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Provision Of Total Free Education Will Take Time – Mthuli Ncube

The government has seemingly reneged on its earlier promises to provide free basic education starting next year.

In 2020, President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed into law the Education Amendment Act which compels the State to provide free basic education.

In July this year, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said that the government says it will commence a State-funded basic education programme next year.

However, in the National Assembly, last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the provision of free education would take time to implement. He said:

To fully transition to total free education, we have to undertake a thorough evaluation of requirements, identifying gaps to debate and implementation of activities that broaden coverage for education to every child.

So, this is a process, we will get there because we have started but we are already doing a lot in terms of education access.

I have said earlier that provision of free education is a process, hence the budget increased allocation to the sector by 2.1% from the previous years.

Ncube allocated $631.3 billion (US$976 million) towards providing quality infant, junior and secondary education but the bulk of the allocation will go towards teachers’ salaries and other learning costs. Added Ncube:

Let me take this opportunity to advise the august House that already government is the main funder of basic education and that is from paying of teachers, construction of schools, provision of teaching and learning materials, supporting public examinations access, payment of fees for some schools and learners such as the Basic Education And Assistance (Beam) programme.

The government is already doing a lot in terms of making sure that there is better education access, indeed education is free.

Speaking during the debate on the Finance Bill, ZANU PF Chief Whip in Parliament, Pupurai Togarepi, said the budget was insufficient to facilitate free education.

Mberengwa East legislator Marko Raidza (ZANU PF) said the budget allocation for education was inadequate to meet the needs of the Basic Education And Assistance Module (BEAM) facility. | NewsDay

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