A section of Murang’a MCAs has termed move by local county government to give bursaries to needy students as of great benefit to the poor.
The MCAs’ sentiments come barely a day after Maragua MP Mary Waithera faulted Murang’a government plan to give secondary school students bursaries terming it a function of the national government.
On eve to New Year Waithera had told the county government to put its house in order, downplaying governor Mwangi wa Iria’s directive that students of day schools should not be forced to pay for lunch levy.
The first time MP said the money given by the county government is meager, accusing the devolved administration of failing to concentrate in revamping youth polytechnics and early childhood education which are devolved.
However, the MCAs in a press conference at the assembly’s building on Wednesday accused the legislator of trying to politicize the county bursary programme.
Led by the assembly’s majority leader, Erick Kamande, the MCAs noted that the county government has allocated Sh. 20 million to intervene in desperate situations where some candidates may lack funds to enable them to join schools where they have been enrolled.
Kamande dismissed the MP saying many needy students seek help from county government when they lack fees.
“If the MP has a lot of money for bursaries let her pay for needy students from her constituencies. County government is only trying to help desperate situations where parents are unable to take their students to high schools,” he added
Kamande noted that in the bursary programme, the county government is targeting to assist 1, 000 needy bright students selected to join National and extra county secondary schools.
He reiterated that day schools should not send away students who cannot afford levies for lunch saying such levies are optional.
On December 27, when governor Mwangi wa Iria announced the bursary programme he entrusted MCAs with responsibility of ensuring no students in day schools within their areas will be send home to collect fee for lunch.
The governor noted day schools are free accusing some principals of using the lunch fees to exploit parents.
His sentiments were reiterated by Kamande who said day-scholars can carry food for lunch from their homes.
“Government’s directive is that day schools should not levy any charges to students. Lunch fees should be optional and no student should be forced to pay,” added Majority leader.
The county government is expected to give out bursary cheques to selected candidates on January 7.
By Bernard Munyao