HomeParliamentTurning Pupils Away From School Should Be A Crime 

Turning Pupils Away From School Should Be A Crime 

Turning Pupils Away From School Should Be A Crime

Magunje legislator Cecil Kashiri has proposed for the criminalisation of turning away of pupils under the BEAM program for non-payment of fees.

Basic Education Assistant Module (BEAM) was introduced by the government in 2001 to assist orphans and vulnerable children rural and urban areas with fees assistance.

According to the minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Prof Paul Mavima in 2022 alone 1.9 million students were assisted under the Beam program. 

Speaking in parliament after the tabling of findings from the portfolio committee on Primary and Secondary Education, Hon Kashiri advocated that turning away of students for non-payment of fees should be illegal.

“It is quite unfair for schools to be dismissing and denying school children who are on BEAM to attend lessons. 

“This should be looked at seriously. I think it should be criminalised so that headmasters or school heads know that children on BEAM should not be denied access to education at all.

“It is not their fault Madam Speaker but it is the fault of a certain Ministry whichever it is, whether it is the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Social Welfare that we need to look at and not to deny the child their right.

Late Disbursements

Treasury has been blamed for late disbursements of funds to ministries which negatively impacts beneficiaries such as those under the BEAM program.

Furthermore, Kashiri pushed for the treasury to disburse BEAM program funds directly to the ministry of education.

“Hon. Speaker, I also recommend to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to release BEAM funds, if possible Hon. Speaker, directly to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. 

“I wonder why this money is going through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

“We heard just two weeks ago, that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development alluded to the fact he has already paid all the BEAM money to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare yet school children are being turned away because the money is yet to reach the intended destinations. 

“Why does the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development not have a plan to pay the BEAM fees directly to the schools or to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education?

This is not the first time beneficiaries of the BEAM program have been turned away from schools. School authorities are on record complaining about the late disbursements of BEAM funds. 

Turning Pupils Away From School Should Be A Crime

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