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State to revamp Jomo Kenyatta Foundation to coordinate the issuance of bursaries

The State Department of Basic Education is set to revamp the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) to enable it to coordinate and regulate the issuance of scholarships and bursaries in the country.

JKF, a parastatal under the Ministry of Education was established in 1966 as a company limited by guarantee and having no share capital for the sole object of advancing education, relief of poverty, and distress of the public in East Africa.

In 1968, the JKF scholarship fund was started as a strategy for realizing the Company’s main objective of advancing education and relief of poverty. JKF operates in two areas; publishing and scholarship.

“We are revamping our Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) to boost its capacity to coordinate bursary allocation. It will build a database of all beneficiaries so that there is no double dipping. A child does not have to benefit simultaneously from CDF, the County Government, and the Elimu Scholarship,” Dr Belio Kipsang, PS for Education said.

Addressing a meeting of County Commissioners and County Directors of Education drawn from Coast region in Mombasa, Dr Kipsang said JKF will also provide coordination and support to all organizations involved in the support of learners.

To ensure a seamless transition, Dr Kipsang encourages the finalization of the awarding of bursaries before students report to school.

“Sometimes some of the children remain at home in anticipation of either getting a CDF bursary or a County Government bursary, “he said.

“With the empowerment of JKF we should ensure going into the future issues of bursaries and scholarships are concluded before the opening of schools,” added Dr Kipsang.

Meanwhile, the PS lashed out at leaders who discriminated against children during the issuance of bursaries based on the voting patterns of their parents.

A file photo of beneficiaries of the JKF scholarship holding a dummy cheque. Courtesy of JKF

“We shouldn’t punish our children for what they don’t know. Sometimes our children don’t know how we voted as adults and therefore nobody should use that to the disadvantage of our children,” said the PS.

He added that bursaries are the prerogative of children and they are non-aligned in all issues that pertain to their parents.

Dr Kipsang further urged the sensitization of communities to take up teaching courses that will support the community, especially in far-flung counties.

County Governments, Members of Parliament through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the Elimu Scholarships were praised for giving out bursaries and scholarships to learners.

“Our partners in the banking sector and other sectors have done quite well in ensuring that we give scholarships to our children to ensure that our children are in school,” said Dr Kipsang.

By Sadik Hassan

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