By Romeo Takundwa
Women in Rusape are pleading with the government to waiver school fees in public schools and extend Basic Education Assistant Module (BEAM) support to all learners amid the sudden decision to reopen schools.
Government on Wednesday announced that schools will reopen on the 30th of August 2021 for examination classes and the 6th of September for non-examination classes.
Most of the parents from Rusape Rural are complaining given the short notice as they must buy uniforms, stationaries, pay bus fares for boarders and school fees in the difficult prevailing economic conditions facing the country which has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Women for Economic and Social Empowerment (WESE), Executive Director, Kundai Chambara said that parents especially women in Rusape are pleading with the government to subsidies school fees and provide stationary for the school children.
“Most of the parents lost their jobs due to the pandemic, those who have managed to secure their jobs are not being paid in time and some have their salaries and benefits slashed. The women of Rusape through the WESE Indaba termed China Chemadzimai are appealing to the government of Zimbabwe through the ministries of education and Finance to waiver school fees in public schools and extend BEAM support to all learners in public schools,” she said.
She also added that government needs to provide social support services to parents by 30th Of August for them to be able to support the children when they go to school as well as provide counselling services in schools for the children who have lost their guardians and parents due to Covid 19.
The women empowerment organization however lamented on the weigh ward behavior that have been exhibited by children from Rusape because of long stay at home caused by continuous Covid 19 perpetrated lockdowns
“In Rusape most of the children including those who are still in primary levels had started to go and work in the nearby farms. After receiving their dues, they engage in rowdy behaviors, they would start to smoke and drink uncontrollably. They engage in sexual activities at a tender age and unplanned early pregnancies have been witnessed in the area”.