Murang’a County government is in a process to transform a scholarship programme into a foundation.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria has said the programme which was initiated in 2019, will be transformed into a foundation so as to seek financial support from private partners in order to support many poor children.
The scholarship programme currently relies on financial support from the County government where secondary school fees for the beneficiaries is fully paid.
The governor noted that, the support given through the county scholarship programme dubbed Nyota Zetu which already has benefited close to 4,500 needy students ends, after the learners clear their secondary education saying with the foundation, the beneficiaries will be members and in future they will support other children from poor backgrounds.
With the foundation, Wa Iria said the scholarship programme will be sustainable many years to come, and all the beneficiaries are slated to be members.
“Already we have a law in place to protect the programme even in other regimes to come but we want the initiative to attract support from private partners and also track the beneficiaries after they clear their secondary education.
“Those who have benefited with this programme, will automatically be members of the foundation. We want to make the initiative sustainable so that in future the beneficiaries will also support other needy students in the county,” added Wa Iria when he distributed Sh. 105 million scholarships to needy students on Sunday.
The first bunch of Nyota Zetu beneficiaries are expected to sit for their KCSE exams by the close of this year, with Wa Iria saying they will be the first members to be registered in the foundation.
He added that the county administration has already utilized close to Sh. 400 million in the programme where fees of the learners is fully paid.
“Every year we have been sponsoring 1,000 needy students but in the 2022 academic year, we picked 1,500 learners. Selection of the beneficiaries is done by community learners, primary school heads and the clergy to ensure all those who deserve the support are picked,” he further explained.
He asserted that having the foundation in place, it will help to improve education standards in the county as no child will miss to proceed to secondary school due to financial challenges.
Wa Iria asked the governor who will take from him to ensure poor children continue to get the scholarship saying the programme had saved many needy students who could not have joined secondary schools.
“Through Nyota Zetu, the County government was able to ensure poor children joined secondary schools where they were admitted. Initially some parents opted to take their children to day schools since they could not afford fees for national and extra-county schools,” he further said.
By Bernard Munyao