to take control of Beam funds, as it is the wish of legislators that you should administer the fund,” said Mandipaka.

Beam is a government fund that is under the ministry of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare that assists primary and secondary school learners failing to pay their tuition fees, levies and examination fees, and who have dropped out of school for economic reasons.

It also caters for orphans and helps children with disabilities to attend special schools.

Over one million children are getting access from the Beam fund.

Some of the money for Beam is being funded by the British government, which has channelled $100 million between 2011 and 2015, with $10 million being  distributed over the next month to beneficiaries in primary schools around the country.

Under Beam, government needs $73 million to pay school fees, with many school-going children facing the risk of dropping out due to cash constraints.

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