Government finally speaks out – “We Don’t Have Enough Resources To Give Free Education”
The Zimbabwean government has said it does not have enough resources to give free education which was expected to start in the first term of 2023.
In 2020, President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed into law the Education Amendment Act, which compels the State to provide free basic education in line with provisions of section 27 of the Constitution.
The government initially announced the pledge to offer free education in 2018 but nothing has happened yet.
Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu told Parliament yesterday that there was not enough money for the exercise.
Ndlovu was responding to legislators’s questions on the free education pledge during a Parliament question-and-answer session. She said:
We wish to do that, to give free education, but it is unfortunate we have US$6.3 million (for the exercise) and that is not enough.
We agreed that we have to sit down with the Ministry ofFinance to analyse and check on the amounts that were allocated to the Ministry of (Primary and Secondary) Education in terms of funding and after a bAig analysis, it is quite clear that the funds are not enough.
At times I sit and wonder whether we can afford to pay fees. The truth of the matter is we want to pay fees for every child. We have a policy in this country, an Act of Parliament that demands that we pay fees and as a House of Assembly, we agreed to it.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said Parliament should have queried the minister during the budget. He added:
The Minister of Finance (Professor Mthuli Ncube) will come to this House to ask for more funds in the supplementary budget.
Fianance minister Ncube allocated $631.3 billion (US$976 million) towards providing quality infant, junior and secondary education. The bulk of the allocation will, however, go towards teachers’ salaries and other learning costs.
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