Some 347 needy students from Nakuru have been selected by the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) for the 2021 Wings to Fly scholarship and Elimu Scholarship Program.
Equity Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. James Mwangi said countrywide over 114,000 applications had been received by EGF out of which 10,705 had been awarded the scholarships.
Speaking at Nakuru Boys High School Dr. Mwangi stated that the scholarships were awarded after visits to the applicants’ homes, background checks and verifications.
“The beneficiaries will all be taken to boarding schools where all their school fees, learning kits, uniform, pocket money and essentials will be paid for by EGF. Whenever schools close, they will be facilitated to travel to their respective homes.
During school holidays they will be taken through mentorship programs to make them skilled individuals,” he pointed out.
The 12-year-old ‘Wings to Fly’ Programme is funded by The MasterCard Foundation with support from German’s KfW and Equity Group.
The students selected for Wings to Fly scholars will form the 12th cohort and will join the 17,304 scholars who have benefited from scholarships offered through the programme.
Dr. Mwangi indicated that although many scholarships offer opportunities to students who excel, the Ministry’s Elimu Scholarship Programme considers scholars who scored less than 300 marks in KCPE.
The selection of students with less than 300 marks was intentional, according to the Chief Executive Officer who said: “It does not make sense to give scholarships to children who only score above 400 because many of them do not need the scholarship. The selection of scholars should be done wisely. They should select children who are needy and unable to pay school fees.”
He noted that many children perform poorly in exams due to the difficult conditions they face, but if awarded scholarships, they can perform better.
Launched by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha in January last year, Elimu Scholarship Programme seeks to sponsor the education of 18,000 of the country’s poorest students over two years.
The scholarship is an initiative of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the World Bank and Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly scholarship programme.
The Equity Group CEO said the EGF was putting more resources in expansion of scholarship program to bring more beneficiaries on board and to cushion parents and guardians against economic aftershocks sparked off by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“More than 5 million Kenyans have lost the source of livelihood due to direct and indirect effects of Covid-19. These are people millions of students rely on for payment of school fees and basic needs. We are doing everything possible to ensure that no bright student misses out on school due to lack of fees,” stated Dr. Mwangi.
By Anne Mwale and David Opingo