MDC students fail to access BEAM

mbuya_faustina_muchemwaMUREWA - Faustina Muchemwa is 70 years old, a caring grandmother who lives with five grandchildren who are not going to school because those who lead the School Development Committee which identifies needy pupils claim that she belongs to the MDC. (Pictured:

She does not care much about being labelled an MDC support in an area that Zanu (PF) still claims rather unconvincingly to control. She is, however, tormented that her grandchildren will not go to school today or tomorrow unless she raises the fees.

The government claims that it has over 600 000 children on its Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), a facility that helps the vulnerable, orphans and economically disadvantaged students to go to school.

My children are all at home they cannot go to school because I do not have the money. I have tried to enlist them on BEAM without any success. There are some people who consider political affiliation in order to enrol anyone on BEAM, she said.

Settling political scores through denial to access to education is an infringement of the basic right of children to education.

Lance Museka, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare which administers BEAM, said there might be corruption in allocation of funding.

We are supposed to cater for one million children and at the moment we are only able to assist 600 000 children meaning that 400 000 needy pupils are not on the scheme. There is a possibility that people could abuse the facility. We however need more money to ensure that children will go to school, said Museka.

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