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Equity elimu programme aids students with financial incapability

Candidates who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) from Kiambu Constituency last year are set to benefit from the Equity Elimu programme as they embark on their high school journey.

Elimu programme is an initiative supported by the World Bank-funded Secondary Education Quality Improvement (SEQIP) and implemented by equity and also funded by the government.

The programme is an initiative aimed at aiding the less fortunate students who have the zeal to study, but lack school fees.

According to Tabitha Thinge, the branch champion in Kiambu Constituency, 176 students registered for the Elimu programme for 2023.

Out of the number, the branch champion however said they had to narrow down the number to 41 students who are to undergo interviews and background checks to make sure only deserving students received the scholarship.

This number, Thinge told KNA, is then expected to be whittled down to 11 and their homes visited impromptu to verify and authenticate what was indicated to ensure the parents do not change the state of the homes as indicated.

“We are looking for those students that either have a single parent or no parents at all. However, those with both parents but lack the means to pay school fees or have many siblings making the money difficult to budget will also be considered too,’ Thinge added as she gave the criteria of those to benefit from the highly competitive programme.

She explained that they will be sponsoring 11 students from Kiambu Constituency, comprised of 6 girls and 5 boys, who got 280 marks and above in their KCPE.

One of the previous beneficiaries of the Equity Elimu Programme, Dennis Kamau, told KNA that the bank has supported him since he joined form one in 2017 until he completed in 2021.

“They paid my school fees in full, sorted by shopping and also paid fees and pocket money until I cleared. Currently I am a student at Muranga University,” he says with a sense of achievement.

According to Kamau, soon after he completed his high school education, equity offered him a job with a monthly salary of 40,000 and this has made it easy for him to juggle college and work as he can work from the precincts of the campus.
“We received forms through our local chiefs, filled them and submitted them to our chiefs,” Veronica Kusa a parent who had applied for the support for her daughter who is to join form one this year said.

Kusa’s husband, she explained, passed away leaving her with three children to fend for. “Life has been so hard for me. I don’t have a stable job as I rely on casual labour to make ends meet. The programme will be of help to me and other people in Kiambu Constituency.”

Oliver Odanga, another student hoping to benefit from the programme seemed ecstatic about the initiative. ‘I got 296 marks in my KCPE. I am set to join Kikuyu High School on February 6, this year. I am so happy that I can finally get a chance to study without interference through the scholarship programme. I aspire to be a doctor and help others just as equity has helped me.”

Kiambu Constituency Assistant Chief Peter Gachwe said they spread the word around to parents and students of the area to apply for the Equity Elimu and registration through churches, radio broadcasts and also barazas.

The registration is also available online on the programme website and is set to end on February 3, this year as soon as the background checks and home visits are concluded.

The students will then be able to join their respective schools the following week and they are also free to change schools if they are not comfortable with the ones selected for them.

Last year, 86 students registered for the Equity Elimu Programme, which was a lower number compared to this year’s 176.

Kiambu Constituency has been experiencing drought which is a problem to most residents who rely on farming, hence the difficulties in raising adequate income to support their children’s education.

By Wanjiku Waweru

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