Children with Disabilities Struggling to Access BEAM

“Although BEAM evaluation was positive in that it reached out to almost every child who needed it most, there were two constraints which came out. One of the outcomes was that there was no enough money to cater for the enormous growth in vulnerability throughout the country.
“Two Issues around disability, children with disability were not accessing BEAM
systematically like other children. So we are currently working with Ministry of Labour and Social Services for the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture to address these gaps which are not pleasing,” UNICEF country representative Dr Peter Salam told Radio VOP in an interview.

UNICEF has just completed an independent Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) evaluation where it found a serious gap between disabled children and the orphaned benefiting from the program.

The BEAM is the Basic Education Assistance Module, introduced in 2001 and financed by donor funds, to pay for school fees to those children who cannot afford them. The BEAM is managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Services for the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture.

Dr Salama says they are also planning to rehabilitate centres which cater for the disabled children throughout the country which dilapidating.

“We are also working on the rehabilitation of children with disabilities making sure that they have wheelchairs and other facilities, that is the hospitals which used to have state of art facilities, “he added.

The decade long economic crisis which characterised Zimbabwe left paralyzed all sectors of the economy making it difficult for citizens to access basic needs.

The disabled were the hardest hit as they are already disadvantaged.