The overall goal of the BEGE programme, is to promote every Zimbabwean child’s right to equitable access to good quality basic education. However, an unfavourable political and economic environment has gravely affected the education system resulting in high staff attrition, deteriorating infrastructure in schools, high levels of school drop outs and limited school supplies. The pupil book ratio has been as high as 10:1 in many schools in Zimbabwe.
With a high orphan population in Zimbabwe, it is mostly the orphaned children who are forced to drop out of school. The 2002 Census found that 50,000 households were headed by a child under 18. Children in these households face a lot of challenges which interfere with their performance and attendance of classes.
Apart from the load of carrying out various household chores, orphans face problems of inadequate resources hunger, inability to pay for uniforms, fees and basic materials; psycho-social problems. Loss of parental guidance and socialization to reinforce learning and school attendance also affects the attendance of orphans in school and appropriate value systems; they carry out greater household responsibilities which results in absenteeism from school; the lack of responsiveness of schools to the needs of OVC.