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Governor Kachapin disburses 600 million for bursary funds

Needy learners in West Pokot County have a reason to smile after the county government released Ksh 600 million to the bursary kitty aimed at opening access to education to all students irrespective of their backgrounds.

“This bursary fund stands as proof of our commitment to the principle that education should be accessible to all, ensuring that no child is at a disadvantage due to limited resources,” West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin said.

Speaking during the launch of the fund at Chewoyet High School, Governor Kachapin emphasized the importance of parental and guardian sacrifices in providing educational opportunities for students to exploit their full potential.

The county boss announced the launch of the bursary fund aimed at supporting the students within the county in their quest for education and achievement.

“We have increased bursaries for learners in boarding school to Ksh20,000 from Ksh15,000 last year. Those in Colleges will get Ksh10, 000 and those in day schools will get Ksh5000. These funds can be enough if they are managed the whole year,” Governor Kachapin stated.

He claimed that the bursary fund he distributed is the most substantial in the country, intending to ease the financial strain experienced by many families in the county when it comes to educating their children.

In 2022, the governor announced that a sum of Ksh 435 million bursary fund was allocated to support 41,413 students across the county.

He emphasized that the allocation of scholarships to students showcases the long-standing dedication of the county government to assist students in their academic endeavors.

Governor Kachapin emphasized that his administration’s allocation of Ksh 600 million in bursary is intended to assist students at every educational level, ranging from primary school to university.

He mentioned that the Ksh 600 million will support 44,560 students at various educational stages, guaranteeing that financial limitations will not impede their academic progress.

He observed that the initiation of the bursary encompasses more than just providing financial assistance but serves as a powerful symbol of hope, empowerment, and opportunity that conveys a resolute message to the students that their dreams are valid, and through perseverance and dedication, they can accomplish anything they set their hearts on.

He said the county officers responsible for distributing bursaries to students faced various obstacles such as impersonation, forged documents, and non-residents applying for bursaries noting that the challenges significantly hindered the timely allocation of bursaries to the students, highlighting the need for a collective effort to address them.

He firmly warns all school principals, parents, and any other person involved in the act of trying to obtain money through dishonest methods that they will face consequences.

He expressed his gratitude to the partners and stakeholders who played a vital role in making the launch of the bursary fund possible.

“Your generosity and support are deeply appreciated and your investment in education will yield dividends for generations to come,” he said.

The governor urged the recipient of the bursary fund to grasp the opportunity with utmost determination and commitment, by putting in diligent effort and maintaining discipline.

“Your education is your passport to a brighter future and this bursary is here to support you every step of the way, study hard, dream big, and never lose sight of your goals,’’ the Governor challenged the students.

He went on to challenge everyone to wholeheartedly embrace the initiation of the bursary, emphasizing that it serves as evidence of the county government’s dedication to education and the county’s future.

West Pokot County commissioner Khalif Abdullai reiterated that to support needy and bright students in the county, the national government in collaboration with the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation has extended scholarships to 136 deserving students who were at the brink of discontinuing their education.

The County Commissioner (CC), Abdullai, also mentioned that the national government has distributed Ksh 30 million for bursaries across all constituencies through the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG CDF).

CC Abdullai also mentioned that the government is allocating capitation funds for the education of all students, whether they attend boarding schools or day schools.

He said all students in West Pokot County are required to remain in school noting that it is an offense for anybody to send learners home for school due to unpaid school fees, as the government is responsible for their educational expenses.

The commissioner cautioned all schools under the administration against imposing unauthorized fees on students and parents, such as motivation, remedial, lunch fees, and money for ream papers.

He said that day secondary schools are free with the government covering the capitation for every student.

“We want all students to be in school, the government policy of 100% transition must be achieved, there are no two ways about it, I am therefore directing all Deputy County Commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Chiefs, and Assistant Chiefs to ensure all students are in school, we are going to take your promotion and carry up progression based by how many students have you taken to back to school,’’ the county commissioner issued the stern warning.

According to him, the county’s illiteracy rates are remarkably low, standing at 65 % according to the report by UNICEF (2012) due to retrogressive cultural practices including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early marriages, cattle rustling and nomadic way of life.

He stated that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is prohibited, cautioning individuals engaged in FGM practices, and early marriages. and other forms of mistreatment towards women within specified areas that the assistant chiefs will be held accountable for ensuring compliance, and failure to address causes of FGM and underage marriages will result in their dismissal from their positions.

He said his mission was to come to West Pokot to silence the guns, and insecurity and foster tranquillity and unity among the conflicting communities residing at the border of West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Turkana.

The county commissioner called upon all political and religious leaders, government partners, and stakeholders, including organizations dedicated to peace and security, to collaborate to safeguard the region’s security.

The West Pokot Director of Education (CDE), Simon Wamae, emphasized that despite his experience working in various counties across the country, West Pokot County stands out a region that prioritizes educational matters.

“Ksh 600 million bursary fund should not be taken lightly,” CDE Wamae said.

CDE Wamae emphasized the significance of education by citing an old Chinese proverb. According to the proverb, a wise individual does not inquire about the darkness upon entering a room; instead, they illuminate it with a candle. In this context, Wamae highlighted the governor’s commendable efforts in West Pokot County, as he ignited the flame of hope and provided children with a promising future by enabling them to be in school.

He said the Ministry of Education will guarantee the effective and efficient utilization of the resources entrusted to the school principals.

CDE Wamae stated that the principals have recently completed a financial management course, equipping them with skills to effectively handle resources; resources not only those provided by the county but also those from the national government and other partners.

The West Pokot County director of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Francis Lotam, implored the educators to wisely utilize the school resources for the students to reap the advantages of the education support from the governor and government in terms of bursaries, capitation, and National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG CDF).

By Anthony Melly

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