Valerie Matsaudza, trainee reporter for Zicora Mobile Network in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (20 December 2011) – The percentage of school going children in the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, has dropped in the last years following the increase in school fees that are now beyond the reach of many parents.
At an exhibition held at the large city hall which was hosted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which was the yardstick of measuring how far the nation has gone in achieving the MDGs. This comes amidst the speculation and evidence of the number of school drop-outs.
The MDG (Mellenium Development Goal)number 2 has the objective of achievement universal Primary education. Mr Yohan the Regional co-ordinator of United Nations development program said that the nation will nation on goal number 2 because it is the one that is more backward than the others.
Many exhibitors blamed the schools for hiking the school fees to cover the basics programs which were unnecessary in schools. However a Representative for the ministry of educations said that he doesnt know why the parents are not sending their children to school and that they are various support programs like BIM; donors like World Vision and PLAN international for those who can not afford the tuition.
The donors and partners however said that they have faced challenges of paying for everyone who is out of school as it is beyond their reach in terms of their budget and also return some of the blame to the parents who reportedly prefer their children to immigrate to South Africa for better education opportunities and work.