Parliament calls errant schools to order

By Mhlomuli Ncube

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education has called to order schools which are turning away pupils under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) for non-payment of fees.

There are over 1,5 million learners across the country who are receiving support under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) facility.

However, some schools are reported to be turning away students for non-payment of fees and arrears despite the fact that government is taking up the financial burden.  

“We want to warn such schools that this is not only illegal, but also a violation of the children’s rights to education. We have heard reports that schools like Glen View 1 High, Gokwe Chireya Primary and Secondary have actually sent back children. This is not only unacceptable, but we will also engage the ministry, DSI’s and other stakeholders to deal decisively with this act which ignores an important social safety net created and funded by government,” said Primary and Secondary Education Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairperson, Honourable Torerayi Moyo.

The development comes at a time when the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is pursuing an inclusive approach in the education system.

“Government is not only paying for their tuition but also the exam fees and uniforms. Government does not want to leave anyone behind and we support that as Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, it allows these 1, 5 million learners to be empowered equitably as we move towards our middle income economy goal,” noted Mr Langton Toungana, the Director of Communications with the ministry.

Riding on government’s conviction to leave one and no place behind, the BEAM programme has successfully seen many young learners achieving their dream of getting an education.