Governor Susan Kihika Disburses Sh342 million Bursaries for needy studentsWritten by
Written by Niva Kimtai
Nakuru Governor H.E Susan Kihika, EGH today launched the distribution of bursaries worth Kshs. 342 million to needy students across the county at Nyayo Gardens, Nakuru Town. This is in fulfiment of Governor Susan Kihika’s commitment to assist students from needy background to either access or continue with their education.
This financial year, the Kshs. 342 million allocated towards the County Bursary program is almost double the amount (Kshs177.8 million) which was set aside last year for the bursaries.
Today, H.E Governor Kihika released the first tranche of Kshs. 232,147,679 to over 60,000 beneficiaries drawn from universities, colleges, vocational institutions, secondary schools and special schools from across the County aimed at keeping them in school.
The 60,000 beneficiaries included 49,172 secondary school students, 597 special school pupils, and 3,979 college students. This is an increase from the previous disbursement which saw 48,000 students bennefiting.
“The second tranche of Kshs. 118,530,795 is ready and will be distributed later in the term in order to allow for form one students who are being admitted to schools to apply. The applications for the second tranche begin today and I urge parents to make haste and apply for their bursaries,” the governor said.
In her speech, Governor Kihika encouraged parents and students noting that education is the greatest equalizer a tool that can transform oness life regardless of the background. The Governor noted that her government will ensure every child in Nakuru County get access to this constitutional right-the basic Education.
“We are gathered here today committed to uplift the lives of those students who need financial support, to give hope to the hopeless, and to support the dreams of future generations hindered by lack of resources to get education,” said Kihika.
The bursary beneficiaries shared life testament stories narrating how they would have missed school were it not for the bursary.
Elizabeth Atebo from Sobea Mosop ward whose daughter is one of the beneficiaries of the bursaries had a story to tell.
Elizabeth is a casual labourer, who depends on tilling other peoples farms to make a living. She also does manual work at construction sites to put food on the table for her children. With the urge to achieve her career dream, Mary Amurai daughter to Elizabeth one day decided to trek all the way from Sobea to Nakuru town with a paper poster reading “Kindly help me secure my future. I got 341 marks and my dream is to become a neurosurgeon. My mother is not able to support me since she is a widow.” This message touched one of the bodaboda rider in Nakuru town who directed her to Governor’s office where she was finally assited. Her mother is so happy that her daughter will finally join form and work on her future dream thanks to bursary program.
Mama Rael, whose daughter is also a the beneficiary of the bursary program also has a story to tell. She is casual labourer, who switches from laundry work to house cleaning and sometimes garden work to eke out a living.
Back in her single room house in Mashini, Lanet, are three children. This morning, she trekked all the way to attend this launch, happy that her daughter will remain in school thanks to the County Bursary program. Elizabeth and Mama Rael are just among the many with touching stories that the bursary program has transformed lives for.
In addition to the effects of poverty and other obstacles on access to education, the county bursary program seeks to support children from vulnerable background and children with special needs to prepare them to become self-reliant. Governor Kihika has appealed to institutions and individuals to work with the County to help needy students, especially those living with disabilities, to access education. She appealed also to the secondary school administration to stop sending students home from school because of school fees and lunch fees.
“While we understand running schools requires money, they need to understand that Basic Education is a constitutional right of every child in Kenya,” she said.
The governor also revealed that the introduction of school feeding program for all pupils in public ECDE centres will in February. This program will enhance enrollment and boost retention hence more children in Nakuru will have access to early educational foundation.
The adminstration is also committed to upgrading existing VTCs, build new ones, equip and also recruit more instructors in order to enhance the training of trainees in the VTCs.