Kisumu County government has disbursed Sh45 million in bursaries to benefit some 9,772 needy secondary school students in the county.
The bursaries will benefit the 2020 Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) candidates expected to join national and extra county secondary schools in August.
Speaking during the flagging off of the bursary disbursement, Kisumu Deputy Governor, Dr Mathew Owili revealed that the lakeside county has awarded Sh160, 722, 826 as bursaries and scholarships to students in schools, universities, tertiary colleges, and driving school colleges in the last two years.
According to Owili, the county has increased its bursary allocation by 100 percent from Sh105 million to Sh205 million.
“This means that more needy students will be able to enjoy their right to education and thereby get a chance to pursue their dream careers,” said Dr Owili.
He added that the exercise will happen in phases with Nyakach sub-county being the first to receive an allocation of Sh12.4 million on Wednesday followed by Seme and Kisumu Central sub- counties and others will follow suit.
The County gave out Sh57, 230,025 as scholarships to some 1,260 beneficiaries in universities and driving schools at the beginning of this year.
Moreover, the county also awards full scholarships for 70 students coming from all the 35 wards to study at the Marine Training School launched a few weeks ago during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to the county.
“We are doing this because we are right now having a new Marine School in Kisumu and our people must benefit from it,” he observed.
Parents have been urged to encourage their children to apply for the scholarships from July 2021 to study courses that would enable them to become coxswains or secure other marine-related jobs.
The County has adopted the use of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) as opposed to the traditional method of sending cheques to schools.
Additionally, the County offers Governor’s full scholarship to bright students hailing from humble background in the area who score over 350 marks in KCPE.
Railways ward MCA David Arao who is also the Education Committee chairman decried that late disbursement of bursaries to schools disrupts the learning of the students because head teachers keep sending them away due to lack of school fees.
“I urge the education department to prioritize payment of bursaries. Money meant for education should reach schools early enough to avoid inconveniencing poor children,” Arao said.
The CEC for Education, ICT and Human Capacity Development John Awiti said that Kisumu is rated among the top Counties in providing high bursaries.
The county has doubled the amount of bursaries and scholarships from Sh105 million in the 2020/2021 financial year to Sh210 million in the 2021/2022 financial year.
Apart from these, parents and students have also been advised to apply for scholarships offered by Equity Bank “Wings to fly”, Kenya Commercial Bank, Cooperative Bank and others.
This comes as a reprieve to parents who are preparing to take their children to respective secondary schools by August 2, 2021 after the Form-one schools selection exercise was concluded on Monday.
All the bursaries and scholarships beneficiaries were urged to study hard and pass their examinations.
By Robert Ojwang’ & Juliet Akoth