The Minister of Finance and Economic Development in Zimbabwe, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has announced that the government’s plan to implement free education will take longer than expected, and will not be implemented in January 2023 as previously planned.
In a speech to Parliament, Ncube stated that a thorough evaluation of requirements and identification of gaps is necessary in order to successfully transition to total free education for all children. He also emphasized that the government has already taken significant steps towards increasing access to education and has increased the budget allocation for the education sector by 2.1% from the previous year.
In 2020, President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Education Amendment Act, which legally requires the government to provide free basic education as mandated by the Constitution. Despite this, the government has faced criticism from political leaders and teachers’ unions for allocating insufficient funds towards the implementation of free education.