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9,000 students receive gov’t scholarships

The Government has today awarded the second cohort of 9,000 Elimu Scholarship beneficiaries, under the Kenya Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project.

The successful applicants emerged from a thorough selection process involving 54,000 applicants who sat the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examination (KCPE).

Speaking today during the launch of the Elimu Scholarship Programme at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha pointed out that more than 40,000 applicants who were not selected for this scholarship are also needy and require some form of sponsorship to meet the secondary school expenses such as boarding fee and cost of uniforms.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof. George Magoha, flanked by Polycarp Igathe, Group Chief Commercial Officer (left), Equity Bank and Principal Secretary Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr. Julius Jwan, issues awards letters to lucky pupils joining form one in August when he presided over the official launch of Elimu Scholarship program (ESP) for the 9,000 Cohort II beneficiaries at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on July 22, 2021.Photo by Kibet Cheptumo

“I am therefore urging other partners to step in and borrow a leaf from the Elimu Scholarship Programme and assist the many needy and vulnerable learners out there who need support,” said Magoha

The CS thanked the Equity Foundation for their Wings to Fly Programme, the KCB Foundation, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation and other organisations that support the learning costs for needy and vulnerable learners.

He appreciated the Equity Foundation for helping the Government to select the 9,000 Elimu Scholarship beneficiaries using their already tested and proven criteria of identifying needy and vulnerable children.

However, Prof. Magoha said there is a need for a robust coordinated and regulated environment for effective direction of philanthropic efforts.

This, he said, should be done with a view to eliminate duplication of efforts and manage any challenges that may be impeding effective administration of scholarships and other social support initiatives by partners.

The CS pointed out that the Elimu Scholarship Programme targeted 110 Sub-Counties and 15 urban centres with informal settlements.

“This year we affirmatively increased the allocation of learners from urban centres with informal settlements from 25% to 33.3 % of the 9,000 slots to cushion the very vulnerable households and give hope to the less fortunate,” he added.

He said the award of scholarships under the Elimu Scholarship Programme is testimony to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motto of leaving no child behind in the provision of basic education to all, adding that he witnessed the selection process and it was fair and it will change lives and families.

Prof.  Magoha said the Government is committed to fast tracking reforms in education, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all learners in line with our Constitution.

Responding to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Magoha said his ministry recently reviewed (downwards) the fees for secondary schools and called upon all stakeholders to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to.

“My Ministry has prioritised quality based educational reforms, which include implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) with a focus on nurturing every learner’s potential,” said Magoha

The CS congratulated the beneficiaries, and urged them to take this opportunity seriously and above all focus on their studies in the various schools where they have been admitted to.

Prof. Magoha said the cohorts shall be monitored to ensure they complete a whole cycle of secondary education.

By Catherine Muindi

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