Murang’a county government will spend Sh20 million to grant needy students bursaries as they prepare to join secondary schools.
The money will be distributed in each ward to support students admitted in national and extra-county schools.
The county executive and local assembly on Thursday, came up with strategy on how the funds will be issued to ensure it only goes to needy but bright students, faced with challenges in joining secondary schools.
Speaking after holding meeting with MCAs Thursday, Governor Mwangi wa Iria said they will involve primary school committees to select needy students to benefit from the bursary.
The governor said church and community leaders will also be brought on board to ensure transparency in identifying the neediest cases.
Wa Iria noted that some wards will get above Sh500, 000 considering the number of selected students.
“Together with the county assembly, we have resolved that school committees will be bestowed with the responsibility of selecting needy students for assistance and MCAs will submit list to the county government for allocation of funds,” remarked Mwangi.
He observed that the Sh20 million kitty is a way of intervention to support poor families who can’t afford school fees, with the governor saying each of the selected beneficiaries will get Sh25, 000.
The MCAs were bestowed with responsibility of ensuring day schools in their areas do not charge outlawed levies, including cash for lunches among others.
The governor noted that a section of school heads were collecting illegal levies and sending away students who are unable to meet their demands.
“The government has allocated money to all the day secondary schools and lunch programmes should also be optional as parents can opt to take meals to their children. It has been observed that some learners are sending away students over outlawed levies, thus undermining the government policy of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school,” said the governor.
The chairperson of the county assembly committee on education Beth Waithira said they will try to block head teachers who will be levying outlawed levies to secondary students.
She said as MCAs they will give education necessary support by coming up with legislation aimed at improving education standards in the county.
“As committee on education we will seek to work with relevant stakeholders and the local community to improve education standards in this county,” she said.
By Bernard Munyao