A hundred learners in Taita-Taveta County have been awarded education scholarships worth Sh11 million by the county government as part of an initiative to bolster educational standards in the region.
The scholarship will entail payment of school fees, purchase of uniforms and other amenities for learners for the four years they will spend in high schools.
Mr. David Mombo, the chairperson of County Education Fund Board, stated the scholarships would boost the number of learners enrolled in secondary schools and take away the fee burden from poverty-stricken families.
He added that the process of selection was done rigorously to ensure only the deserving learners were accepted.
“We are happy to give these learners a boost in their education. These scholarships will see them through their high school education. All we need them to do is work hard,” he said.
According to the scholarship distribution, each of the 20 wards produced five learners for uniformity.
This is the fourth cohort of learners in the region to benefit from county scholarships. To date, 400 learners are under the scholarship programme.
Ms. Pricillah Mwangeka, who was recently nominated as Governor Samboja’s running mate, said the county would continue investing in education to benefit the less needy in the community.
She pointed out that the county government had exponentially increased the number of learners under the annual scholarship program to promote inclusion for the marginalized and poor families.
“The number of learners we have now is higher than ever. This is an indicator of our commitment to promote learning,” she said.
The handing-over of the scholarships to the lucky learners in Mwatate on Tuesday was attended by senior County Executive Committee Members, Members of County Assembly and education officials.
County Secretary for the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers Mr. Shedrack Mutungi, urged the students to uphold integrity and be good ambassadors in schools.
The official stated that scholarships were not gifts but responsibilities given to learners to make themselves better.
“We expect you to be good ambassadors. What is expected for you is to perform in schools,” he said.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the scholarship was Juma Nyasi who scored 401 marks while serving a life sentence at Manyani Maximum Prison. Nyasi was later acquitted by court and got a calling letter to report to Ikutha Boys High school.
Speaking to KNA, Nyasi expressed his delight to receive the scholarship that arrived at a time he was becoming hopeless due to lack of school fees. He said the opportunity to go back to school was God-sent.
“I had no hope of continuing though I had performed well. This scholarship is a blessing to me and many others who were in my condition,” he said.
By Wagema Mwangi