BEAM 2022 budget allocation inadequate: Parliament

The Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) 2022 budgetary allocation is inadequate and can only cover a quarter of the vulnerable children, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has said.

In his ZWL$927.3 billion 2022 budget unveiled last month, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube, set aside ZWL$4.1 billion for the BEAM programme

In 2021, the BEAM Programme assisted 446,844 vulnerable children with school fees and was complimented by development partners who assisted 175,592 children through the same programme.

The ZWL$4.1 billion 2022 allocated towards BEAM, covers tuition, uniforms, stationery for vulnerable children, against ZWL$2 billion which was allocated in 2021, translating to almost double the amount of financial resources provided in the 2021 fiscal year.

“However, concerns were raised on the BEAM programme that the 2022 budget allocation can only cover a quarter of the vulnerable children,” reads the Parliamentary Portfolio report.

“Moreover, children have been failing to access uniforms and stationery which should be urgently addressed so that eligible children fully benefit from the programme. It was also mentioned that BEAM should cover tertiary education and should also cover those children with disabilities.”

The report adds that strengthening of monitoring and evaluation on social welfare programmes such as BEAM will ensure that the resources are channelled towards the intended beneficiaries.

“No child should also be chased out of school even if they fail to pay school fees,” says the report.

“Some children have failed to write their examinations hence this should be addressed to ensure that no one is left behind.”

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