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Mombasa launches an English Access Micro-scholarship Programme

Mombasa bright and needy students are set to benefit from an English Access-Micro-Scholarship programme launched by Samba Sports Youth Agenda.

The 50 students from Mrima and Shikaadabu secondary schools are sponsored to undergo training on English language, public speaking, essay and poem writing, in order to improve their academic performance and nurture any aspiring leadership skills.

The first phase of the programme was run in Kwale County where students from poor backgrounds benefited.

Samba Sports Youth Agenda Partnership Advisor Mohammed Mwachausa said that through the programme, over 42 students in Kwale have sharpened their skills in English language knowledge that is mainly taught in schools.

He said they started the programme in 2020 after noticing that most students are bright in academics but are struggling with the English language, while bearing a negative attitude that it is a foreign language.

“We started the programme so that we can help the students in understanding the language and ICT studies and empower them more in terms of doing community work like beach cleaning activities, tree planting, among others. Through this programme, we have realized that the young people will grow to be responsible adults in the society besides excelling in academics,” he said.

Mwachausa noted that the selection criterion of the respective schools is based on their academic performances.

“We choose these schools because a big number of learners come from vulnerable communities that are affected by drugs and juvenile gangs and many students performed poorly in their KCSE exams,” he added.

He said through the programme, the schools are equipped with learning materials, computers and a library which is set up in the school to boost their learning and research.

Mwachausa said the best performing students under the programme will be granted scholarship opportunities abroad for higher education.

“After graduation, the students will become alumni of the US embassy sponsorship programme of which if they post excellent results in their national examinations they get another opportunity to learn in America,” he said.

He said the students will be good ambassadors to the rest who did not participate to get the gist and further their education.

He noted that since the inception of the programme, the students’ performance has improved.

He added that many students have taken leadership roles in schools and speak more fluent English compared to before going through the programme.

Mrima Secondary school English teacher Nancy Wambura said that the selection process for the participant was a fair but vigorous one as the students were asked to write application letters which were then vetted and those short-listed underwent interviews.

Wambura said those under the programme are tutored after class work on reading and oral skills.

She said the programme has been a success and many students’ lives are changing as they are trained on the US culture for exposure purposes.

According to Valentine Anyango, a form one student from Shikaadabu Secondary School, the programme has helped her sharpen her language skills and she has also gained courage in speaking in public.

Anyango urged fellow students to always take advantage and embrace any opportunity given to them as it is one way of ensuring they excel in life.

“We are lucky to be part of this programme and I am sure many opportunities are coming ahead for the betterment of our future,” she said.

By Chari Suche

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