Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
Zanu-PF Masvingo Proportional Representative MP Cde Emma Ncube has bemoaned the corruption in the selection of Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) beneficiaries, a development that has seen scores of intended recipients failing to go to school due to financial challenges.
The MP said the scheme was originally created to help vulnerable and disadvantaged children but those tasked with selecting beneficiaries were including their children and relatives.
Last year financial constraints resulted in 15 919 children dropping out of school.
According to Cde Ncube, headmasters and School Development Associations were not being fair in the selection process as shown by thousands of undeserving children benefiting from BEAM.
Speaking during a motion in Parliament yesterday, she said even though it was Government policy that no child should be chased away from school for non-payment of fees, children are being sent away from school, even those under BEAM.
“To be honest, those people who select children to fall under BEAM end up taking their relatives’ children and making sure they benefit from BEAM leaving out the intended beneficiaries who are less privileged,” she said.
“If you go to the rural areas and look at the children who are under BEAM, you will realise that half of them are relatives of the teachers or those who are part of the selection process. What we request is that when selection is done for pupils under BEAM, it should not be done by people who are stationed in that particular area.”
She said orphaned children should benefit from the scheme from primary school to tertiary level.
“It is my hope that such matters be dealt with and addressed to ensure that our children are able to proceed with their education without any challenges.
“If our children are educated, then we know that we have human capital and the country can develop. That is why you hear people talking of Zimbabweans being learned. People from Zimbabwe are known to be learned and have special professions because of the education that they get here,” said the MP. — @thamamoe.