Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu has urged the county and national government officials to derive a unified approach in the distribution of scholarships to ensure that most vulnerable students are reached.
Speaking during the launch of Elimu na Simba scholarship that will support 500 needy students in secondary schools, Machogu said both governments have various scholarships that require some common selection criteria which will guarantee that needy cases are not disadvantaged.
“If we can be able to harmonize scholarships such that the county knows what the national level is doing, then we can be able to get and reach out to each and every student who is needy,” he noted.
The CS who was touring education programmes in Kisii noted that some of the learners had not reported to school due to lack of school fees and lauded the county government for supporting those who scored 350 marks and above in the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.
Machogu challenged the local Members of Parliament (MPs) to cater for the remaining students who have not received any form of support adding that they receive development funds and 35 percent is allocated to bursaries.
He promised to support 20 students from poor families through a partnership with the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and the scholarship will cover school fees and other school requirements.
Kisii Governor, Simba Arati noted the scholarship is an initiative of the Office of the First Lady and is sponsored by well-wishers who want to support needy students from poor backgrounds.
Arati pointed out that education is a worthy equalizer which enables the poor families to scale the social economic, political and leadership ladders hence important for the children’s posterity.
“The Elimu na Simba programme will help to bridge the gap and complement what other benefactors and government institutions are doing to support more needy students from Kisii County,” said the Governor.
He said the students who have gotten the scholarship will be fully sponsored from Form One to Form Four and appealed to residents to report cases of any student who scored 350 marks and above but are unable to join form one.
The County Boss noted they have done a supplementary budget which once approved, will enable the county to disburse Sh. 135 million for bursary and each ward will receive Sh. 3 million through the MCAs.
In addition, Arati said they are jointly working with the National Government Administration Officials right from the village level to help in the identification and validation of the needy cases, for action.
The Governor challenged the benefiting students to work diligently and post impressive academic performance as that is the only way that they can realise value for the sponsorship.
“I am also reminding the beneficiaries that this is the only chance you have to lay a firm foundation for your future so let our support not be in vain,” he added.
By Mercy Osongo