Kibwezi West Member of Parliament (MP) Mwengi Mutuse intends to bring a Bill and an amendment to increase funding to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and Universities in Parliament to increase funding for enabling students’ access to education.
Mutuse argued that the higher cost of fees being charged by various institutions in the country has disadvantaged some students from poor families from accessing tertiary and higher education especially in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (ASALs).
“We will bring a Bill and an Amendment in parliament to enable HELB, Colleges and Universities to get enough funding from the national budget to ensure all our students get education, regardless of their economic status,” said Mutuse on Wednesday during the swearing in of Makueni University Students Association (MUSA) officials at Wote Social Hall.
“We need to set aside money for our students in public institutions to enable them access affordable education,” emphasized the MP.
On accommodation, the MP disclosed that he will ask the government to provide investors with land within public universities to construct affordable houses and hence guarantee students’ security.
“We have many students studying engineering, medicine, education and law who reside in slums because there is inadequate accommodation in universities which compromises their security,” observed the legislator.
In another development, Mutuse said that he is going to initiate an online application system for college and university students to use in applying for education bursaries from the National Government Constituency Fund (NGCDF).
“The digital system will facilitate students from higher learning institutions with easier application process for NGCDF bursaries at the comfort of their campuses,” he added.
He further said that bursaries for secondary students will be disbursed at the polling stations in the constituency where parents will identify deserving students.
Speaking at the same function, Principal Secretary for Devolution, Teresia Mbaika, challenged students to utilize internet and technology and engage in meaningful activities that generate income.
At the same time, Mbaika urged the youth to embrace agri-business to ensure they get an income and avoid relying on white collar jobs that are hard to come by.
During the event, MUSA Chairperson Peter Mwangangi, Secretary General Manson Munyao and Finance Director Miriam Mumo were sworn in among other officials.
The association brings together students from Makueni County learning from different universities and colleges in the country for mentorships and career development.
By Patrick Nyakundi and Ronald Rono