Reforms to the County bursary fund are bearing fruit, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
Speaking while disbursing the fund in Githabai ward, Kinangop Sub-County yesterday, Governor Kimemia said for the first time, beneficiaries had been identified through public participation.
“Members of society who knew each other’s needs authorized allocations. No more boardroom deals!” he said.
Recounting how the reforms began amidst last year’s Christmas festivities, Governor Kimemia hailed the Department of Education, Gender Affairs, Culture and Social Services for responding to public displeasure over the fund.
“We are here today, because (County Executive Committee member) Hon. Faith Mbugua and her team quickly effected the reforms we needed to make applications for and access to the County bursary fund people-friendly,” he said.
A total of Kshs. 100 million was set aside for bursaries this financial year.
Today’s disbursement, totalling Kshs. 40 million, will benefit 5,072 students, which Governor Kimemia released through school principals present.
Additional disbursements will be directly made to learning institutions, with appropriate communication to recipients.
The County Government has also sponsored 50 students, two per ward, on a full scholarship, with a further 24 also on a full scholarship from the Governor’s kitty.
The Governor thanked Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Co-operative Bank for continuing to support the County Government’s bursary efforts through an initiative to build a bank for bright students in each school.
“Follow up on ALL beneficiaries will done to ensure they are performing well,” he said.
The County said his administration is considering supporting day scholars through a grant to cover meals and salaries for teachers employed by boards of management.
“We must still, of course, also build decent sanitation facilities in each of our early child development learning centers and keep engaging each other on the policies and laws we will need to drive our children’s future forward,” he said.
The disbursement comes hot on the heels of other efforts to enhance access, retention and completion rates from schools across Nyandarua.
A milk feeding program for 23,000 learners in the County’s early child development centers is already underway, with employment to youths who are ferrying the product via bodaboda.
The County Government also plans to issue 12,000 pieces of uniform in each Ward, amidst on-going efforts to assess needs for ALL people living with disabilities before freely equipping them.
Governor Kimemia warned that negative attitudes towards learning, habitual absenteeism, child labour, school dropouts, negative peer influence, domestic problems, early marriages, substance and drugs abuse continue to endanger the future of Nyandarua’s children.
“It is the reason we must strengthen guidance and counselling services; carry out intensive orientation for new students and establish alumni associations to mentor our students,” he said.
The Governor also called for the introduction of a reading culture; building the capacity of teachers and boards of management; enhancing teamwork; and participation in school functions and annual general meetings.