Masvingo — AT least 500 orphans and other underprivileged children in Mwenezi are set to benefit from an educational fund recently launched by Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.
Cde Bhasikiti who is the local House of Assembly representative for the area said he launched the educational fund to assist in mobilising resources to pay for the children's education at various schools in the impoverished district.
There was a growing concern over the high number of school dropouts from Mwenezi, a situation that was contributing to the prevailing high illiteracy rate in the district.
The educational fund would target orphans and underprivileged children attending secondary school in the district.
He said chiefs from the district would be involved in selecting beneficiaries under the programme.
"We launched the educational assistance programme after realising that there was a high number of young children who were failing to go for secondary education owing to lack of school fees," said Cde Bhasikiti.
He said they roped in chiefs from across the district who would select the beneficiaries.
The fund, he said would start by paying schools fees for 500 children in Mwenezi East and West by mid next year. The launch of the Mwenezi District educational foundation is expected to reduce the high illiteracy rate in the district.
Cde Bhasikiti said so far US$2 000 had already been mobilised.
He also appealed to Government to expand the Basic Education Assistance Model (Beam) programme in remote parts of the country where many underprivileged children were dropping out of school due to lack of funds.
Educational authorities in the district said most primary schools in Mwenezi were admitting pupils without school fees to keep the enrollment at acceptable levels.
Mwenezi is one of Masvingo's poorest districts.