Manyatta Member of Parliament Gitonga Mukunji has appealed to the National Treasury to release the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans to students.
The MP said majority of university and college students were in dire need of the money as the new academic calendar year has commenced, saying the delayed disbursement would greatly affect their studies.
Mukunji who was speaking on Tuesday during the enrollment drive of NG-CDF bursaries beneficiaries at Talent Academy in Embu Town, said majority of beneficiaries were from needy families and depended on the funds for fees and upkeep.
He said he was a beneficiary of the fund and was thus well aware of the critical role it plays in giving poor students an equal opportunity to learn and shape their future.
“Were it not for HELB, I won’t be standing here today,” the MP said while calling for reforms barring the board from imposing exorbitant fines to defaulters.
He said the unemployed loanees ought to be given a reprieve until they secure jobs as opposed to the current setting where borrowers are given one-year grace period upon completion of studies to start repaying.
“We want HELB beneficiaries who are jobless not to be slapped with the five percent penalty charged every month on the total amount due,” the legislator said.
He at the same time promised to ensure transparency in the allocation of the bursaries to ensure no deserving case was left out.
Mukunji challenged the learners in secondary, tertiary and university to reciprocate by putting more effort in their studies and posting good results.
“I will try as much as I can to ensure no student gets stuck for lack of school fees,” he said.
By Samuel Waititu