The Government of Zimbabwe has stated that it does not have sufficient resources to provide free education, which was scheduled to begin with the first term of the academic year 2023.
The Education Amendment Act was passed in 2020 and signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This act mandates that the state must provide free primary and secondary education in accordance with the provisions of section 27 of the Constitution.
The administration at first made the commitment to provide free education in 2018, but as of yet, nothing has been done to fulfill that promise.
Yesterday, Evelyn Ndlovu, the minister of Primary and Secondary Education, spoke before Parliament and stated that there was insufficient funding for the activity.
During a question-and-answer session in Parliament, Ndlovu was providing responses to the inquiries raised by MPs regarding the commitment to provide free education. In her words:
Unfortunately, we only have $6.3 million (for the activity), which is not enough to fulfill our goal of providing free education. However, we remain committed to achieving this goal.
We came to the conclusion that it is necessary for us to meet with the Ministry of Finance in order to investigate and examine the sums of money that have been allotted to the Ministry of (Primary and Secondary) Education for the purpose of funding, and after conducting a thorough investigation, it is abundantly clear that these funds will not be sufficient.
There are moments when I just sit here and wonder if we will be able to afford the expenses. The fact of the matter is that we want to cover the cost of tuition for every single child. In this nation, there is a law known as an Act of Parliament that stipulates that we must pay certain fees, and the House of Assembly has consented to this policy.
Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, stated that questions should have been directed toward the minister while the budget was being discussed. He added:
This House will be visited by the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, who will make a request for additional funding in the supplementary budget.
The provision of infant, junior, and secondary education of a high standard received an allocation of $631.3 billion (US$976 million) from the minister of finance, Ncube. The largest portion of the budget, however, will be allocated to cover the costs of paying teachers and other instructional expenses.