Education stakeholders call for increased CDF funding

Counties Editor's Pick Education Marsabit

The National government constituency development fund (NGCDF) has helped in securing the education of many needy children in Saku Constituency and stakeholders want the government to increase the allocation.

At the same time, area Member of Parliament Colonel (Rtd) Dido Raso called on parents to take the education of their children seriously and stop giving them chores that keep them from attending school.

Speaking during the disbursement of bursary cheques worth Sh34.3 million to 2,462 needy students in the constituency at Dakabaricha secondary school, local parents and teachers association chairman Omar Qutara said there were many deserving cases that were not being taken care of, hence the need for the government to increase the kitty.

Mr Qutara also called for urgent establishment of computer labs to enable students to undertake computer subjects in order to empower them in fitting in the ever changing digital world.

This, he said, would require money for construction and equipping the labs, just as was the case of 100 per cent transition of pupils to secondary school which necessitates expansion of existing infrastructure.

On his part, the MP cautioned against involvement of school age boys in picking of miraa and boda boda activities which he complained was the cause for the widespread substance abuse and drop out among male students.

Saku MP Colonel (Rtd) Dido Raso hands over a Sh1.9 million cheque to Dakabaricha secondary school teacher Musa Abdikadir for needy students in the school, when he presided over the disbursement of Sh34.3 million bursary from the national government awarded to 2,462 needy students in the area. Photo by Sebastian Miriti

Col. Raso urged parents to compliment the government role and that of teachers by taking an active role in instilling discipline in their children, which he said was important for academic excellence.

The legislator advised against retrogressive cultural practices like early marriages, which he said were an impediment for not only individual development but the nation as well.

He also pointed out that owing to unfavourable conditions like aridity and insecurity in Marsabit County, needy cases have been on the rise as parents and guardians were not able to adequately cater for educational needs of their children and those orphaned by criminals.

Col. Raso asked the government not to reduce funding for the higher education loans board (HELB), as intimated during the 2021-2022 budget presentation in parliament last week, saying the move would disfranchise many needy students across the country.

The MP pointed out that poverty levels among many Kenyans do not favour them in funding higher education for their children and called for a review of the proposal.

“We are going to oppose it as members of parliament in pursuit of social justice for the many parents and students in want,” Col. Raso said.

The legislator whose concern was corroborated by the local sub-county director of education Safina Adhi, who asked parents to stop marrying off their girls at a tender age for material gain.

Ms. Adhi advised local pastoralist communities to educate their children in order to give them a bright future.

“I advise parents to seriously guard their daughters against being preyed on by boda boda operators who lure them with little money,” she advised.

The county TSC director, Tom Ekal, hailed the role played by the CDF kitty which has seen many children from poor backgrounds access education besides getting equal opportunities with the privileged.

He said that the government was addressing the problem of understaffing in secondary schools in the area, adding that five of the institutions in Saku had a biting shortage of teachers.

The disbursement saw 1,548 secondary school students and 914 in colleges and universities get bursary assistance.

By Sebastian Miriti

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