Sixty-two bright pupils from poor backgrounds, who sat their Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE) in Laikipa North Sub-County, have been awarded scholarships to pursue secondary education.
The Laikipia North Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Bernard Nzioka on Saturday said the students were selected by the Elimu Sponsorship Programme from a marginalized area in the entire County and added the beneficiaries will have their entire secondary education catered for by the government.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government will not relent in using education as a weapon to eradicate cases of insecurity, Female Genital Mutilation, early child marriages and pregnancies,” Nzioka said.
Nzioka who was chairing the selection committee revealed that they handpicked boys and girls who had attained over 280 marks in last year’s KCPE exams.
“The government zeroed in on the 62 after considering the enslaving cultural practices that have over the years hindered children from furthering their education in the region,” the administrator added.
Nzioka further said that under the programme, the students now have the opportunity to join schools in which they had been placed.
“Fees, pocket money and transport will be covered under this programme until they complete their secondary education,” he said.
The Laikipia County Director of Education, Susan Murerwa said the move would encourage the pastoralist community in the Sub-county to embrace education by taking their children to school.
“With this programme many of our children will have the opportunity to study because their parents previously opted to have them become herders as the local way of life. Now, we are changing that perspective and that is why we are focusing on Laikipia North,” Ms. Murerwa said.
The Elimu Scholarship Program is a Kenya government-run education scholarship funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Education and the Equity Group foundation.
It targets to benefit 18,000 needy but bright children access secondary education in Kenya over the next two years. This year the first cohort of 9,000 have been selected across the country.
The scholarship takes care of school fees, transport and learning materials.
By Martin Munyi