Parents rap Beam

The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association has bemoaned the abuse of the Basic Education Assistance Module after residents raised concerns that the scheme was unable to cater for the needs of vulnerable children. “People from stable families are getting assistance at the expense of poor and vulnerable children. The beneficiaries of Beam should be made public to ensure transparency.

Committees that select beneficiaries should be set up in a transparent manner,” BPRA said after its Education Conference, where stakeholders articulated ideas on the best ways to end the educational problems facing the Matabeleland provinces. They have produced some of the worst school examination results over the years. The BPRA also fired a broadside at the incentive scheme for teachers.

In order to retain teachers and motivate them, the government in recent years allowed schools to charge students money that goes towards topping up teachers’ salaries. But BPRA says the practice disadvantages parents, who are already struggling to make ends meet. “Teachers’ incentives are a case of abdication of duty on the part of the government, which employs teachers. It is unfair for parents to be expected to subsidise teachers’ salaries especially because they also do not have money owing to the country’s rough economic environment.

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