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Over 190 vulnerable pupils receive full secondary education Elimu scholarship

One hundred and ninety-one vulnerable pupils who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE) last year from Nyamira County have received full secondary education Elimu scholarships courtesy of Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF).

Nyamira County Director of Education (CDE), Joshua Kaga while presiding over the flagging off of scholars expected to join various secondary schools countrywide thanked the JKF for this initiative of giving children from very poor backgrounds hope of continuing with their education.

“Nyamira County is one of the rural Counties in Kenya with has a large population of very vulnerable households and this scholarship has come in very handy to children from vulnerable families who had lost hope of joining their dream secondary schools despite the fact that they recorded very good performance in their KCPE results,” said Kaga.

The CDE pointed out that the vetting committee undertook a very rigorous and demanding exercise to select those who deserved to qualify for this scholarship.

He noted that they invested their time in visiting all the homes of the scholars to authenticate their socioeconomic status and assess their level of vulnerability before approving them for the scholarship.

“You are very lucky to be picked by the Elimu scholarship because there were and still are other needy cases within our communities who have not managed to get this opportunity. You must therefore utilize this opportunity well to change your lives and that of your families in the near future for good,” Kaga advised.

Nyamira South Sub County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Florence Obunga thanked JKF for giving hope to children who had lost hope of pursuing their secondary education and beyond despite their good performance in KCPE examination.

“Make sure you maintain high discipline when you are in school, keep the right company to avoid being swayed by others who concentrate on non-academic agendas and score impressive grades in your studies to give a reason why JKF should continue supporting your secondary school education,” Ms Obunga counselled the scholars.

She further challenged parents to be very supportive of their children because as much as JKF is giving financial support, it will not give parental training and guidance to their children. She told them to remain consistent in admonishing their children to be highly disciplined and concentrate on their studies.

Parents should equally readily provide other learning materials which JKF may not be able to provide to make the learning of their children comfortable and seamless, the DCC added.

County Chairman of the Kenya Primary Schools Head Association, Kepha Bwana lauded the selection procedure of the scholars saying it was very fair and transparent with a very dedicated select committee.

“JKF’s cut-off mark for those to qualify for their scholarship at 280 marks is very favourable because vulnerable households undergo several challenges which impede them from scoring high grades compared to those pupils in private schools. The mark is achievable to pupils who are serious with their studies irrespective of their economic vulnerability,” Bwana commented.

Jomo Kenyatta Foundation official, Mercy Kwamboka clarified that their scholarship’s package comprises of school fees, shopping, pocket money, transport to and from school and a mentorship programme for the four years they will be undertaking their secondary school education.

She appealed to the scholars to put their best foot forth in their academic studies lest they lose the opportunity if they fail to maintain exemplary performance since they are deemed to be capable.

The Elimu scholarship is a government initiative programme under the Ministry of Education founded by Jomo Kenyatta in 1966 and implemented by the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) to assist children from poor vulnerable backgrounds in accessing secondary education like any other child.

By Deborah Bochere

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