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Gov’t donates food for fees to needy students

The National Government has provided assistance to 480 vulnerable secondary school students who are unable to pay school fees in Marsabit County.

Through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), the government has paid Sh5.76 million for the students in 12 local boarding secondary schools spread across the county through the food for fees arrangement.

In the plan, Marsabit County Drought Coordinator Mustafa Parkolwa said orphaned and the most vulnerable students who have been identified with the assistance of the Ministry of Education would benefit.

Mr Mustafa said that three schools have been identified from each of the four constituencies of Saku, Moyale, Laisamis and North Horr, and each of them would produce 40 students to benefit from the initiative.

The coordinator disclosed that each of the identified learning institutions would receive 80 bags of 25 kilogram rice and 10 bags of 90 kilogram of beans which the school management was expected to convert into fees for the beneficiaries.

“We have dispatched 10.8 tons of beans and 24 tons of rice to the respective schools that would be priced as tuition and boarding fees for the needy students,” he said.

The gesture by the government was an intervention measure to cushion local communities against ravages of severe prolonged drought by retaining the vulnerable students in school.

In Saku constituency, Sasura Girls, Moi Girls and Marsabit Boys secondary schools are benefitting while Laisamis Boys, Ngurunit and Kulal Girls are targeted in Laisamis. In North Horr Constituency, Isacko Umuro Boys, North Horr Boys and Maikona Girls are in focus while in Moyale constituency Sololo Boys, Obbu Girls and Moyale Girls will benefit.

Mustafa said the local community who are pastoralists have been hard hit by severe prolonged drought making many parents unable to raise school fees for their children.

Moi Girls Secondary School-Marsabit Principal Halima Adan termed the assistance as useful and timely saying the move would enable students from poor families to continue with their studies uninterrupted.

Ms Adan appealed to other well-wishers to come to the aid of many more students faced with school fees challenges as the current drought which has decimated the local communities’ source of livelihood had made many vulnerable.

According to the County Director of Education (CDE) Apollo Apuko, the region has 45 secondary schools and that only students in 12 had been reached out to.

Mr Apuko asked NDMA to consider extending the help to other schools saying the current drought coupled with Covid-19 pandemic had rendered many residents vulnerable.

The CDE also called on Marsabit residents to maintain peace, saying it was an incentive for both education and academic development.

By Sebastian Miriti

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