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Pupils turned away for non-payment of fees

by Staff reporter
03 Jul 2022 at 09:16hrs | Views
ABOUT 51,8 percent of pupils across the country were turned away from school for non-payment of fees during the first term of the year, in defiance of Government policy, a report has revealed.

According to the latest Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Commitee (ZimVac) 2022 Rural Livelihoods Assessment Report, 16,2 percent of children in the school going age are not in school.

Matabeleland North Province had the highest number of children not attending school with 19,3 percent during the time of assessment.

ZimVac livelihoods assessments' results continue to be an important tool for informing and guiding policies and programmes that respond to the prevailing food and nutrition security situation.

"To date, 22 rural and nine urban livelihoods updates have been produced. ZimVac plays a significant role in fulfilling commitment six of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy of 2012, in which the Government is committed to ensuring a national integrated Food and Nutrition Security Information System that provides timely and reliable information on the food and nutrition security situation and the effectiveness of programmes and informs decision-making.

Primary data collection of this year's report took place from 11 to 23 May 2022.

"With regards to addressing the challenge of the 16,2 percent of children who were out of school at the time of the survey, Government through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is implementing the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) programme which is targeting 1.5million children."

"In order to ensure full attendance by learners, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is implementing the policy which prohibits the sending away of children for non-payment of school fees. All school heads have been mandated with the responsibility of ensuring its implementation. This is in light of the 51,8 percent of children who were reported to have been turned away from school during the first term of 2022 due to non-payment of school fees," reads the report.

The ZimVac 2022 report further states that 69 percent of rural households had access to primary schools  within a radius of five kilometres while 26 percent had access to a primary school within a five-to-10-kilometre radius.

About 12 percent of households had to travel more than 10 kilometres to reach the nearest health facility. Matabeleland North province had the most households that travel more than 10 kilometres with 18 percent.

The report shows that 78 percent of rural households had access to improved water sources. Matabeleland North and Mashonaland Central had the largest proportions of households with access to improved water sources with 84 percent each. Most households had access to adequate water for domestic use.

About 54 percent of rural households travelled less than 500 metres to fetch water, while 16 percent travelled more than a kilometre.

About 66 percent of rural households had access to improved sanitation. 27 percent of rural households practiced open defecation. Matabeleland North had the highest proportion of households practicing open defecation with 50 percent while Mashonaland East had the highest number of households with improved sanitation at 77 percent.

"The Integrated Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (IRWSSP) is a flagship WASH project wholly funded by Government with a strong emphasis on building strong and resilient coordination structures. It uses the multi-sectoral approach to delivering water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for health.

Between 2012-2021, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has been implementing a DFID funded rural WASH project in 45 districts. The Government is targeting the remaining 15 districts. Under the 2022 programme significant progress has been made in the six districts of Mazowe, Bindura, Rushinga Murehwa, Hwedza and Nyanga," reads the report.

Source - The Chronicle
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