The government has been asked to give priority to children from arid and semi-arid areas since they lack basic amenities and parents and guardians from those area have scanty knowledge on how to apply for government bursaries.
Chief John Koskei of Waseges location in Nakuru County said in most cases pupils who have qualified for national and extra-county schools fail to report because the parents just look at the amount required and give up without even trying.
Speaking during an interview with KNA on Thursday, Koskei said Waseges, Solai and Lare in Nakuru County normally get low deals in terms of assistance because they are the poor locations in the midst of plenty, and the moment children from such areas indicate the county, they are not given precedence.
The chief said the reduced herds due to receding pastures and scanty rainfall has made life much harder in those areas, unlike in the past when they had large numbers of goats and cows.
“In the past, we used to rely on the huge demand for goats that sold at high prices, but this past festive season, the demand and prices were low and a large number of parents might not afford to pay school fees for their children,’’ he said.
However, he commended government efforts in identifying needy children in the slum areas and according them assistance, adding that the same gesture should be extended to all semi-arid area.
The chief added that in terms of incomes, the semi-arid areas were worse off than slums because there are no industries to offer casual jobs and more often than not their crops fail.
However, Koskei said just like last year they will ensure that all pupils who completed their primary education transit to secondary schools.
By Veronica Bosibori