A local consortium of organisations running a campaign dubbed Every Child in School (ECIS) yesterday petitioned the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Professor Mthuli Ncube to prioritize the welfare of children in his 2019 national budget, set to be presented today.
The leading organisation, Tag a Life International (TALI) said the decision to petition government was aimed at restoring the legacy of education in Zimbabwe after realizing that over 27% of children of primary school going age were out of school due to non-availability of fees.
"We have petitioned the government to urgently restore the legacy of education in Zimbabwe by allowing more than 27% of marginalized children who are currently out of primary school owing to, chief among all reasons inability by parents or guardians to pay the required school fees," said Nyaradzo Mashayamombe of TaLI.
The petition, according to Mashayamombe is a call on government to allocate funds specifically for children instead of issuing an education budget that in most cases goes towards teachers' salaries.
"Government should allocate funding to education that specifically benefits children, such as a fund for those who cannot afford rather than spend all the budget on "Public Services Budget" in teacher and staff salaries," she added.
"While we are aware that at this stage the government cannot afford a totally free educational system, it remains its obligation to put in place mechanisms to allow every child into schools without money while their parents negotiate payment terms," further noted Mashayamombe.
The petition was submitted yesterday and has a timeline of 26 days until the reply.