A total of 404 students who sat for the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in Kakamega, have benefited from the Government’s comprehensive Elimu scholarship.
While flagging off the beneficiaries who were accompanied by their parents and guardians, Equity Bank Kakamega Branch Manager Peter Akuyo said the selection panel identified the most vulnerable students who without the scholarship thought their dreams were shattered.
He said 306 students were selected by the Kakamega Branch while 98 students were selected by the Mumias Equity Branch.
The Scholarship selection panel shortlisted 600 students and visited 530 out of the 1400 applicants before settling for the 404 beneficiaries.
He said that through the scholarship programme, beneficiaries will be able to transform their lives and become better future leaders to bring on a positive change in their families and the society.
Elimu scholarship is run by Equity Group Foundation on behalf of the Ministry of Education and the Government of Kenya with financial support from the World Bank.
The programme has so far provided 27,000 comprehensive secondary school scholarships to primary school students across the 47 counties.
“Through the opportunity accorded by the programme, children who are academically gifted and come from families that are financially constrained, access higher education as well as leadership training,” Akuyo added.
In addition to tuition fees, beneficiaries of the scholarship are provided with books, uniforms, transport and pocket money in a bid to create a conducive environment for them to access better education.
“We encourage the community to continue inspiring and motivating our children who worked hard and excelled in KCPE because there are opportunities for the bright but needy students to benefit from comprehensive scholarships such as the Elimu Scholarship and Wings to Fly,” he noted.
To date, a total of 47009 students from humble backgrounds have been supported by the Wings to fly and Elimu scholarships since their inception.
“To our scholars you are the leaders of tomorrow, what you put your mind to will automatically determine your future,” he said.
He advised the beneficiaries to engage in positive and constructive activities and take up leadership positions in schools.
Elimu scholarship is part of the Government’s projects under the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP).
Initially, SEQIP was benefiting students from six sub counties of Likuyani, Lugari, Ikolomani, Butere, Khwisero and Navakholo before being scaled up to all the 12 sub counties.
The Elated beneficiaries narrated how they saw their dreams being shattered was it not for the scholarship programme.
One of the beneficiaries said the scholarship was God sent since after being abandoned by her parents, she was taken by her aunt who is currently battling breast cancer.
Another student said her mother died in a road accident while her father developed mental illness making it challenging for her to proceed to secondary school but the scholarship has provided a big relief.
The Chairperson of National Government –Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Navakholo constituency Kennedy Ngao Barasa urged Members of Parliament to table a bill in the National Assembly for the government to seek more partners and scale up the program as many deserving students are left out due to few slots.
By Moses Wekesa