‘Beam a breeding ground for corruption’

TEACHERS unions have questioned the continued existence of the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam

TEACHERS unions have questioned the continued existence of the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam), describing it as a breeding ground for corruption.

Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, teachers unions called for more transparency in the disbursements and handling of Beam funds.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said there was need to ensure the money donated under the programme is directly channelled to schools and avoid the involvement of many other offices.

His concerns come after the National Aids Council (NAC) donated more than $338 million to Beam last week.

“The move by NAC is a very good gesture and we applaud them for that. However, it is unfortunate that learners continue to lose out on learning as a result of corruption,” Masaraure said.

“A lot of resources are not being accounted for and as a result, we have called for a reform of the Beam model.”

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said corruption was stealing the future of the learners who are being deprived of the much-needed right to education.

“That money has not been paid since 2020 and our point is clear that there is no audit thereby leaving the fund to be abused,” Zhou said.

“It is sad that non-deserving and well-off students are being listed as beneficiaries, leaving out very deserving ones. It is sad that Beam has become part and parcel of corruption.”

Speaking during the handover of the cash donation to Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke last week at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, NAC chief executive officer Bernard Madzima said the money was for school fees and other expenses for vulnerable children.

“This financial assistance is coming from the NAC Trust Fund generally known as the Aids Levy. As a country, we have achieved the 2025, 95-95-95 targets and we are so proud of that milestone,” he said.

“Despite this achievement, we are looking at around 500 000 affected children who are orphaned and now vulnerable due to HIV and Aids, hence this donation will ensure they have access to shelter, education and food. This donation is part of our comprehensive approach to HIV prevention.”

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